Selasa, 25 Agustus 2015

Review: Geist - Philippa Ballantine

Title: Geist
Author : Philippa Ballantine
Languange : English
Publisher: Ace
Length :  294 pages
Published date: October 26th, 2010

Format : Mass Market Paperback

Genre : Fantasy

Author web: Click Here
Buy Links: Bookdepository, Open Trolley
For Adult Readers

Sinopsis :

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?


Note: This review is copied from my Goodreads review with some editing. If you find any mistake in grammar and structure, please kindly email me at : sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com , so I can correct it. Thanks! :) .

When I see the date I start reading Geish and finish, it's took me more than 1 month! Yeah, actually I kinda had a dry spell in reading because I'm distracted with a game that I played nowadays :P. I neglect Geist for many days, but there's something that niggling in my mind. Like an itch that need to be scratched. So, I decide to pick Geist again and finish it in one sitting.

The story start with a bang with our heroine, Deacon Sorcha Faris lose her husband and partner in a fight, and must bonded herself with Merrick Chamber. Deacon is like a peace protector, those who stand between the living and the dead, called geist. Deacon divided into 2 type. First, Active that is an offense type like Sorcha. Their partner called Sensitive, a person who support Active to fight Geist by  using Sight, a ability to peer into the Otherside when the Geist reside. The problem begin when Sorcha and Merrick go to Ulrich to investigate strange incident. On their way to Ulrich, they met Raed Rossin. Raed, called the Pretender, is the son of the last emperor of Arkaym (the setting on this book) who lose his throne to the current Emperor. Raed himself hold a curse, named the Rossin aka The Beast (that explain the lion on the cover). Things get complicated when Sorcha and Merrick face betrayal in Ulrich and face a sinister threat, and Sorcha get entangled by Raed, both mentally and physically.

Geist is not bad, but like so many first book in a series, its have big weakness. Complicated world building. My biggest pet peeves in fantasy book are a map and glossarium. A fantasy book without map will get me lose because I don't know where the story set, when it's happen and how much time our MCs need to travel to city A to B. Also, Ballantine kinda jump to the water, write so little explanation that make me so confused when read Geist at first. I just realized that there was a prologue to Geist which explain the event before Geist start. Even the story start with a bang, the plot also slow. The pace begin to pick up in the middle part until the end.

The strength of Geist is the character. My favorite author Nalini Singh endorse Geist, said that the world of the Geist is original. Actually, I detect some old fantasy troupe, like sword and sorcery. Sorcha and Merrick role perfectly fit into this troupe. It's not that bad, quite opposite actually. I just  hope that Ballantine give some glossarium to explain about the term and event in this book.
The other plus point is the characters. I like Sorcha. A.Lot. This is a heroine that so badass, without lose her feminine will, confident with her sexuality and her power. While her relationship with Merrick is still grow a little, hers with Raed is wow.

Mark my words, Geist is NOT A ROMANCE. Sorcha already married and even I said she lose her husband, said husband is still much alive. What happen between Raed and Sorcha might be categorized into infidelity. But who can blame Sorcha? Her marriage already crumbling, her husband is distant from her she barely remember how to feel a man's warmth. I like how Ballantine wrote about Sorcha and Raed. Who said that fantasy can't have sex on it? Yes for YA fantasy maybe, but adult fantasy is very very welcome to have sex scene. Beside, Ballantine not write it graphically, even the infidelity part might trigger some readers whom not like cheating. Like I state before, Geist is not a romance, Sorcha's act with Raed have believable reason and I really love this pair. Their dynamic is kinda remind me of Kate Daniels and Curran Lenart, but while Kate-Curran is too slow like snail, Sorcha and Raed is already sizzle from the beginning. Is that bad? Nope, nope in my opinion ;).

While the weakness of Geist is the complicated world building, I still recommend this one to fantasy readers alike. The concept is good, the plot have a good dollop of mystery and suspense, the conspiracy is intriguing, the characters are lovable. I will definitely read the next to know what's waiting for our deacon Sorcha, her partner Merrick and her fugitive lover, Raed.

 Story & Sensuality Rate

My rating for Geist  is

And the sensuality rate is

Kiss scene and not-too-graphic sex scene

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