- Series: Johannes Cabal Novels (Book 4)
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (September 22, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250073960
- ISBN-13: 978-1250073969
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 90 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Brothers Cabal: A Novel (Johannes Cabal Novels) Paperback – September 22, 2015
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“Jonathan L. Howard has such an effortless way with monsters and the undead that you might suspect him of being, like his creation, Johannes Cabal, a necromancer. The series is addictive.” ―Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series
“The Brothers Cabal is smart, funny, and dark in all the right places. Imagine Mycroft and Sherlock -- if one were a polite vampire and the other were a surly necromancer -- up against an army of monsters and magicians. Like Pratchett and Fforde, Jonathan L. Howard puts it all together and makes it look effortless.” ―Christopher Farnsworth, author of Blood Oath
“In the vein of the comic horror/fantasies of Tom Holt and Christopher Moore, but substantially weirder. Although it's part of a series, the book can be read as a stand-alone, and fans of the genre should definitely be encouraged to give it a look.” ―Booklist
“Howard is a supremely talented writer and the Johannes Cabal series makes for superb reading. It would be easy at this point to say if you like Rankin or Fforde or Pratchett or Holt, then you will love these books, but while it may well be true it would be doing Howard a disservice.” ―Sci-Fi-London
“Howard makes it look easy to paint a soul-stealing murdering necromancer as a sympathetic character; that, folks, is worth the price of admission.” ―San Diego Union-Tribune
“Cabal, the detective and necromancer, is full of charismatic amorality, making him both a classical and refreshing antihero.” ―Time Out Chicago
“Howard's ear for witty banter and his skill at rendering black comedy bode well for the future.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Johannes Cabal would kill me for saying this, but he's my favorite Zeppelin-hopping detective. The fellow has got all the charm of Bond and the smarts of Holmes--without the pesky morality.” ―Daniel H. Wilson, author of Robopocalypse
“Howard's characters, relentless imagination, twisting plotlines, and use of language make the Johannes Cabal series a real pleasure to read.” ―Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim novels
About the Author
Jonathan L. Howard is a game designer, scriptwriter, and a veteran of the computer-games industry since the early nineties, with titles such as the Broken Sword series to his credit. He is author of Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Johannes Cabal the Detective, and Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute, the YA novels Katya's World and Katya's War, and the forthcoming Carter & Lovecraft. He lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and daughter.
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Perhaps my favorite aspect of Mr. Howard's writing is his penchant for witty banter, and sarcastic musings. He has a real gift for humorous writing without hitting the reader over the head with a rubber mallet. It's done through understatement and a refreshing vocabulary that is all-too rare in modern literature. I feel that I could read the book a second time simply for the enjoyment of his use of language.
The monsters contained within the books pages are mostly those tired old standbys - vampires, werewolves and zombies. However, Mr. Howard manages to spruce them up and make them fresh again via the PoVs of the our heroes. Add to that the strange, H.P. Lovecraftian creatures that show up a bit later, and there's plenty of variety and fun for even those of us grown jaded by the never ending media smorgasbord of monsters.
The entire series is worth reading, and I would definitely suggest starting with Book I. However, if you cannot find the time to read all of them, then Book IV would be my choice for second book to read. It's full of adventure, clever dialogue and appealing characters.
A mysterious society (The Ministerium) has raised Horst from the dead. Less Nosferatu / Lord of the Dead, Horst is really more of a Dapper Dan sort of vampire, which makes for some funny reading. Horst soon discovers the true purpose of the society, which is to raise an army of the dead (zombies, vampires, and werewolves, to be even more specific) to take over society. Chapter 8 (“In Which We Encounter Ladies Wearing Trousers”) introduces some female fighter pilots who are fantastically interwoven into the tale. Really enjoyed those audacious trouser-wearing ladies!
One can’t help but read this as a political parody of today’s Globalism / One World movement. It makes you wonder. Would our victory be as clean and clear as Horst and Johannes found their war? Let us hope.
This time the focus is on the exploits of Johannes' debonair vampire brother Horst, who is more concerned with keeping his fashionable trousers free of grass stains than proper undead pursuits. Resurrected by a shadowy organization bent on domination, the polite pacifist Horst is not exactly the "Lord of the Dead" they were hoping for. When the otherwise amiable kidnapping goes awry, the pragmatically-violent Johannes steps in to save the day.
While the original novel in the series is still my favorite, "The Brothers Cabal" holds a charming second-place. Much of the pithy supernatural problem-solving that is the best part of any Johannes Cabal story is replaced with too many action scenes for my taste. However, the amusingly derisive banter between the brothers will be familiar to anyone with experience in sibling rivalry and the cast of characters is the best J L Howard has created yet.