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Geist (A Book of the Order) Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Part of the entertainment in this novel is putting the pieces together to get a picture of the complicated political situation, the period (they have magic airships!), and the nature of the geists and the Deacons' powers. Things get pretty grim, with monsters and treachery everywhere, but plenty of magic-blasting action keeps things lively for a rousing start to this new series.-Locus
Ballantine has created 3- dimensional characters that ring true; they have flaws like the rest of us, and she throws in a bit of romance for fun. This novel is a promising start to a unique series, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment in 2011.-Fresh Fiction
...will appeal to urban fantasy fans willing to venture into a wholly invented world, and to high fantasy fans that don't mind a story that's a little sexy. I thoroughly enjoyed this character-driven novel that isn't quite like anything else I've read.-Fantasy Literature
The world of Geist is an intriguing blend of fantasy, paranormal and history. It's not really any more of one genre than another, nor is any of it emphasized above each other. Fans of history may be able to spot all the historical references that were slightly skewed to fit in with the world, while fans of fantasy will be able to spot the magic's used and fans of the paranormal will marvel over the 'undead' that Sorcha and co. fight. It has a little something of everything in other words.-Night Owl Reviews
"Geist is one of the most vividly original books I've read this year."
"An incredibly "rich" story...Absolutely not to be missed."
-Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead Saga
More About the Author
She has multiple series--Books of the Order, the Shifted World, the Chronicles of Art, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (co-written with her husband Tee Morris) .
Her works have won an Airship, a Parsec, an RT Book Review Readers Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel Award. They have also appeared in the Locus Bestseller list, and been in the Goodreads Top Science Fiction books.
She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, her daughter, and a mighty clowder of cats. Visit her online at pjballantine.com or follow her on Twitter @PhilippaJane.
Top Customer Reviews
GEIST is set in a lush high fantasy world were a dedicated Order of essentially mages protect humanity from demons (aka geists) who attempt to possess and destroy the world. The Order is made up of two complimentary types of mages: Actives (who wield magic) and Sensitives (who can `see' the Otherside) who enter into a psychic Bond together.
This type of magic system and the religious/political order who train and dogmatize the deacons from childhood is very reminiscent of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Unfortunately, at just over 300 pages, I felt like GEIST barely scratched the surface of this necessarily complex society. I'm sure there will be more about The Order in future books, but as it was in the first book, we got the abridged version which remained too shallow for me to really connect with.
The characters were an entirely different matter, specifically Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne. He is a wonderfully tormented man who brandishes his bitterness and pride like the weapons they are. Sorcha, meanwhile, is a walking legend as the most powerful Active The Order has. She is revered and feared by those around her, save for her indifferent husband and Sensitive partner, Kolya. After an injury, the young and idealistic Merrick is assigned to Sorcha in his stead.
I did like GEIST, but it had the potential to make me love it, and that miss has me disappointed.Read more ›
After a terrible and shocking geist attack leaves her husband badly injured, Sorcha is given a new temporary partner, Merrick Chambers, to work with on the mystery of the unusual geist attacks. Chambers is a young, newly ordained Sensitive who is Bonded to Sorcha despite his reservations. I really liked Merrick; he offered a fresh and interesting perspective, being so new to the world of the Deacons as we are. He does go through some ups and downs in the story, but by the end, I really liked him.
On Sorcha and Merrick's mission to the town of Ulrich, they are met by a captain named Raed and his crew who are not what they seem. They find their fates attached when they make it to Ulrich and find trouble waiting for them.Read more ›
The first is the short review. The cave man version, as given by my slightly hairier Cro-Magnon alter ego Thag: "Geist good! Thag like! You buy!"
Thag is a man of few words.
The second was a lot harder to write, simply because writing a really good review that sounds honest is a lot harder than writing a man one. That's my excuse for taking this long to write a review anyway.
Make no mistake, Geist is good, really good. Ballantine has found a way to make Ghosts scary again. As I mentioned in my review of Unholy Ghosts, ghosts usually play second fiddle to something far uglier, but the geists of Philippa Ballantine's world are entirely nasty enough without being cheesy. While of course there is more going on than an infestation of the undead, I never felt like a geist attack was something the characters could brush off.
If you haven't read Geist already, then you might be unprepared for Deacon Sorcha Farris, Geist's hard drinking, cigar smoking, ass kicking and ghost banishing protagonist. I say protagonist rather than hero because when you first meet Sorcha, you might not actually like her that much. Stick with her though, and you soon see there is far more to the deacon than her exterior would let on.
Balancing Sorcha is the junior deacon Merrick, who backs up Sorcha's abilities at banishing with his own ghost sensing powers and a far more (at least initially) laid back approach to life. Merrick serves as an excellent foil to Sorcha and as a team they are a very believable (not to mention extremely readable) ghost fighting team.
Raed, known as the Young Pretender, is a pirate captain who rounds out the narrative from his perspective.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really loved the complex characters in this story and the great world building, there were some romance elements involved but Geist is full of action, fantasy, and at times... Read morePublished 10 months ago by noelle newman
I'm really not sure how I feel about an author advocating cheating on your spouse as a good thing, but other than that the book was good. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Tamara Greer
Firstly, I read this ages ago and forgot to post my review of this and I couldn't be more sorry for it! Read morePublished 19 months ago by A. Zadora
I'm a little bit sad now that I waited so long to read this one.
A great fantasy world where woman are just people. Read more
What an immediately captivating book, jumps right into the action. Sorcha is at the prime of her career so no coming of age for her. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Marilyn
Probably more like two and a half stars if I'm being honest. The premise was good, the world building was solid, and the magic system promising. Read morePublished on January 16, 2014 by Veronica 87
I enjoyed this book a lot. It has a very original magic system, an interesting story and great characters.
A lot of fantasy authors tend to overdo world building. Read more
This is generic fantasy product, the primary thing of interest is the odd-couple buddy cop dynamic which I have to say I personally don't see enough of in the literature. Read morePublished on October 9, 2013 by Jacob C. Kesinger
I'm going to go ahead and cop to the fact that I'm probably not the "ideal" audience for this book, but I do read widely and enjoy Fantasy and SF. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by MBK Farm