Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review: Geist


By:  Philippa Ballantine

Publisher:  Ace

Publish Date:  November 2010

Format:  Paperback 294pgs, Pocket book size

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st book in A Book of the Order

Recommendation:  Yes. Yes! Wonderful fantasy depth and could be loved by Urban Fantasy lovers too.

Book Synopsis:
Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off malevolent hauntings by the geists...

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha Faris, now thrust into a partnership with the novice Deacon Merrick Chambers.  They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aid a Priory besieged by a surge of violent geist activity.  With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.

But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting.  And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.  Even if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in the hell is she returning to?

First Sentence:
It was good weather for a riot.

My Review and Summary:
Sorcha is a deacon, with the ability of an Active in the Order, who are to protect the people against attacks and riots of geists.  Geists are a ghost type enemy from the Otherside which possess people to attack others.  Vermillion is to be one of the safest cities against geists as it's surrounded by water and geists can't cross water.  But geists still find a way here...  Every Active is paired with a Sensitive to create a great working team with their own special powers to defeat the different geists.  Sorcha is paired with Kolya, her husband.  After a horrible attack on Kolya, Sorcha realizes she observed some new actions of the geist.  The Arch Abbot calls on Sorcha after using the rune  only to be used in extreme dire need, to talk with her.  But Arch Abbot tells Sorcha she is going on an important mission in an area with escalated geist activity, with a new Sensitive - Deacon Merrich Chambers - who is fresh out of the academy.  Sorcha is not thrilled about breaking in a fresh Sensitive on such a dangerous mission, but takes on the orders.  What Sorcha doesn't realize is Merrick has his dark secrets too, both as a Sensitive and personal.  But will they both be able to keep their secrets buried from each other through the bond they have as a team?  Everything Sorcha believes just might get twisted and she might have to do what she doesn't want.

I truly enjoyed the journey through this haunting fantasy read.  I am one to love world creativity and it's one of many amazingly strong characteristic here.  Philippa does a wonderful job of creating a religious style order with the Deacons.  Although they may not be of the 'religious' beliefs you may think.  They are the ones who fight the geists to protect the world.  I enjoyed watching as this world revealed itself through this book; the ruins for Actives then the Sensitives, the history of the world, and the geists.  And still wonder on the mysteries of it all yet to come.

The characters are another wonderful strength here.  The characters stick to their personalities, but grow in more ways than I had expected, to show other sides I wouldn't have thought to show, making them three dimensional to me.  I enjoyed watching all the characters grow in wonderful leaps in this book.  And the characters secrets start to unfold.

The story Philippa has to tell here is captivating.  There are a few stories with in this book; learning of the characters, the history of the world, and the mystery of what is happening with the changes the geist are showing.  Then the mystery of where the corruption is or coming from.

I would think many who loves Fantasy would enjoy this book along with Urban Fantasy lovers as well.  This book touches on a few different genre, but has a depth to it to make you wonder where Philippa will go in the future and how deep does the venality go.

If you would like to visit Philippa's site and blog CLICK HERE.  Philippa has another series that sounds amazing as well.

I offered to read this book for review to the author, Philippa Ballantine.

This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge, hosted by Book Chick City.


Alexia561 said...

Great review! I'm starting to hear good things about this book, and have added it to my wishlist. Thanks!

Jessica said...

Oh, such a great first line! :) Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

E.J. Stevens said...

This sounds fabulous. Great review!
From the Shadows

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hmm... this sounds interesting. Was it easy to get lost into this world? Sounds like it from your review. Yep, will have to look into this one.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey honey, just popping in to see how Thanksgiving holiday was treating you?! I hope all is well and I hope you had a great holiday with your family! And I hope the rest of your weekend is just as nice! Hugs to you honey!!!!!

(Arya) Paige said...

Looks like an awesome book! And I ADORE the cover. So wish I had the models costume. (:

Great review!


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Alexia - Thank you! :) So glad to hear you're hearing great things on this book. It really is a great read. Hope you enjoy it when you get it. :)

Jessica (Booklover) - You are very welcome. :) Glad to be able to introduce you to a new book. Hope you enjoy it if you get it. :)

E.J. Stevens - Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by! And thank you for the kind words. :)

Melissa (Books & Things) - Yeah, I really did get lost in this world. I liked the who creation of the abilities and culture created here. :) Great characters too. :) Thanks!

Cecile Smutty Hussy - Hey girl! Oh the holiday was great. Very tiring. But great. We did loads of visiting and then I shopped until I dropped on Friday. It's just been crazy. More crazy than normal holidays. But we had a great time. Hope the holiday treated you well also. :) Take care hon. hugs to you. and thank you for stopping by!

Arya - I know! I would so love to dress up as Sorcha, on the cover, for Halloween! :D I don't know if I could pull it off though. Thank you for stopping by.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

I've been hearing a lot of good things about this author over the last few weeks. Thanks for both your thoughts and a great review, I'll be sure to look this one up.

Bryce L. said...

This looks really good, thanks for the review.

Blodeuedd said...

Nice blog you got here :)

Ohh geist, I am very intrigued by that one. And I do love both fantasy and UF

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Great review! This sounds like a fascinating and original read! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it =)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Petty Witter - Thank you for stopping by. And thank you for the great comments. I hope you enjoy the book if you decide to get it. :)

Seak - Thanks for stopping by. And the kind words. :)

Blodeuedd - Thank you for the kind words. :) I hope you like what you find on Geist and give it a try some time. :)

Casey (The Bookish Type) - Thank you for the kind words and stopping by. :) I really did enjoy this one. :)

♫♥✿Chas @ LovLivLife Reviews✿♥♫ said...

The cover, the blurb and your review all fascinate me. I have so many title to read but I am highly intrigued and have this one TBR'd!!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Chasity - I am so glad all three sound and look great to you. :) I love when I love the book cover, the blurp, and read a great praising review. :) Hope you enjoy it when you get to it.