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What to say of Johannes Cabal?,
This review is from: Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal 3) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)Johannes Cabal : The Fear Institute. Jonathan L. Howard
This was my first encounter with Mr. Cabal although from the linked website [...] it is evident that this is not his first outing. I will naturally only write about what I have read.
Our Hero, Johannes Cabal is a dry witted, some might say(as in fact the author does)sarcastic adventuring necromancer of some repute. The basis of this legendary repute is probably in the other books but it is taken as known in this one. Like some sort of James Bond with Faustian tendencies he is hired by the Fear Institute to enter the fantastical realms (and the author does indeed make them both fantastical and epic) of the Dreamlands to search out the personification of fear and destroy it. The four representatives of the Institute who accompany Mr. Cabal through these lands of myth and legend battle both creatures of nightmare and dream and Johannes disdain, barbed wit and down right bitchiness. The outcome of the adventures, as in most dreams, is not quite what it seems or what you expect.
I found this a fun and funny adventure. Cabal is well drawn persona imbued with a wicked acid tongue made evident by the authors stunning talent for bitchy lines. My favourite being "his art were inferior to a manatee's attempt at finger painting" but the text is peppered with them and they are a delight. The Dreamlands are, as I said epic and phantasmagorical although all supporting cast members exist only for the Cabal story line. The story line wavers a bit. There is a love interest for Cabal who is a driving force of the adventure but who pops up incongruously little in the story and with so little detail that you doubt he is in love with her at all. Maybe her story line is also explained more in previous books but that does not help here if you have not read them. The twist at the end is excellent but a little abrupt and could have been developed more.
Think Terry Pratchett's humour but with more acid.Tolkein's Middle Earth but with more fun and none of the labour and Doyle's Sherlock Holmes but with dark fairy dust and you get some flavour of this book. Not quite at these authors levels yet, but heading in the right direction!