Book Review: Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine

Title: Spectyr (A Book of the Order)
Author: Philippa Ballantine
Publisher: Ace Books
Genre: Dark Fantasy

Few things bring me as great pleasure as reading. I love to sit down with a good book. I love to get lost in a good book and have hours disappear. I love to look back on the end of a long day and realize that it can be measured in the turning of pages. As an adult, with adult responsibilities, I can’t allow myself this indulgence. Most of my fiction these days is consumed in podcast form. It takes a special book for me to actually look for the corners of time in my day to immerse myself. If the book is good enough, I end up with multiple copies. At least one is an electronic copy that lives on my phone for those unplanned minutes that pop up during the day.

Let me say this now.

Geist was good. Spectyr lives up to that promise and goes a step further. Yes, it’s better. That is because it takes everything that was created in Geist and builds on it. The story hits on all cylinders from the very beginning and takes you on a ride that is not easily forgotten.

Deacons of the Order, Sorcha Farris and Merrick Chambers travel to a distant kingdom where Merrick comes face to face with his past and his future. Sorcha tries to save the world around her as she reconnects with Raed Rossin, the Young Pretender with a geistlord living inside him. Together these heroes will not only take on the world, they take on a god.

Ms. Ballantine delivers. Again. Her writing grabs you in a way that is visceral. It hits early. It hits repetitively. It hits hard. No cheap shots are taken. None are needed. You see, Ms. Ballantine knows how to write characters that make you care. Regardless of whether Sorcha, Merrick or Raed turns out to be your favorite, you’re going to find plenty to like and your favorite will live for you.

Spectyr is a thrill packed adventure full of everything that makes a good book great. As you realize you’re heading in to the last fifty pages, you ask yourself how Ms. Ballantine can hope to pull this story together. Don’t worry. She does.

And then leaves you wanting more. Wrayth (the next Book of the Order) can’t be released soon enough.

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