Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Spectyr


By:  Philippa Ballantine

Publisher:  Ace Books

Publish Date:  July 2011

Format:  Paperback 310pgs, pocketbook size

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  2nd book in A Book of the Order Series; Book 1 ~ Geist

Recommendation:  Yes!!  Talented writing style of story telling and world creation through the characters.  For Urban Fantasy lovers who enjoy Fantasy as well, and a some love too.

Book Synopsis:
In a realm of mystics and magic, the Order of Deacons stands between the here and now and the Otherside.  Its mission is to protect the citizens of the Empire from malevolent geists - no matter where or when...

Though one of the most powerful Deacons, Sorcha Faris has a tarnished reputation to overcome.  She and her partner, Deacon Merrick Chambers, find themselves chasing down rumors of geists, but long for a return to real action.  So they jump at the chance to escort a delegation sent to negotiate the terms of the Emperor's engagement.  Their destination: the exotic city of Orinthal.

But a string of murders has Orinthal on edge, and Sorcha and Merrick are asked to investigate.  Meanwhile, the Emperor's sister has unwittingly unleashed a cruel and vengeful goddess, one who is bent on destroying her enemies, including the geistlord who resides inside the shapeshifting rival to the throne - Sorcha's lover...

First Sentence:
In the Imperial Palace Grand Duchess Zofiya slept on sheets of polished white satin in a grand bed painted and carved like a sailing ship.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Zofiya, the Grand Duchess and sister to Emperor of Delmaire, has a strong belief in a goddess and a religion of almost 1000 years in a world where most have lost their faith with the coming of geists.  She believes her goddess, Hatipai, has guided her to find the Dark Angle who is to kill the Pretender, as he is to bring geists to the land.  The very Pretender, Raed Rossin, who saved her life in the end of Geist.

Scorcha and Merrick are happy find they are on a "real" case after all the imaginary geist hunts they've been sent on, and ends up more than they bargained for.  With the Spectyrs they fight, a person of their past gives Scorcha a glimpse into the Void to see the future.  Scorcha sees the man she can't get off her mind, Raed, is in grave danger.  Scorcha and Merrick offer to take a case, or an escort mission, to the place they think will be the center of this trouble.

Raed is enjoying life on land once again.  Until her receives a letter from his father stating his sister was taken.  Raed feeling guilty of the attention he has brought to his family and the love for his family heads off to find her.

We are brought right back into the thick of things with each of our main characters with a quick start that leaves you flipping the pages to learn more on the happenings.  We start by catching up with each character in their own part of the world, then bringing them together quickly.  No stalling in getting to the story line here, which I enjoy.  We pick up new secondary characters with these characters  as well.  Through the secondary characters we see the reactions and more history of our main group, along with another view of the world as well.  Scorcha has now accepted completely her bond with Merrick, and finds she actually likes it and him. The bond is strong and... special.  I have to say my favorite of this book was with Merrick!  Oh boy do we learn a great GREAT deal through him.  Both of him, of the past, and the present!  Wonderful character and great growth in the world!

There is no time wasted at the beginning of this book to refresh our memories, which I enjoy.  I get bored with the refresher starts that feel like wasted pages to me.  Here we get pieces of the refresher throughout the book, when we are needed to remember them to fit the pieces of the story together.  Oh, we had it all before and know it now, but Philippa does a nice job of reminding us briefly what we might have forgotten to piece it together as a series.

Once again I loved jumping back into this series. I do feel Philippa has a wonderful writing style in the way she tells a story and weaves a detailed world through the characters. This world and history of it is very detailed, and told wonderfully with the characters.  I love the setting with the geists, spectyrs and all along with the Deacons and systems to deal with them.  And the characters are quick and fun.

Definitely a wonderful addition to the series.  Much more to learn here and looking forward to what we have in future books as well!

This book qualifies for my Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books.

I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.


  1. Great review, Melisa! I'm very excited to read Spectyr after hearing how good you thought it was.

  2. Sounds awesome. Another series I need to get ahold of. I need more time in the day.

  3. This series is high on my must read list! Of course I should buy the books first...but once my book buying ban is finished these will be one of the first! :)

  4. I truly must read a book by her, I mean I should listen to you right? :D Cos you was sure right before

  5. I loved this one too! Oh loved how all the characters grew... even those I didn't expect to grow! I can't wait for the next one!

  6. I read good - Thank you! :) So glad you liked the review. And I hope you enjoy this series by Philippa as much as I've been. :)

    Carolsnotebook - Oh, it is really a great read. I do hope you get a chance to give it a try. :) THank you.

    Mel - Oh, I think you would love this series. It has a mix of UF and Fantasy feel to it. I think you would enjoy it as well. :)

    Blodeuedd - Oh, now I feel the pressure is on. But I do have great feelings about Philippa. She really is a talented writer. :) I hope you get to give one of her books a try one day. :)

    Melissa (Books&Things) - Yes! There was growth here I wasn't expecting too. Really nicely done. :) So glad you've enjoyed the series thus far as well.

  7. I still have this series high on my To Read list. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the second book a much as the first.

  8. I really like the cover ! Thanks for the review, it sounds great ! I will try to read the first one !


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