by Dennis Batchelder
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Print Length: 352 pages
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
An exciting YA adventure that Quantum Leap fans will love.
Would you like to see your past lives? You could’ve been a wealthy 19th-century aristocrat, a WWII pilot, or a humble monk from feudal Japan.
Dennis Batchelder explores this interesting topic with a gripping teen Quantum Leap that sci-fi lovers will devour. I read this book with lightning speed, and it reached the point where I was bummed to put it down for a minute to do anything else.
In Oversight, Soul Identity hosts a valuable service preserving their clients’ memories for their future lives. This organization has been around since the rise of the ancient world (Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc.), probably even longer.
Our heroine Zelly is destined to become the next overseer when she officially becomes an adult. The problem: she may die before she takes the position. Zelly suspects her best friend (and enemy) Ying will kill her to be the sole overseer of Soul Identity. She has learned Ying’s past self has killed overseers in exchange for power.
To avoid a deadly repeat of the past, Zelly returns to her past self to uncover her company’s hidden history and use it to stop Ying before it’s too late.
The whole past-life concept really stands out in this book. It can get readers into some really cool book club discussions, like is past-life tapping possible? The news has mentioned people catching glimpses of their past lives in their dreams. Others have memorized their past lives completely as kids, only for it to fade when they grow up. People even pay past-life regressionists to help them find solutions to their current lives’ fears and trauma. This sci-fi novel is genuine and can be a great discussion piece for young readers.
Oversight is exciting, filled with action and plot twists to the end. But it might be even greater to have such intelligent characters leading the way. Zelly is a South American teen with a love of everything technology. She’s smart, occasionally brash, and unafraid to bend the rules. Ying is equally as bright as Zelly, probably more, and she’s quite the rival. Reading Oversight with these girls in mind is akin to an intense chess tournament between two master players. They’re great, but you have no idea who will be the last one standing.
Oversight is a much recommended YA sci-fi. There’s adventure, action, and exciting technology. The world appears modern, except it makes the Metaverse look like an old Atari video game. The book carries a reflective outlook on past lives and reincarnation. Plus, history nerds will enjoy the slices of Ancient Rome Batchelder brings to life in its pages.
Many kudos to Batchelder! Hopefully, readers will get more of his world in the future (no pun intended).
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