This book dropped us immediately into the action! I was hooked from the get-go and needed to know what was going on.

About the Book

Over The Wall is an addictive psychological thriller that is equally suitable for adults as well as fans in the upper age range of YA Mostly from the focalised perspective of nineteen-year-old Keziah, this third-person narrative is so deeply internalised it almost feels like the narrative is in first person, highlighting the author’s skill in delivering an intriguing plot with characters that are so well drawn out I found it impossible to put this book down!” Callie Hill at Literature

From the clutches of the cult she was born into, Keziah emerges seeking true freedom, but will she ever succeed?

Surrounded by an extended family of playful children and nurturing women, Keziah never imagined life would change so drastically. By the age of 16, she is expected to live her life as an adult member of The Genus. By the age of 19, she is expected to marry cult leader Sy, prompting her to plot escape over the wall. When she reaches the outside world, however, what awaits her is not what she thought. Although modern life has challenges, Keziah tries her best to adjust.

Despite warnings, she tracks down Abe, a childhood friend and fellow escapee. Why did he go his own way on the side of the wall? No one wants to talk about it. She is determined to find out the truth. Keziah’s journey unravels complexities, fuelling determination with each trial.
The initial installment of the Over The Wall trilogy weaves escapism and liberation into a battle against The Genus.

Note: Over The Wall was written in the Republic of Ireland, and edited in UK English. Some spellings and word usage may be different to US, Australian or Canadian English.

My Thoughts

This action-packed cult thriller was an exciting, compelling read! As others have said, I got so mad at the main character for some of her decisions, but I also grew up pretty naive and sheltered (not in a cult but still) and if you haven’t had that experience it’s easy to discount it! My daughter isn’t as sheltered as I was, we’re very open with her, but she is homeschooled. And yet, the other day, she heard something about someone’s parents getting divorced and she literally could not fathom or understand the concept. You don’t know what you don’t know.

This story took a deep look into the motivations behind why people stay in all types of toxic relationships, and that while it might seem easy for those of us outside to judge that, it’s harder from the inside. I appreciate the nuance the author used while dealing with these sensitive subjects. People can be quick to judge those who join cults, and quick to judge religions they don’t understand as cults. But religion and spirituality is a complex part of the human experience.

What isn’t complicated is that vulnerable people often continue to be taken advantage of by others throughout their lives until they realize it. Even those who mean well will still sometimes take advantage “for their own good.” Again the author did a great job of illustrating this.

The characters were so realistic and human. The writing was engaging kept me turning pages. I felt so much empathy for the women in this society. Someone else mentioned Handmaid’s Tale as a comp, and I could see that. But even darker.

I appreciate the author and Love Books Tours for including me in this tour, and I look forward to checking in with these characters in the next book.

Question of the Day

Do you enjoy cult thrillers? What’s your favorite? OR Do you have any weekend plans?

Who’s It For?

Anyone who loves cult thrillers, especially The Handmaid’s Tale will love this one!

Content Warning: Kidnapping, Holding Prisoner, Religious ideologies, Patriarchal Society, Violence, Torture, Sexual Assault, Implied Incest, Trauma, Cults, Counseling, and Probably More. This list is not meant to be a complete list of all subjects that an individual may find offensive or triggering.

About the Author

Claire O’Connor is an Irish multi-genre fiction writer. After many years of living away, she recently set up a home on the rugged Southwest coast of Ireland with her partner and adored dog. When she’s not writing she’s reading, taking photos on long nature walks, or tending to her veggie garden.

Since she was a little girl, she has been writing stories (including fairytale and cartoon fan fiction) and poetry. In 2019, Claire graduated with a BA Honours degree including Creative Writing. Since then, she has contributed short fiction to various anthologies. She enjoys writing short and flash fiction for fun and published her own anthology called V is for Vignettes & Verses in 2020.

In June of 2023 she published Over the Wall, the first book in her trilogy of the same name. The story of Keziah and The Genus, the cult she was born into. Into The Old, the second book, is available for preorder on Amazon now but will be released in early January!

As an Amazon (US) and (US) Affiliate, I may earn on qualifying purchases.