Tuesday 25 February 2014

Johannes cabal: The Fear institute by Jonathan L Howard



You wish to isolate fear. Ah, well, if only I'd realised your ambitions were so simple. Perhaps we can work up to it by capturing faith, bottling hope, and presenting love to the world as a commodity, available by the pound, wrapped in greaseproof paper and topped with a bow.


Johannes Cabal, after his previous two outings, is at home where visitors are not only discouraged they are likely to be eaten by the things that live in the garden. It is with some surprise then that he greets the gentlemen from the Fear Institute who come to procure his services as a guide to the Dreamlands on their quest to capture the Phoebic Animus and dispel fear forever. With the promise of the Silver Key as payment Cabal agrees and the Fear Institute set off on a Victorian expedition into this most unusual of planes. Cabal is, of course, his usual brilliant self and this time round we are treated to a very clever plot that has lots of nods to Lovecraft, such as a sly nod to Ulthar.


Cats, as any rational person knows, are solitary, opportunistic, ambush predators, much like spiders, but with fewer legs and a better fan club.


Howard is very much having fun and invites us all along with him as the book capers around gleefully. This is a great series and I am hoping that the 4th book gets a UK deal as well as the already announced US one. If you enjoyed the first two it is a fair bet that you’ll enjoy this one. There is a lot of fun to be had if you’re well read in Lovecraft but I don’t think it’s necessary to be well read in Lovecraft to enjoy it.


Overall – Fun sequel in a highly recommended series.

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