This time around I will be talking about one of my favorite books series. Of course, it might not be the books themselves, but the character.
|This is the cover of the second book. I don't think I need to tell you the title.|
For those of you that aren't in the know he is a necromancer of some infamy and he is one of the best depictions of an antihero I have seen. Written by Jonathan L. Howard, Johannes Cabal gets himself into some pretty hairy situations wherein he only manages to escape by the skin of his teeth.
Not starting small, the first novel, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, that Cabal appears in has him going wit to wit with the devil in a Faustian deal of epic proportions. In a complete turn around, the second book, Johannes Cabal the Detective, pulls itself in from the fantasy element and goes into more steam punk territory featuring a murder on the Orient Express situation. If the Orient Express were a dirigible, that is. I have not yet had the pleasure of reading the third installment, Johannes Cabal and the Fear Institute, but I'm told it involves dreams.
There are other short stories that Cabal has appeared in, one in which he goes up against another necromancer who has discovered a secret to eternal life, even if it's not in a way that one would expect. The other short story is one that I have not been able to get a hold of, but it is entitled Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day. This title brings to mind a grumpy Cabal wandering through some picturesque woods with a young boy and possibly a piglet of some kind.
The overarching plot that connects all of these stories is something that is not terribly unique. At it's heart, this story is a romance, but don't let that color any of your perceptions about Johannes Cabal. He is rude, socially inadept, and has no real qualms about sacrificing whomever to whatever in order to achieve his goals.
Cabal is not an antihero in name only. He actually plays the part and he plays it well. You end up not only sympathizing with this character at the same time you are also aware that he is not a nice person and is kind of on the morally different side. To give you some clue, Cabal's older brother, Horst, is a vampire but he has more humanity to him.
These stories are very entertaining; they are witty, satirical, and sometimes just absurd but they keep you wanting to find out what other adventures Cabal can come up with.