Geist (A Book of the Order)

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Sorcha and her new partner Merrick are in limbo after the fallout from the first book, being given simple jobs to keep them occupied and out of trouble. I love the characters in this series, they all have their quirks and are tied together by a bond that none of them intended to create, but cannot break. This novel deepens their relationships, and gives further insight into who these individuals are, and how they work together as a team. It was great to see different sides to the characters in this novel - Sorcha has some softer moments, and Merrick seems to mature a little and grow into his abilities.

Raed's strong feelings of familial responsibility come through as well. A lot happens in this book, some of the scenes are amazingly detailed and fast paced to boot. If anything, I'd say this book is better than Geist.

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It takes all the foundations that were laid and builds on them, giving more depth to both the world and the characters. Ballantine has crafted a world that is rich and vibrant, with a distinctive flavour all of its own. The plot is set against a backdrop of politics, and religion as well as both the regular world and the Otherside. Ballantine sure knows how to weave a story with lots of interesting threads and layers that come together to create a stunning climax.

I'd recommend that you read Book One before reading this one though, as it dives straight in. You can definitely still enjoy the story, but you'll get more from it if you've already read Geist. While this book isn't exactly a cliffhanger, it leaves you with plenty of unanswered questions. I know that I'll be picking Wrayth, the 3rd novel in the series, up as soon as it's available. One person found this helpful. This is a very engaging story in a highly creative fantasy setting. This is a much more serious book than the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels Ballantine's other series that she co-writes with her husband Tee Morris.

I would recommend it to fans of Nix's books, as well as more modern urban fantasy series with strong female protagonists e. Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson books. As I said, it's not quite the same flavor, but if you're anything like me you'll enjoy the novelty. Honestly I thought the book want going to be near as good when I first began it but by the third chapter I began to feel as though I was entering the world through a portal of my own and would have been more than ok south it as the world was more interesting than any i have visited in a book in a long while.

I'm going to start on the second asap. Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase. Unlike most sequels this book actually surpassed the first! As much as I enjoyed Geist I thought Spectyr was much, much better. I think it had to do with the amount of attention the author spent fleshing out each of the main characters.

I also like how the author incorporated relgion into this series. Now before you lose interest, let me explain. For those who haven't yet read this book the author brought into play the gods of the fictitious world in this installment. I like how she did it because it adds another layer of depth to this series and that exactly what you should strive to do in a sequel. Sequels are all about pushing boundaries that you set in the first book.

This is well executed in Spectyr.

Philippa Ballantine

Philippa Ballantine expertly takes controversial topics such as politics and religion and molds them into the fabric of her story. This book is so much different than Geist This is exactly the type of story that you would expect from a talented writer such as Ballantine. I can't start writing what i want to say without spilling spoilers everywhere so I'll just say this, read this series.

I'd nvr heard of this author but now that I have read these two stories I will be an avid fan for all my years to come. Thank you Philippa the world you've created is just incredible. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on February 13, Love X 4 this series!! Published on June 3, Published on April 9, Plot development felt often clunky and unnatural - I was never able to forget that there was a deus ex machina behind the story I was reading. Ballantine really wants you to like Nynnia; she really wants you to see the connection between Sorcha and Raed; she really wants you to feel the strain and discomfort of three well, four souls forcibly bounded together: This is kind of a biggie in a book where confrontations between various warring factions are at its core.

Also, you don't have your villains laugh and smile at each other in the middle of their evil machinations like a bunch of 6 years old at a Frozen theme party. And not only because I find it phisically painful to drop a series: I'm genuinely curious to see what the author has planned for the gang. But I'll be back to it in a while. View all 9 comments. Nov 23, Kara rated it it was amazing Shelves: First off, I don't think I write good enough reviews to do this book justice, so I highly recommend you just read it. Sometimes you just connect with a book.

Maybe it's the timing, the setting, the author, your life cycles, etc. After giving Phoenix Rising a hands down 5 star rating, I had to check out more of Ballantine's work, and Geist suited my preferred genre for unique high fantasy novels. So I was expecting something good - which usually is a surefire way First off, I don't think I write good enough reviews to do this book justice, so I highly recommend you just read it. So I was expecting something good - which usually is a surefire way to set myself up for a disappointment. I was very pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed this novel even more.

I like the characters. Sorcha is strong, smart, and determined, but she's not cold. Raed seems like a man I would fall in love with myself, kind, noble, and tortured. There are others, all of who played important roles and were well developed. I liked the plot. No - saving the day from evil of another realm is not a new theme, but the way it's presented here was very enjoyable. I like the use of "Geists" as the evil we fight, and how their known behavior turns chaotic - our characters were always dealing with something unprecedented, and had to work together in very creative ways to solve problems and succeed in their missions.

There wasn't a whole lot of "I saw that coming" in this book. I also found myself curious about the history of the land and the background of the Order, both native and new. On this note I will mention that I have started listening to the Chronicles of the Order podcasts, I'm only 1 down, but it was very good, and I'm hopeful the others will be as well - and they DO apparently address the histories that came before the book.

Well developed world intricately laced with true mythic origins The pairing of an active and a sensitive was a really unique and well thought-out idea. Basically, the Order works in pairs, an active and a sensitive. The active gets gauntlets and bright colorful displays of active magic which they use to control or vanquish giests. The sensitive wears a strop when necessary and is able to "see" into the other realm, and identify what type of geist the active is dealing with.

Without one, the other fails. The actives' gauntlets has 7 runes, and the sensitive's strop has 7 different runes. Together, two people must work as partners to defeat the constant threat from geists. They must rely on each other wholly and implicitly. They are "bonded" to one another, an idea that brings new levels of complexity to the plot as the story progresses. What else to say? The book was a page turner. Plenty of action and mysteries to unravel. A bit of romance, that actually fit in where it should. Very good and easy to read writing style.

If I had just finished the book, I would probably give more details, but as it is, I just remember that I absolutely loved it, and I'm currently happy to know that book 2, Spectyr is on it's way to my mailbox. View all 3 comments. Oct 08, Odin rated it it was amazing Shelves: I am extremely character driven. World building seems to have turned into the rage these days. Many authors spend so much time creating the universe the characters live in, the forget to make those same characters breath. Ballantine does create a firm mythos that encapsulates the motivations driving her characters towards their objectives.

However, she does this whilst keeping the focus on the characters and letting the mythos build along the way. This is a lesson I think many writers need to learn. Ballantine's characters are worth knowing. Her strong female lead is unique.

Book Review: Geist (A Book of the Order #1)

Sorcha Faris is a strong, powerful, mature, attractive woman. She is direct, almost brutally blunt at times. She enjoys a good cigar and is truthful with herself. She is easily the driving character in the story and she exudes potential development in subsequent stories. She might not be the easiest person to know, but she would be someone that would be worth that effort.

Raed Rossin enters the story relatively early on the second chapter but remains outside of the main storyline, moving parallel, for the first part. Raed is a member of the once ruling family, now a sea nomad doing his best to stay alive. He hides his inner qualities behind a course though not unrefined exterior. He effortlessly claims loyalty from those that follow him. He is a prince among men and a pirate at heart. Merrick Chambers completes the starring cast. He is a young but powerful idealist partnered, against their wishes, with Sorcha. Along the way they learn to trust and rely on one another.

It is neither an easy or enjoyable path for them at times, but it does make for a very good story. Geist is much more than another quest fantasy. Geist has elements of fantasy, horror and romance all rolled into one action packed adventure spanning continents where loyalties are called into question, rogues can be heros and heros can be idealists.

This book begs you to lock the doors, get comfortable in your favorite chair, turn down the lights and read.

Philippa Ballantine - Wikipedia

I encourage you to do the same. First off, the introduction to the world and its characters was bad. There was also a lack of an index. Geist is in badly need of an index, people. Please fix this issue. Another problem was with the information, or better put, overflow of information. Sometimes when I read my mind gets idle, and I might not pay attention to certain things. Fuck it, this happens to me a lot, especially since I tend to read at the end of the day in bed, before I sleep.

Why do i do this? Because I read to relax. Geist felt like doing homework. Geist has pages, and the story is rather complex. This resulted in an overflow of information that gave me headaches at times. Since the story is rather somber, I felt like the romance between Sorcha and Raed was not matching. I would have the erotic scenes replaced with some more intimate emotional ones. But this could be me. View all 7 comments. Nov 10, Kelly rated it it was amazing. I enjoyed it, and then the more I thought about it, the more I found to appreciate. Geist is a secondary-world fantasy, set on the continent of Arkaym.

The residents of Arkaym fear the geists, powerful otherworldly spirits that can enter the physical realm and possess people. Standing between the populace and the geists 4. Standing between the populace and the geists is the Order, which can best be described as a mixed-gender, non-celibate organization of warrior monks. The members of the Order are classified by their skill set: Actives and Sensitives work together in pairs, though each camp has some disdain for the other. Deacon Sorcha Faris, a strong Active, is assigned a new partner after her previous Sensitive and estranged husband is rendered out of commission.

She and this new partner, the still-green Merrick Chambers, are assigned to investigate mysterious goings-on in the remote city of Ulrich. A disaster crosses their paths with that of Raed Rossin, a pretender to the imperial throne. There are conspiracies afoot, and the geists are behaving in ways believed to be impossible. Instead of spoon-feeding or info-dumping, Ballantine gives readers exactly the amount of information they need at a particular moment. As a result, reading Geist feels like an extended leap of faith.

The ending is not a cliffhanger, but left me eager for more; I just have to know what happens with these characters! Review originally published at Fantasy Literature I can not wait to read the rest of the series! From beginning to end, this story is filled with nonstop battles and excitement! No overwhelming character development but only slight and I can't wait to see where these 3 head from here out! Spells, geists, flying ships, romance and great beasts, GAH!

Definitely would've finished this book in a short amount of time if the holidays weren't around the corner: Sep 27, Celise marked it as did-not-finish Shelves: Buddy read with the MacHalo group! I may come back to it. The writing style is just a bit dry for me when I've been trying to fight off the slumpiest reading slump. I am happy I finished it. About half way through it got better. The world building wasn't the best. In the beginning it was confusing. It was clearly a complex world and wasn't explained well enough. Some things became clearer as the story went on, but it didn't satisfy my curiosity about how the magic worked although some of it was intentionally left out presumably to be explained in future books.

The order was a group of magical workers who protected the living from the otherside where the unl I am happy I finished it. The order was a group of magical workers who protected the living from the otherside where the unliving came from. The magical workers were divided into sensitives and actives. The active did more physically powerful magic. The sensitives could see into the otherside among other things.

The sensitives seemed like pretentious jerks. They appeared weak in comparison to actives, but that may be how they want to appear. They hoarded knowledge about magic. If they were truly meant to be partners with actives why would they do that? I couldn't respect them when I learned that. I didn't care for the bonds aspect of the story especially since they could be forced on other people without there being a deeper meaning behind them.

Although she did have unmatched skills as an active that wasn't what made me like her. I loved it that she behaved in ways people didn't expect. She said what she thought even if it rubbed people the wrong way, but never came off as a bitch. Being brave and kicking ass are other awesome qualities she has. Not everything Sorcha did was wise, but she always had the best of intentions and didn't put people at risk with her actions. Last but not least she was an older female heroine. Fantasy needs more of those. Merrick didn't do anything for me. He was a good guy and didn't do anything even remotely despicable, but I never liked him.

I'm not even sure why. I didn't like how secretive he was. His sudden inexplicable love with Nynnia annoyed the hell out of me. It was hardcore instalove. They knew nothing about each other. It didn't help that I never liked nor trusted Nynnia. It was obvious she was hiding something and manipulating them in some way. None of the other characters trusted her bizarre behavior enough. I really liked Raed. He was charming and complicated.

His situation was unique. I wanted to know more about his family history to understand how he ended up like he did. I ship Sorcha and Raed. They were good together.

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Some of it may have had to do with both of them being misfits. I'm torn about whether or not I should read the next one. The book really grew on me and I want to know more about the things that were left unexplained. I may or may not ever get around to reading the rest of the series. View all 4 comments. Das Buch hat einen rasanten Start hingelegt und konnte mich sofort fesseln. Das hat sich nach der Zeit allerdings gegeben. Beim worldbuilding und magic system hapert es dennoch sehr gewaltig. Dec 09, Hanne rated it it was ok Shelves: Sorcha Farris is arguably the strongest Active within The Order, acting as the magical tank of a bonded duo in a fight against the geists from the Otherworld.

Discarding protocol, the head of the Order assigns her with a new Sensitive partner, Merrick Chambers, and they are immediately sent on a new mission that takes them to the northeast coa Sorcha Farris is arguably the strongest Active within The Order, acting as the magical tank of a bonded duo in a fight against the geists from the Otherworld.

Discarding protocol, the head of the Order assigns her with a new Sensitive partner, Merrick Chambers, and they are immediately sent on a new mission that takes them to the northeast coast. Not shortly after they embark on their journey they immediately come under attack, and eventually run in to a cursed fugitive pirate and his crew. I have finally found a Fantasy series that pulled me in and had me walking away feeling completely blown away.

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Geist is so magnificently creative, fantastically carved, and I fell in love with the multi-dimensional characters. I immediately went on to buy Spectyr when this was over, but then promised myself I would not read on until I wrote this review first. Geist is massively engaging. The incredibly imaginative world building, along with the protagonist were so blazingly entertaining.

The most remarkable for me where the three main characters: Sorcha, Raed and Merrick. Sorcha is an amazingly human character in a fantasy story. She is so jaded, cynical and proud. She experiences real human and imperfect emotions that we can all relate to. Sometimes I would cringe for her over how arrogant and condescending she came across, but I loved her in spite of it because I felt I understood her. She is socially stupid!

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But she has a huge heart, and discovering that was so touching. I loved her cigar addiction, it was just one of those things where I totally felt connected with her. They are somehow able to see past what she blurts out and translate her to us as they all learn more and more about how the Active: I enjoyed the dialog between the characters so much I was completely lost in the world of Arkaym and The Order. The descriptions are so vivid, the action is packed on the page and it never stops, this book took my imagination on a crazy wild journey.

Nov 17, Nikki rated it it was ok Shelves: But this is one of those rare cases where I sit looking at the cover wishing that the story held within even began to meet the cover in terms of excellence. The cover is gorgeous and well done by the artist. I cannot say the same for the story inside. I did enjoy some aspects of the story, namely the characters.

Despite some characters being poorly characterized especially Sorcha, the lead, and various random characters that came and went , they were probably the strongest aspect of the book.

Raed was my favorite character and he was the best characterized, perhaps not a coincidence. The story itself, when you could separate it from the writing, was entertaining. However, the story along with everything else in the book suffered from the writing style overall. The book started off on shaky ground for me because the author chose to immediately jump into action. I prefer some background, some character building, some world building and all the niceties that make for a good beginning. But I did not receive any such background which left me stumbling along for a great portion of the book.

The world is never well explained, the magic is explained in bits but not enough to really follow and actions are taken throughout the book that make you wonder WTF is going on. There were many little things that bothered me throughout the book, such as constantly referring to Sorcha as Deacon Sorcha Farris--why not just Sorcha?

After Raed's father and much of his court fled the capital following the Emperor's coup, they believed that they — and subsequently Raed — were this trope. I Just Want to Be Normal: Raed has very little interest in becoming the ruler of Arkaym as he was supposed to and longs to be free of the Rossin's curse. Raed's curse causes him to transform into a Rossin when disturbed by traces of the Otherside. You wouldn't like the Rossin. The geists are spirits created by people when they die. They can become creatures or possess people.

They draw power from the Otherside. Geistlords are absurdly-powerful geists that live in the Otherside and would become Eldritch Abominations if they ever escaped to the real world. They can also create "unliving". The Bond between parters of the Order is this, allowing a limited sharing of abilities and consciousness.