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Geist (A Book of the Order) Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Wonder Woman, make way for flame-haired Deacon Sorcha Faris, skilled and ruthless enough to defeat an enormous geist (German for "ghost") about to envelop humankind at the outset of Balantine's (Digital Magic) latest cluttered fantasy. Sorcha's expertise finds her soon ordered to Ulrich, a small community in a remote part of the kingdom "overrun with the unliving." Accompanying her is a new deacon partner whose Sensitive skills will balance her Active gifts. En route they must combat the destruction wrought by the unliving; about to lose a desperate battle with them, they're rescued by Raed Rossin, captain of an Ulrich-bound ship. Raed is Pretender to the throne and plagued with a "Curse" that draws the unliving to him like moths to a flame. When they reach Ulrich, they discover that evil emanates from the Priory itself, permeating the town and determined to destroy everyone in it. Balantine clogs her epic tale with battle after battle, introduces villains with bewildering frequency, and sustains such an unrelenting tension that the exhausted reader finally succumbs to indifference by her story's end. (Oct. 26)
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I especially liked the characters, they were all distinct and Sorcha, the main female character, was tough but BELIEVABLE, she never tried to hard to be competent: she just WAS. Everyone's personality was well balanced against each other, and I definitely rooted for them to succeed!
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
Top customer reviews
I do have one minor nit pick that kept me from giving this five stars and that is that there were a couple of spots when the author used the same adjective several times in a one to two page span (eldritch I'm talking to you!) and that the use of pronouns was a little odd in places, and I only mention this because when it happened it took me out of the story; but otherwise everything was so great that I was willing to overlook that in the hopes that this will improve with the next books in the series.
I highly recommend this book if you're looking for something original and intriguing with great world building and fantastic characters.
A lot of fantasy authors tend to overdo world building. Sometimes it feels like they try to give the reader every little detail about the world. Others know only give information relevant to the story, but don't proportion it well. Ballantine gave only the necessary information and spread out over the whole story. No big chunks of word building information in one go.
The characters are very memorable and they all interested me a lot. At the start of the book, I was annoyed by one of the quirks of a main character, but ended up loving that quirk. It made the character very real.
I was a little disappointed with the climax. I had expected more of it; that it would be more difficult and that it'd lasted longer. The biggest dislike about this book is, however, the fact that the author keeps repeating colours. She mentions many times that Sorcha has red hair and almost as many times that Raed has hazel eyes.
I wanted to givethis book 4.5 out of 5 stars because of these little annoyances, but seeing that I cannot do that, I shall give it 5 starts because i enjoyed it so much.
I absolutely loved this book, it has all the essential elements to hook me into a story. A strong lead character; interesting secondary characters and a solid plot. And who could ever not be intrigued by her take on magic, religion, corruption and faith? The concept of bonding is well-written, engaging and while at times underplayed it is also an essential element to keeping characters grounded. I was so absorbed in reading this book I read it in a sitting, even though I was up far past my bedtime I couldn't stop until the end.
Kudos to Phillipa Ballantine for hooking me in the first sentence of the first book I've ever gotten my hands on of yours. Now, if you'll pardon me I have the second book to sink my teeth in to.
Most recent customer reviews
A great fantasy world where woman are just people.Read more