The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard
Fair Warning: This review will include major spoilers for the previous four Johannes Cabal books, as well as several of the short stories. If you haven’t read any of the previous books, you really should stop now and click HERE.
Now, on with the show.
If H.P. Lovecraft and Douglas Adams had a lovechild, that gibbering lunatic is surely Jonathan L. Howard. Howard (who does borrow from the Lovecraft mythos) uses a sense of cosmic horror, peppered liberally with dry ridiculousness and wry humor to create something truly unique and fantastic. We are speaking here of Johannes Cabal.
Readers of the previous books will know Johannes Cabal as a necromancer, formerly also the ringmaster of an infernal circus, foiler of despotic maniacs, wanderer of Dreamlands, and foiler of despotic maniacs’ daughters. He is the kind of cold-blooded analytical soul who makes Sherlock Holmes (and also Professor Moriarty) look like puppy hugging imbeciles in comparison.
This fifth book finds Cabal hot on the trail of his ultimate goal: a cure for death. Clues left behind by an old defeated enemy point to a metaphysical path which leads (theoretically) to the fountain of youth. Cabal, never one to be turned from his goal once his mind is set, must recruit the help of his vampire brother, Horst, along with what allies he may call upon (you’d be right in guessing that the list is not long) to tread this path and finally achieve his heart’s desire.
I am (obviously) a fan of Howard’s previous Johannes Cabal stories, and have been waiting quite (im)patiently for this one to come out. I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed. Howard brings back a few beloved characters from previous books, and it is always delightful to watch the misanthropic Cabal navigate the world of human social interaction.
So bottom line: if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll be quite pleased with the latest book, and should begin reading immediately. If you’e never heard of the series, you really shouldn’t have read this far. But as you are reading this, you should go get the first book in the series: Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, and begin reading immediately.
The Fall of the House of Cabal is currently available for purchase.