Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Philippa Ballantine's Order Series

I just picked up Philippa Ballantine's second ORDER book, Spectyr. The first book in the series, Geist, was a delightful surprise and one of the first books I double-purchased for my Kindle. The world she has built is rich, but I really liked the fact that it was both familiar in an old-school-fantasy craft sense, but with a completely new story.

One of the things I liked most? If you, like me, find the zombie movement intriguing, but overdone, this may appeal. Ballantine's "geists" are fantasy-fied and have a much more folkloric feel, but they push similar buttons.

There's a bit of romance, but only as an element. There's some wonderfully subtle handling of religion, faith, and power. Some of the magic elements, such as the "air ships" have an almost steampunk feel, giving the books wonderful and unexpected layers. Which, let's face it, is exactly what fantasy fans look for. We want our stories to feel like fantasy without being rote or cliche.

Ballantine delivers just that. Don't miss this series, it's really worth your investment. Perfect summer escapism!

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