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Geist (Book of the Order #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  3,317 Ratings  ·  430 Reviews
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 t
ebook, 1st Edition, 304 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Ace (first published September 29th 2010)
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Dec 24, 2010 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love when a book makes me ponder before marking which shelf to place it on. This is definitely a fantasy novel, but with a strong urban fantasy attitude, some steampunk/paranormal thrown in and just enough romance to keep me rooting for the characters.

We're in a great time of innovation in world-building, seems like people are getting away from strict Tolkien worlds and adding twists, which I find quite enjoyable. The society and magic system in Geist is REALLY interesting and believable. The
*Orginally Read 11/4/10 - 11/6/10*

Wow, this book turned out to be quite the dark horse for me! It had a pretty rough start. It took me days to get past the first three chapters. I just kept setting it down for something more interesting…like cleaning. I know, right? Buuuut somewhere before page one hundred things seemed to click for me. Even though I wasn’t rooting for every character whose pov I read (yet), I finally understood their motivations and cared about their storyline.

The first chapter
Jul 25, 2011 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: action fantasy fans who like a little romance
Don’t let the first thirty-eight pages of Geist fool you–it really is a good book.

My decision to rely on the library for first reads was stymied by the fact that my 50-library system had no copies of Geist: Book of the Order. Eventually purchased (by me), it languished on my shelf while other books took precedence. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, which reduced my enthusiasm further. But my co-moderator ran into Ballantine at a book-signing and she
Gail Carriger
Jan 18, 2011 Gail Carriger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know quite what I was expecting from this book, but I was surprised by how very enjoyable I found it. (All admissions forward: Pip is a friend of mine.) To me it felt like some pleasant amalgamation of the first Green Rider book Kristen Britain meets the Abhorsen series Garth Nix meets Cadfael. I would call Geist traditional fantasy, hearkening back to what I read in high school (which is no bad thing, as that was my reading heyday). It had a very enjoyable and well constructed magical s ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 25, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, action
I didn't put near the time into this book I'd like to have. I'm (again) badly over committed when it comes to books. Too many library books in at once, too many reading group commitments, just the problems that arise when you have no will power.

I'm going to try again to cut back on actual "commitments" and read what I want for a while. I just got the next 2 Verus books by Jacka and the 4 Ash books, not to mention hundreds of other volumes I already own that I've been "meaning to read" some of th
First off, I don't think I write good enough reviews to do this book justice, so I highly recommend you just read it.

Sometimes you just connect with a book. Maybe it's the timing, the setting, the author, your life cycles, etc., but I connected with this book. After giving Phoenix Rising a hands down 5 star rating, I had to check out more of Ballantine's work, and Geist suited my preferred genre for unique high fantasy novels. So I was expecting something good - which usually is a surefire way
Oct 08, 2010 Odin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I am extremely character driven. World building seems to have turned into the rage these days. Many authors spend so much time creating the universe the characters live in, the forget to make those same characters breath.

For me, this is obvious in stories like (prepare for blasphemy) Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. After reading all but the last book of the series, I realized I had no desire to complete them because while the world lived and breathed, the characters hadn’t developed suffic
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Let me tell you the reasons why Geist wasn’t as epic as expected.

First off, the introduction to the world and its characters was bad. You got thrown in a riot without knowing where you are, who you are, who the hell if fighting you, or who the hell you’re fighting against. There was also a lack of an index. It’s so funny how some authors that write Paranormal books (especially Paranormal Romances) tend to hit us with these fancy indexes of silly edited words, which are pretty obvious in their me
Dec 09, 2012 Hanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

i guess this is what you call a genre blender: it's fantasy, with influences of urban fantasy and steampunk (they have some sort of zeppelins!) and even romance and some horror-esque elements.

sadly i wasn't too impressed.
the beginning was really promising, but near the last 50 pages or so i actually lost interest (how often does that happen?!). i forced myself to finish, but it wasn't with the attention a book normally gets from me. i just wanted to have it over with so i could move on to the
Nov 10, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) Sometimes you read a book and enjoy it while reading, only to find it falls apart when you think about it later. The inverse happened to me with Philippa Ballantine’s Geist. I enjoyed it, and then the more I thought about it, the more I found to appreciate.

Geist is a secondary-world fantasy, set on the continent of Arkaym. The residents of Arkaym fear the geists, powerful otherworldly spirits that can enter the physical realm and possess people. Standing between the populace and the geists
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

GEIST is one of those books that straddles the line between a number of different genres. It reads like a mix between Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and Illona Andrews Kate Daniels series (and not just because of the werelion). A number of paranormal creatures thrown into a high fantasy setting and time period with a splash a steampunk. Let’s call it paranormal fantasy.

GEIST is set in a lush high fantasy world were a dedicated Order of essentiall
Blodeuedd Finland
Sorcha battles geists and more and sends them packing. Which brings me to the world at once, I did not learn that much, so the world building lacked. And therefore I call it light fantasy, and for me light fantasy is well light, but also with a lacking world building. I would have liked more of a world, I confess to that.

Sorcha was 35-40, which I liked. She was rather serious, she had a meh marriage. And she is known for being tough.

Merrick is young and sort of just of out school. Her new partne
Pamela / SpazP
Nov 16, 2010 Pamela / SpazP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sorcha Farris is arguably the strongest Active within The Order, acting as the magical tank of a bonded duo in a fight against the geists from the Otherworld. After Sorcha’s husband of 8 years gets critically injured and cannot work as her complimenting magical seeing Sensitive, the other half of her bonded duo. Discarding protocol, the head of the Order assigns her with a new Sensitive partner, Merrick Chambers, and they are immediately sent on a new mission that takes them to the northeast coa ...more
I do not tend to judge a book by its cover, which is a good thing considering the state of the cover world lately (*cough* UF *cough*). But this is one of those rare cases where I sit looking at the cover wishing that the story held within even began to meet the cover in terms of excellence. The cover is gorgeous and well done by the artist. I cannot say the same for the story inside.

I did enjoy some aspects of the story, namely the characters. Despite some characters being poorly characterized
Heather Book Savvy Babe
Geist is attention grabbing right from the start. This story is full of action, intrigue, and is never boring. The world created in Geist is exceptional. It is a very fantasy world, full of magical fighting and otherworldly creatures. The otherworldly creatures are unique though, no vampires or traditional witches grace the pages of geist. The otherworldly creatures are called geists, and are undead monsters, almost demon or ghost-like that can possess people and incite violence. The concept of ...more
Paulette Jaxton
Jul 20, 2010 Paulette Jaxton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-paperback, kindle
Geist by Philippa Ballantine is one of those genre breaking books that raises the bar and sets new standards for others to follow. She breaks the mold by making her beautiful, powerful main protagonist a woman pushing middle-age with a crotchety disposition. Her partner is a young man with great power, little experience, and again playing against type, doesn't fall instantly in love with his new partner. He never does, they have a close relationship that never strays over the line into seduction ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I picked up a copy of Geist while browsing in a local bookstore. I was thoroughly hooked by the amazing cover art by Jason Chan and the intriguing premise.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Geist since I’d never heard of Philippa Ballantine. I was thrilled with the book, though. Absolutely thrilled! The book mythology was really interesting — Deacons and geists and undead possession — and I loved the idea of Actives and Sensitives, and the occasional pinch of steampunk. But my favourite th
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
Read the entire review here:

After Deacon Sorcha Faris' husband and partner, Kolya, is gravely injured after a devastating geist battle, she is paired with young Deacon Merrick Chambers. They are sent by the Arch Abbott to the village of Ulrich, where a geist infestation is devastating the villagers. Along for the journey is pretender to the throne, Raed Rossin, who carries a dark secret that has the power to kill, or possibly save, them all.

Geist was more
May 05, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
GEIST is like SABRIEL for adults. I loved the world building and the spine-chilling ghosts. Also, Sorcha is such an awesome female lead. I highly recommend GEIST to fans of epic fantasy or kickbutt heroines.
Feb 05, 2013 Charlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“It was good weather for a riot.”

Oh, you know this is going to be good, like when the cops walk into the restaurant where you’re holding your graduation lunch, and you tell everyone to sit back down for the show.

This book is set on the continent of Arkaym. Previously there has been some political unrest, and the people of outlying towns are miserable, desperate, resigned and starving. You can just imagine the turmoil already in place. The princes of the land requested an Emperor to rule over Ark
May 23, 2011 Jan rated it liked it
Sigh. I have incredibly mixed feelings about this books. While reading it my emotions meandered from incredible awe and 'great story!!' delirium, to snorting, grinding my teeth and being so frustrated I almost wanted to give up. I'm all about characters normally, but this was a book where the greatness of the characters could not overcome the writing style. In fact, I've never read a book where the style and POV did such a disservice to the story.

And yet, there's so much to love in this book. I'
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “Keep sailing Young know where to find me, have you a need.”

When Deacon Sorcha Faris’s husband and partner Koyla is critically injured during an violent geist attack, she gains a new and untried partner; Deacon Merrick Chambers. Rumors have been whispered that the geist are attacking throughout the land so Sorcha and Merrick are sent to the remote island of Ulrich to aid the Priory there. Along the way t
Jul 04, 2011 Mihir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Original review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Geist was a book which I wasn’t aware of when it got released. I got hold of a copy of it this year when the second book was released. Geist seemed like a rural fantasy however when I read more about it, I knew it was set in an alternate world with a great catch.

In Geist we meet two Deacons; Sorcha Faris, a seasoned veteran of fighting geists, and Merrick Chambers, who is absolutely new to this whole protection gig. They are thrown together
Dec 12, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have two reviews to give for Philippa Ballantine’s book Geist.

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
Feb 06, 2015 Wyrdness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this so much. An interesting new world that teased me with details but never gave in to the temptation to tip all the secrets out at my feet like an over-eager child. It was a real delight to be drawn in gradually whilst the characters themselves were learning that not everything in their world was how they thought it was.

As to those characters, I loved all of them as well. They felt real with all their flaws and the occasional flashes of pain or regret that would come to the surface dur
Mar 21, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
Solid 4.5 stars, great read!

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 th
Cherry Mischievous
This book started off slow but once past a couple of chapters it started to pick up... then it's action after action until the very end! So pace-wise, it wasn't too bad. The story telling quality was just a tiny, itsy-bitsy shade from being a masterpice. I find myself needing little short breaks while reading this book. But during my breaks, the story would pull me back as the characters prance around my head and I imagine alternative plots to the story. And then when I read on, I g
Eva Rose
Jan 10, 2014 Eva Rose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Eva Rose by: I do this to myself
I can't actively continue to read and support a book where the Sorcha, the main character, cheats on her husband. Not even if the author says she was in a dead marriage, we barely get any evidence of it besides what Sorcha says.

She could have easily been left widow but as she is still married and her husband is lying in a hospital bed with terrible injuries her supposed romance with the 'hero" reads very unsavoury.

I can't swallow the bitter pill of cheating no matter the circumstances in fiction
Jan 12, 2011 Tee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As bias as this may sound, I loved it. I watched the evolution of this adventure from an idea, and the end result is nothing short of wonderful. I give it four stars because I have a feeling Pip's writing is only going to get better. I'm looking forward to Spectyr...and no, that one, I'll be coming in cold to.

Yes, do yourself a favor — read this.
Dec 03, 2016 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
4.5 stars. I must say, I'm fairly impressed by this story. It started off a bit rough since we're thrown into the world and among these characters without any real warning. But it gets so interesting, and so compelling, and I really like how it plays out too.
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Born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa is a writer and podcaster of fantasy fiction.
Immersed in books from an early age, she moved onto to become a librarian. She'd been dreaming of being a writer since a teenager, but in the last ten years she's devoted herself to it.
She's the author of the Books of the Order series from Ace Books. Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth (2012) and Harbinger (2013)
More about Philippa Ballantine...

Other Books in the Series

Book of the Order (4 books)
  • Spectyr (Book of the Order, #2)
  • Wrayth (Book of the Order, #3)
  • Harbinger (Book of the Order, #4)

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