Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Johannes Cabal (#1): the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Random House (Doubleday)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice. 

Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.


My brother has been wanting me to read this for a while now, and I finally got around to it. And, like he thought I would, I enjoyed it.
Johannes Cabal, the main character, is a necromancer. And he’s a bit of an ass and a cynic and full of himself (almost, but not, in an exaggerated way, and with some reason). Also, he’s sold his soul to the devil, which is what gets him into the mess of running a carnival and collecting souls before his time runs out.
This book was really fun to read. Johannes was sarcastic, and while the book was in third person, we got little bits of his thoughts that were very entertaining. We also get to meet his brother, Horst Cabal, who is the complete opposite of him, but who I also liked quite a bit. I’m not sure who I liked more, but I am very upset about what happens with Horst.
We also meet several smaller characters that work for the carnival, all who are very fun to read about but who didn’t get much of a part. Along with several other characters along the way, but most or all of which didn’t last very long. Although, the last couple people we meet, I’m not sure whether they are going to show up in the next book or not. I hope so, but it’s quite possible that they won’t.
I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, but serious at some points, and overall was really enjoyable to read. Sometimes there would be long paragraphs of description that lost a bit of my interest, but that wasn’t too big of a thing to get over.
The ending was kind of a cliffhanger, and intensely makes me want to know what happens next. Up to that point, you aren’t given a reason for why Johannes is doing all of this, although I suspected, and now I just really want to know what happens next.
I don’t know when I will be getting to read the next book, though. Hopefully somewhat soon, but it could be a while.

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