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Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal series Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 354 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


"Witty, inventive, and thoroughly entertaining, this rollicking Faustian adventure grabs the reader and holds him until the very last page." --Tuc"son Citizen" "The spot-on work of a talented writer." --"Denver Post" "Howard makes it look easy to paint a soul-stealing murdering necromancer as a sympathetic character; that, folks, is worth the price of admission. Step right up!" --"San Diego Union-Tribune" "For anyone whose taste edges towards the intelligent and macabre, this book is a gift." --"Fangoria ""Amusing and clever."--"The Free-lance Star" "Populated with some of the most creative, and odd, characters to be found . . . hysterical and fascinating."--Bookgeeks "A delightfully wicked and inventive story." --Keith Donohue, author of "The Stolen Child" "Cross Susannah Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" with Gregory Maguire's "Wicked," and you have this witty and sometimes touching debut novel in the Faustian traditio

Book Description

Will appeal to fans of Terry Pratchett and Tim Burton

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2298 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MVZC16
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,585 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jonathan L. Howard is a game designer and BAFTA nominated scriptwriter of some twenty years experience.

He's been a novelist since 2009, débuting with the darkly humorous "Johannes Cabal the Necromancer." Since then the sequels "Johannes Cabal the Detective" (2010), "Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute" (2011), and "The Brothers Cabal" (2014) have also seen print. A new Cabal novel is set for publication in late 2016.

The first novel of his Russalka Chronicles trilogy, "Katya's World," a YA science fiction story that takes place on the dangerous and unforgiving ocean-covered world of Russalka, was published in 2012, the first sequel, "Katya's War," following in 2013.

2014 saw the beginning of the "Goon Squad" project, an ongoing story of mismatched superheroes, published in episodes.

His new series of modern horror novels begins with "Carter & Lovecraft," due for publication in October 2015.

Jonathan L. Howard lives with his family in the English West Country.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading The Fear Institute at a frantic pace, I picked this up straight away & read it in a matter of days. And now I'm speeding my way through book 2, unable to put that down either!

In times past, the infamous necromancer Cabal sold his soul to Satan in exchange for knowledge - knowledge to further his researches into conquering death. He has since found that owning a soul is necessary for his work, so somewhat dispassionately makes a further deal with the devil - if he can get 100 people to sign away their souls within a year, his own will be returned to him. And just to make things interesting, Satan provides him with an infernal carnival to help tempt the unsuspecting. This would be a wretched task for anyone but since Cabal's moral compass no longer points North, it's easier for him than most people - but Satan's determined not to make it too straightforward.

This charming book brings to mind a darker, more adult Terry Pratchett, combined with some very thorny ethical dilemmas. Like a vampire, it weaves a seductive charm but after a while, throws some unexpectedly thorny moral dillemas your way. Funny & thought-provoking with an iconic main character, this book is difficult to put down & constantly entertaining, with a couple of subtle references to H.P. Lovecraft - hints of things to come in book 3, which is set in a world realised by the master of eldrich fiction. It's unique, darkly amusing & very compelling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Horner on 6 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
“The Necromancer” is Jonathan L Howard’s debut novel, published back in 2009 and the first in an expanding series to feature Johannes Cabal, our titular necromancer, and his undead-but-charming brother Horst.

We begin with a season in Hell. Hell in this case, being the kind of insane pen-pushing bureaucracy that would give a Vogon squelchy dreams. Cabal has no time for bureaucracy. What he does have is a rather large gun, and a mission – to get his soul back so he can continue his mysterious Great Work. He sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the powers of necromancy, and now he wants it back.

But the Devil would not be out of place running a Vegas blackjack house, and everyone knows you can never win against the house. He sets Cabal a task, to collect 100 souls for Satan in exchange for the return of his own. And to help Cabal achieve this, he’s going to give him something to help him out and even the odds.

A carnival.

Yes, a bona-fide travelling fairground complete with sideshows, freaks and a demonic steam train to move it all around in. Cabal has a year to move his fairground around the country collecting as many souls as he can before time runs out and he loses his own soul forever.

If this all sounds like it could be from a game, well, yes. The narrative does owe a debt to Howard’s background as a games designer, but it also, and the author confesses it himself, owes something to Ray Bradbury’s other-worldly carnival in “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. Which is no bad thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chambers on 13 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I can't really extend my review past the two words I used in the title - this book is quite simply strange yet brilliant.

The book is cast with a bizarre set of flawlessly moulded characters straight out of a Tim Burton fairy tale, but Howard's clever descriptions and hooking plot lines really showcase his mad troupe of personas. Johannes Cabal himself is the perfect anti-hero: slimy and cheap enough to hate, but witty and clever enough to love.

The plot itself is simple enough, but is astutely intercepted with snippets of sheer genius. Howard strikes the perfect balance of a strong, clear yet humourous plot line. At times it will have you crying with laughter, and screaming at the ink in fury at others, but the overall result is a well-crafted and brilliant read. A must read for any fantasy lover, or a great place to start for those new to the genre!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Rutter on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is obsessed with raising the dead. Tormented by a dark and harrowing secret, he travels to the fiery pits of hell to retrieve his soul, long ago sold to the Devil. Satan, incredibly bored and hungry for a challenge, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will lose his forever. To keep things interesting, Satan generously throws in a traveling carnival to help Johannes collect on the bargain. With little time to lose, Johannes raises a crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire, to be his right-hand man. Once on the road, Johannes and his troupe of reprobates cause mayhem at every stop. But are his tricks enough to beat the Devil at his own game?

From the blurb above, so far this book sounds like Tom Holt, or Terry Pratchett, or any other comedic fantasy author, right? No, definitely not! Jonathan L. Howard infuses Johannes Cabal the Necromancer with flavours from other authors and from films, but the book as a whole is unique and very, very funny. It has the same gruesome humor as Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, but remains distinctive through the use of snappy one-liners and characters you'll love to hate.

The pacing is perfect. We start with an entertaining visit to Hell (a bureaucratic nightmare, with a pen-pushing clerk as a doorman). Then, the plot kicks into a higher gear and sweeps through a year of thrilling adventures as Johannes Cabal attempts to win his wager with Satan by running a twisted carnival. Howard gives us a sample of Cabal's attempts to collect souls, but doesn't overdo this aspect of the novel.
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