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(Book of the Order #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,878 ratings  ·  491 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
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published October 29th 2010 by Ace (first published September 29th 2010)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
💥 April 6, 2019: only $0.99 today! Okay, so this isn't my mostest favoritest series ever (to say the least and stuff), but some of you have Despicable Book Taste (DBT™) so I thought you might be interested and stuff.

Actual rating: 3.21 stars. Because I'm in a good mood today.

A message from Sarah from the Future (SftF™): I thought I'd write a really short thing review for that one. Hahahahaha. I'm so funny sometimes, I crack my little self up.

So this book should have been slightly awesome, in
Dec 24, 2010 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
Mayim de Vries
“Unholy bones, I need a smoke.”

As cliché as it sounds, in Geist Kate Daniels meets Sabriel and together they wreak havoc for the greater good of all.

No, seriously, when reading I kept thinking that if Sabriel grew up a little bit jaded, overworked and overstressed, had a marriage misfire on her and developed a cynical streak, she would be just like Deacon Sorcha Faris.

On the other hand, there is the Young Pretender and I reckon that every self-respecting Kate Daniels fan will relish the “hello
Jul 25, 2011 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
Update: Second attempt, November 2018

GOD, this was so GOOOOOOD....for a while. The first half blew me away with its creative magic system, great action scenes and highly HIGHLY lovable main characters! The whole time I was thinking: WHY? Why on earth would I not finish such masterpiece back in 2013? And I jinxed it...

-Magic System - simple, but unusual and quite fascinating. I loved how the "magic-users" overcome their weaknesses by working in pairs, the gauntlets were an interesting tool
*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
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, fantasy
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
Gail Carriger
Jan 18, 2011 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
Maria Dimitrova
Buddy read with the MacHalos .

I was really tempted to give this one a 5 star rating but there were several issues that made me reconsider it. First and foremost (view spoiler) This tainted Sorcha's developing relationship with Raed, something I would have o
Elena C.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
I'll rate Geist resorting to the all-purpose three stars, but the review is going to be hard to write. Because I liked the story Philippa Ballantine narrates in Geist very much, but I also think she kinda wrecked her own ship.

Hey, Geist is, by no means, a bad book - on the contrary, it's full of great ideas, imaginative situations, an intriguing, elaborate worldbuilding and a solid cast of characters. It doesn't really live up to its potential, thought, largely because Ballantine's writing style
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 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
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
Geist is book one in the Book of the Order by Philippa Ballantine.

This book is appealing and also a bit hard to understand and get into. The world is a cross of old world, steampunk, and fantasy. Not much steampunk, but their are mentions of airships that run on geist, spirits and ghosts magic and time clocks, but for the most part it's like mid-evil time period.

Ms. Ballantine jumps right in with introducing us to words we don't full understand, yet, and a historical type society structure. Sh
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
Nov 10, 2010 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
I am happy I finished it. About half way through it got better. The world building wasn't the best. In the beginning it was confusing. It was clearly a complex world and wasn't explained well enough. Some things became clearer as the story went on, but it didn't satisfy my curiosity about how the magic worked although some of it was intentionally left out presumably to be explained in future books.

The order was a group of magical workers who protected the living from the otherside where the unl
Dec 09, 2012 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
Ashley Kvasnicka
Absolutely LOVED this book! I can not wait to read the rest of the series! From beginning to end, this story is filled with nonstop battles and excitement! No overwhelming character development but only slight and I can't wait to see where these 3 head from here out!

Spells, geists, flying ships, romance and great beasts, GAH! Looove it!

Definitely would've finished this book in a short amount of time if the holidays weren't around the corner :]

I recommend!
Sep 27, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: machalo
Buddy read with the MacHalo group! I was torn between DNF and On-Hold for this one. I may come back to it. The writing style is just a bit dry for me when I've been trying to fight off the slumpiest reading slump. ...more
Pamela / SpazP
Nov 16, 2010 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
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
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
Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
Welcome to Arykham, where the presence of ghosts and spirits (geists) are unfortunately commonplace. But thankfully, the geists conform to a set of known parameters, and the Order protects the citizens from ultimate danger. The setting of the book, Arykaham, is historical in nature - no electricity, and horses, ships and dirigibles are the modes of transportation, etc. The society is run by an Emperor, with the Order acting as a quasi-religious group that protects the world from the geists.

Ms. B
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
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads
I had a few problems with this book. The POVs jumped around willy-nilly and the romance/sex was awkwardly written. Certain things were really glossed over...Kolya in a coma that long? Nynnia and her...alienness?

BUT it was enjoyable for me. I liked the dirigible scene well as the Ulrich Abbey scene best.

I may read the sequel.
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers with a romance kicker.
Shelves: fantasy, romance
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were strong and the surrounding world and situation interesting. Sorcha was a bit more "hot young thing" than "experienced matron" in both demeanor and outside reaction than was justified by her stated age and experience, but that's easily overlooked in the quality of the the rest of the book.

The only thing keeping this from four stars is the irritating naming in the book. It followed no real rhymn or reason that I could discern. It's as if the author s
Dec 12, 2010 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
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
The Good, The Bad, The not so much for bunny.

Let's begin..

The Good

I liked this novel, I didn't love it and I am probably not going to run to the bookstores to grab the next copy. I will say that I don't have a whole lot bad to say about it. You have Scorcha a Deacon, She helps get rid of 'geists' Now she is powerful and a badass. But this world relies on help from a Sensitive. So we meet Merrick, her bond partner. Let me tell you how much I love this concept. I am not a fan of the "I am a bad
Paulette Jaxton
Jul 20, 2010 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
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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)

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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