Geist by Philippa Ballantine

I decided to pick this one up as the cover was so pretty. I had finished my other book on the train and had nothing to read ( OH NO!) and this was a nice little find.

The cover was very catching (as you see above). It depicts a beautiful cloaked woman with a large powerful Lion behind her. It made me very curious!

Basic summary is -

When a geist (ghost) takes possession of a living person, the Deacons are the only ones with the power to banish it.  Trained to work in twos as an "Active" and a "Sensitive"- one uses magic force to command the Geist's, the other uses their "sight" to see the Otherside. Sorcha Faris has been an Active for nearly twenty years, and when the Order pairs her with a complete novice for a dangerous mission, Sorcha is unwilling to give the guy a go.  Merrick Chambers is a strong Sensitive talent, but he’s terrified to be paired with Sorcha, whose power is unrivaled, but her control is questionable.  The partners are sent on a mission to a small seaside town which is said to be having unusual problems with the dead. They fall in the company of Raed Rossin, the "Pretender" who is the enemy of their emperor, as his family once ruled the kingdom and was overthrown. The "Pretender" is said to carry a curse of a Geist Lord, the creature is trapped inside his body and if ever unleashed will be deadly and uncontrollable.

They embark upon a journey that leads to Sorcha and Merrick questioning who they can and can not trust within the order. Relationships and Bonds are formed where they are not wanted between the three and the uncontrollable beast finds its way out.

This book has combined all the my favourite elements into one awesome read. It is fast paced action, with a touch of romance and enough twists to keep you guessing the whole way through. I love that the protagonist is a strong willed mature woman, as opposed to the usual young and stupid heroines that seem to be around lately. I love that they throw at her a new partner and they do not end up lovers. Seems weird  I know but my first thought was " oh damn that is predictable" and then it wasn't. Thank god. 

It was quite original too, which seems hard to find lately. It had elements of the paranormal genre, the magic system was very intriguing and quite detailed and the mental link between the partners was well thought out.

The characters had layers - whilst Sorcha is this bad ass Active who has a reputation for being unpredictable, she also has flaws. She is horrible in social situations, is having marriage problems ( which lately... everything I read ends with " happily ever after" which lets face it, isn't always the case), and is rude and condescending, not only towards her new partner but to others who seem less able than herself. Raed completely won me over the second he was introduced. Not only because he is quite obviously the perfect match for Sorcha but because he is the rebel, and carries this huge weight on his shoulders every day. His character isnt quite as deep as Sorcha or Merrick but I'm hoping in the upcoming books the author expands a little. 

It does get a touch slow on the last ten or so chapters. You have a confrontation which is well put together, then a smaller confrontation which could have been made a lot more and ends up leaving a bit to the imagination. But all and all, quite a good book and I look forward to the sequels! ( assuming there is since its titled "Geist, A novel of the Order" :)

Oh and awesome love scene too! and somehow Philippa makes a man with a beard sound attractive. Sorry to those beared fellows!


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