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Customer Reviews for

Geist

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Great story and even better characters!

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...
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 sufficiently to keep me interested beyond the second or third book. Ms. Ballantine does create a firm mythos that encapsulates the motivations driving her characters towards their objectives. However, she does this whilst keeping the focus on the characters and letting the mythos build along the way. This is a lesson I think many writers need to learn. Ms. Ballantine's characters are worth knowing. Her strong female lead is unique. Sorcha Faris is a strong, powerful, mature, attractive woman. She is direct, almost brutally blunt at times. She enjoys a good cigar and is truthful with herself. She is easily the driving character in the story and she exudes potential development in subsequent stories. She might not be the easiest person to know, but she would be someone that would be worth that effort. Raed Rossin enters the story relatively early on (the second chapter) but remains outside of the main storyline, moving parallel, for the first part. Raed is a member of the once ruling family, now a sea nomad doing his best to stay alive. He hides his inner qualities behind a course (though not unrefined) exterior. He effortlessly claims loyalty from those that follow him. He is a prince among men and a pirate at heart. Merrick Chambers completes the starring cast. He is a young but powerful idealist partnered, against their wishes, with Sorcha. Along the way they learn to trust and rely on one another. It is neither an easy or enjoyable path for them at times, but it does make for a very good story. Geist is much more than another quest fantasy. Geist has elements of fantasy, horror and romance all rolled into one action packed adventure spanning continents where loyalties are called into question, rogues can be heros and heros can be idealists. At a purchase price of under $8 US, this is a story you shouldn't hesitate in buying. This book begs you to lock the doors, get comfortable in your favorite chair, turn down the lights and read. I encourage you to do the same. You won't be disappointed.

posted by Odin1eye on November 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Passable for Airport Fantasy, but Nothing Great

I bought this book for my nook, and saved most for it a long flight. It certainly passed the time, but I doubt I'll read it again.

Ballantine avoids the dreaded "info dump," which plagues the genre, but at some point you have to explain to your readers what's going o...
I bought this book for my nook, and saved most for it a long flight. It certainly passed the time, but I doubt I'll read it again.

Ballantine avoids the dreaded "info dump," which plagues the genre, but at some point you have to explain to your readers what's going on, which she never adequately does. As a result, she seems to pull things out of nowhere.

The pacing is off, with the climax coming somewhere in the middle of the book and with the final battle not being properly built up and feeling rushed. The middle battle, to me, felt more urgent and exciting than the final one.

The two lovers have zero chemistry, so that sub-plot feels shoehorned in and serves no purpose.

I realize that I'm the minority here, so by all means, take my review with a grain of salt, but I can't recommend this book.

posted by The-Shadow on January 16, 2011

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    Great story and even better characters!

    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 sufficiently to keep me interested beyond the second or third book. Ms. Ballantine does create a firm mythos that encapsulates the motivations driving her characters towards their objectives. However, she does this whilst keeping the focus on the characters and letting the mythos build along the way. This is a lesson I think many writers need to learn. Ms. Ballantine's characters are worth knowing. Her strong female lead is unique. Sorcha Faris is a strong, powerful, mature, attractive woman. She is direct, almost brutally blunt at times. She enjoys a good cigar and is truthful with herself. She is easily the driving character in the story and she exudes potential development in subsequent stories. She might not be the easiest person to know, but she would be someone that would be worth that effort. Raed Rossin enters the story relatively early on (the second chapter) but remains outside of the main storyline, moving parallel, for the first part. Raed is a member of the once ruling family, now a sea nomad doing his best to stay alive. He hides his inner qualities behind a course (though not unrefined) exterior. He effortlessly claims loyalty from those that follow him. He is a prince among men and a pirate at heart. Merrick Chambers completes the starring cast. He is a young but powerful idealist partnered, against their wishes, with Sorcha. Along the way they learn to trust and rely on one another. It is neither an easy or enjoyable path for them at times, but it does make for a very good story. Geist is much more than another quest fantasy. Geist has elements of fantasy, horror and romance all rolled into one action packed adventure spanning continents where loyalties are called into question, rogues can be heros and heros can be idealists. At a purchase price of under $8 US, this is a story you shouldn't hesitate in buying. This book begs you to lock the doors, get comfortable in your favorite chair, turn down the lights and read. I encourage you to do the same. You won't be disappointed.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2011

    Passable for Airport Fantasy, but Nothing Great

    I bought this book for my nook, and saved most for it a long flight. It certainly passed the time, but I doubt I'll read it again.

    Ballantine avoids the dreaded "info dump," which plagues the genre, but at some point you have to explain to your readers what's going on, which she never adequately does. As a result, she seems to pull things out of nowhere.

    The pacing is off, with the climax coming somewhere in the middle of the book and with the final battle not being properly built up and feeling rushed. The middle battle, to me, felt more urgent and exciting than the final one.

    The two lovers have zero chemistry, so that sub-plot feels shoehorned in and serves no purpose.

    I realize that I'm the minority here, so by all means, take my review with a grain of salt, but I can't recommend this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    interesting

    love books with females that are strong and stay that way

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2010

    Wow. What a great story

    I read a lot of fantasy and after awhile it all begins to blur together. But Geist is different. It rocks from the first scene and continues on to the final words. It's got a lot of supernatural power, great battle scenes, tortured characters and even some romance. Which leaves me wanting more. Please tell me there's a sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    Good but not great

    This book was good but I do not feel the need to rush and get the next book in this series

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    Deacon Sorcha Faris is an Active in the Order of Deacons. She is

    Deacon Sorcha Faris is an Active in the Order of Deacons. She is all that stands between the living and unliving as geists are called. Sorcha's Sensitive partner and husband is injured in a geist attack outside the White Palace in Vermillon. Arch Abbot Hastler gives Sorcha her new assignment and partner Deacon Merrick Chambers. They are attacked by another geist that is not behaving as told in the archives. Along the way, they meet up with Nynnia who is heading to Ulrich where the two Deacons are being sent to help the Priory. Captain Raed Snydar Rossin also called The Pretender to the throne is seeking a safe haven for him and his crew of the Dominion. The Dominion is in badly need of dry docking to careen the ship stem to stern. The King tells Captain Rossin to anchor in Ulrich which the Captain thanks the King for but before he leaves the King asks about Captain Rossin's condition. Captain Rossin says that he is fine and privately thinks it's been a year since the last incident with The Rossin. Raed tells his first mate Aachon about where they are to make berth and he is none to happy but then neither is the rest of the crew. The Dominion and her crew rescue the two Deacons and Nynnia from the sea and geist possessed sea creature where they eventually make it to port of Ulrich. Ulrich is disturbingly quiet for a sea port. All is not well in Ulrich especially at the Priory. Prior Aulis is unreasonably angry yet Sorcha and Merrick are not sure why. The townspeople of Ulrich seem to have lost faith in Priory. Priory's Sensitives have all been killed with only a few remaining Actives. Prior Aulis sacrificed her Sensitives to raise a Geistlord and something is going to happen in Vermillon within three days time. What is going on? Why were Geist Lords being summoned? What is Captain Rossin's part? What can Deacons Chambers and Faris do? Can the summoning be stopped? Your answers await you in Geist.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Well written and likeable characters

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book at first, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it. About halfway through the book I was dearly hoping it was part of a series. And it is, yay! Fun, instantly likeable characters and a plot that keeps you wondering what will happen next. Love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Great Book

    An engaging storyline with interesting characters. I look forward to further books in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Must Read

    I enjoyed this book alot, and I can't wait for another!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    A great book!

    Wow. I am thoroughly impressed! Though it felt like I was reading for a month, it was such a good book that I did not mind in the least. I recommend this book for any avid fantasy reader.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    A New Kind of Fantasy

    Lack of Background: The story itself was great, however I wish there had been a bit more information on the Order and its history, along with the main characters Sorcha and Merrick. Ballantine created such an interesting concept with the Deacons and I would've liked to learn a bit more about where they came from and how they got to where they were when Geist took place. Mix of Genres: As I was reading Geist, it came across as the perfect blend of fantasy and steampunk, with the edginess of an urban fantasy. I love all of those genres on their own and the combination made Geist a dark, humorous, and intriguing story. It put a new twist on fantasy and the supernatural. Memorable Characters: From the tough, cigar-smoking Sorcha Faris to the level-headed Merrick Chambers, Ballantine created characters that really stay with you after reading. The growth of friendship between Sorcha and Merrick provides a bit of humor into the mix. When Raed steps on the scene, the pot gains a little romance for just the right amount of tension to keep the reader wondering what's going to happen next--or a better question, what is Sorcha going to do next? It was a slow start, and the lead-in to the world of the Empire where Sorcha lives was rough, but once I got past the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to the sequel, Spectyr!

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book for lovers of fantasy

    I really enjoyed this book. The female lead is a strong, independent charecter who has a mind of her own, yet has a soft, feminine side also. The story flows nicely and the development of the charecters is very good. I can't wait until the next in the series is published! I would reread this series, enjoying every minute.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    A worthy beginning to a hopefully long journey

    Since so many people have given details on the characters and world created in Geist, I'll just stick to saying this is a rich and complex world filled with three-dimensional, interesting characters. Just when you think you have a handle on what's happening, everything changes and you have to reassess. I know I'll be rooting for my favorite characters in the next book. All a prospective reader needs to know is this was an extremely satisfying read. Go, buy a copy.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great haunting Fantasy read!

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The key to this great horror-fantasy is the belief in the magical world of Philippa Ballantine

    The abnormal number of attacks has left the Order of the Deacon weak and in trouble. Their mission is to protect the Empire from the barrage of the Otherside denizens; the undead and demons. The Order knows they are over extended and forced to send untested tyros into the field before they are ready. In the capital city of Vermillion has come many hungry refugees from the Empire's outskirts, making a volatile situation that much deadlier.

    In Vermillion, veteran adept Sorcha Faris works with her beloved husband Kolya the Sensitive on an artifact that somehow could read their thoughts including impossible as it seems their Bond. It quickly left her husband comatose. Although she prefers to wait for her spouse to awaken, the Arch Abbot sends Sorcha to Ulrich with a new temporary partner, Deacon Merrick Chambers; a wet behind the ears Sensitive who just left the classroom. Also with them is the Pretender Raed. The trio will soon learn the hard way why the local Priory pleaded for help from something more predatory than a Geist haunting.

    The key to this great horror-fantasy is the belief in the magical world of Philippa Ballantine summed up by the Guardian and the Pretender when she says "If wishes were horses," and he finishes with "I would never have to walk again." Little touches like this bring alive the prime element of the Bond, which make the realm of Geist seem genuine. Sorcha and her two comrades are terrific characters who keep the story line focused even as the plot entertainingly switches from fantasy to horror. This is a wonderful thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 4, 2011

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    Posted October 1, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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    Posted September 15, 2011

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