Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 27th 2011 by ACE

Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists...

Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with 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.

And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to?

I'm really disappointed I could not find a hardcover or simply bigger version of this book. I'm also surprised the two bookstores I went to only had one or two copies of Geist and Spectyr, because these books should definitively be found in a larger number.

It only took me three days to go through Geist, and I can't wait to purchase the follow up. This novel offers one of the most original and inspiring fantasy universe that I have seen in a long, long time. It's fresh, loaded with action and strong characters and because the book can be relatively considered as an 'Adult book', it's devoid of the sappy, mindless drama that you drown in while reading YA novels.

I loved every single one of the characters. Sorcha with her blunt, strong attitude, Merick with his intelligent but young naivety, Raed and his pirate-ish, cool-headed mannerism. I enjoyed the fact they all brought something to the story and that the plot's fate didn't rest on only one character's shoulders. I loved the fact they all have both weaknesses and strengths. The world Ballantine created is also fantastic and refreshing, and I can't wait to read more. It's been a while since I've looked forward to a sequel like this.

Ballantine is very good at creating a stable, suspenseful plot. Just like with any other fantasy story, there may be a lot of elements to take in, the magic system can seem complicated at first, but I admired the fact all this universe was layered out one bit at the time in a very precise manner, and without some kind of major dumping of information on the reader, or on the contrary, none at all.

Having read other reviews, I observed that a lot of readers stated that the first few chapters were really 'boring and hard to pull through'. I personally disagree. The first chapter of Geist is already hooking the reader to the core of the action, and albeit one or two introductory chapters about the characters themselves and the world, Geist is action-packed till the end. I may even say that that's something to beware of; too much constant rolling action can get very tiresome and ridiculous, but Geist treated everything perfectly. I hope though that in the following sequels there will be less fighting and more interactions, more passive drama and also more deepening of the character's pasts and future.

In any case, I recommend this book to all those fantasy readers out there. Great, great novel and I hope it keeps being great.

Originality: 9.5
Plot: 8,5
Characters: 10
Writing: 8
Cliffhangers: 8.5

Geist by Phillipa Ballantine
Rating: 8,9/10


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