Cover image for Johannes Cabal : the Fear Institute
Johannes Cabal : the Fear Institute
Howard, Jonathan L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2013.

Physical Description:
ix, 334 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
In their mission to eradicate fear from the world, necromancer Johannes Cabal and the Fear Institute, believing that they have discovered where fear lives, enter the Dreamlands where they become trapped in a nightmarish world of phobias.

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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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A Darkly Gripping Comic Fantasy

Beyond the wall of sleep lies the Dreamlands, a world formed by dreams, but not a dream itself. For countless millennia, it has been explored only by those with a certain detachment from mundane reality, its strange seas navigated and its vast mountains climbed by philosophers, mystics, and poets. Well, those halcyon days are over, beatniks.

Johannes Cabal is coming.

Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, is employed by the mysterious Fear Institute to lead an expedition into the Dreamlands, an expedition to hunt and destroy the dread Phobic Animus, the font of terrors, the very source of all the world's fear. They will enter exotic lands where magic is common and monsters abound. Cabal will encounter witches, vile abominations, and far too many zebras.

And, when they finally come close to their goal, Cabal will have to face his own nightmares. But for a man who communes easily with devils and the dead, surely there is nothing left to fear. . . .

Author Notes

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 and Johannes Cabal the Detective, as well as the YA novels Katya's World and Katya's War. He lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and daughter.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Comedy meets high-concept fantasy in Howard's latest Johannes Cabal outing. As readers familiar with Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and Johannes Cabal the Detective know, the supercilious Cabal is more than a little obsessed with all things macabre, including the dead; therefore, when he gets the opportunity to visit the Dreamlands (a la H. P. Lovecraft) on behalf of the Fear Institute, he jumps at the chance. On a mission to understand and eradicate fear by slaying the Phobic Animus, he encounters the wild, the wooly, and the weird with unambiguously hilarious, albeit often frightening, results. Genre fans will appreciate Howard's attention to world building, while more general readers will simply enjoy all the horrific fun.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Having determined that the greatest impediment to human progress is fear, Messrs. Bose, Corde, and Shadrach of the Fear Institute seek the assistance of Johannes Cabal (first seen in Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and Johannes Cabal the Detective) in hunting down and eliminating the very spirit of fear, the Phobic Animus itself. They will seek it in the Dreamlands first written of by H.P. Lovecraft, where they must confront ghouls, terrifying wooden automata, devious slavers, and hungry cats, and Cabal's own arrogance will be sorely tested by the god Nyarlathotep. Howard's affectionate, witty homage to Lovecraft's dream stories, complete with early-20th-century setting and language, is an enjoyably macabre comic adventure, and his antihero Cabal is, for all his overweening self-confidence, an engaging protagonist whose heart is not quite as hard as he would like to pretend. Howard capably handles the confusing and mutable world of the Dreamlands and several intriguing twists in the plot, and the concluding cliffhanger makes it plain that he is far from finished with his sardonic wizard. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.