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Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard #TuesdayBookBlog

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My Rating: 4-1/2 of 5 Stars

Because I have so little time to read right now, I’m digging back through books I’ve read over the last year or so, and haven’t yet reviewed. This one popped up in my Unreviewed Books folder, and I decided it would be a quick, easy one for today. It’s good. Read it.

What, you want more? Okay, you asked for it.

Blurb

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 Thoughts

Fiendishly funny, yes. Gothic, sort of. Charming? Not so much. Disturbing? Check. Weird? Check. Relentless? Double checks, with stars beside them. But Charming? Nope. Didn’t see that at all. Instead, I would describe Cabal as entertaining and thought-provoking, and frighteningly capable of pursuing his unknown goal with a  vengeance.

There are many things in this book to make you laugh. Deliciously clever one-liners, coupled with Cabal’s falling apart (Literally, believe me!) companions, make for laugh out loud moments galore. But make no mistake. This book is dark. There’s an undercurrent of horror running through it, and you are never quite sure where the tale is headed. If this type of thing intrigues you as much as it does me, you probably should give Johannes Cabal a go. Getting to the end and finding out what’s really driving his actions is like being on one of the truly terrifying rides in his traveling carnival. My only serious complaint with the book is the loss of a character that really touched me, and I doubt Johannes Cabal will be able to bring him back from the dead, no matter how skilled he is at necromancy. That’s the reason I dropped half a star. I always hate losing characters I like.

If you are looking for something very, VERY different, I highly recommend you check this one out. If you enjoy it, there are several more books in the series, always a good thing to know.

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

#BookinItTuesdayReview #TuesdayBookBlog – A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

BLURB

Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder…. As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events.   But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….

~~~

I read and enjoyed A Thousand Yesteryears, and was eagerly awaiting another visit to Point Pleasant. Fascinated by the way Mae Clair made Mothman so much more interesting than he ever seemed to me before, I couldn’t wait to see what new developments were in store. I was not disappointed. While I enjoyed Yesteryears, A Cold Tomorrow ratcheted everything up several notches, and Clair knocks this one right out of the ballpark. The characters were truly engaging, the mystery intensifies, and an element of shivery danger overlays every page.

Not going to go into details here, because I never like to give away too much of any plot, but my favorite character this time around is Officer Ryan Flynn. Try as he might to disbelieve in the Point Pleasant paranormal shenanigans, Flynn can’t ignore a truth that becomes more and more clear to him every day: what seemed solidly real to him for most of his life isn’t, and a creature he’s never really believed in, is.

The tale makes me want to visit Point Pleasant, and take a look around for Mothman, myself. If you love a good, creepy mystery, with everything from Men in Black to flying humanoids, this book is for you. You can read it as a standalone, but I wouldn’t. The first book, A Thousand Yesteryears, gives you a more solid grounding in both the real life tragedy that occurred in Point Pleasant, and the mysterious mythology that haunts the little town.  A Cold Tomorrow takes you to the next level. I recommend both books, and I’m looking forward to the final installment in this shivery trilogy.

A Thousand Yesteryears

A Cold Tomorrow

 

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