My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmm, this book only just made it to three stars, saved largely due to a much stronger ending which even made me tempted to read the next book in the trilogy and I had spent most of the book swearing I wasn’t going to. On the surface this should have been a book I loved, it’s plot set in early Victorian London, about a group of five, The Oversight, who police the ‘supra-natural’, is right up my street but I didn’t get on with the writing style. There was far too much tell not show and even when there was ‘telling’, in the form of endless conversations between characters, which were basically setting up the rules of this universe, it just felt too obvious. I realise that it’s difficult when writing fantasy, particularly a first book in a trilogy, to have to get the basis of the world you’re writing about down, without overwhelming or boring the reader but I’ve read plenty of fantasy books where it has been done more successfully.
But, like I said, the ending was quite strong, making me actually intrigued about the next book and there were other strong bits too. I liked one of the sets of villains, two black robed lawyer brothers with a legion of adopted sons / henchmen and I also liked the thing with the mirrors (I won’t spoil what it is), I thought that was a clever idea and also, well, it IS a book featuring magic in London and Victorian London at that, which I am a sucker for. So, I probably will read the next book but put it this way, I’m not in much of a rush.