johannes-cabal-the-fear-institute
Johannes Cabal The Fear Institute

And… we are back to why I LOVE this series! This time, Johannes does what he does best (in my opinion) — visiting a new world on a quest. This time, Jonathan L. Howard gives a nod to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dreamlands.” The Fear Institute scouts Cabal, and they are off to The Dreamlands, to find and destroy the source of all the world’s fear (the Phobic Animus).

I loved that their first stop was across the pond to none other than Arkham, in Massachusetts. Cabal fights monsters, and realizes along the way that he has somehow caught the attention of a God (Nyarlothotep). There is a witch, and a whole gaggle of ghouls, one of which knows him (although Cabal has not yet recognized who the ghoul is – a former human from Cabal’s past).

The Dreamlands and the encounters with the characters (not to mention Nyarlothotep alone) are very trippy, and quite frankly, one of the reasons I read books. It is pure, enjoyable fun. Howard is so witty with his pennings of Cabal’s conversations! I frequently find myself writing “Hilarious!” within the book and marking sections with post-its to read later as examples of how a book should be and why I like it so much.

There is a big twist at the end (beginning in Chapter 14) that I particularly enjoyed, marking the passage as “At which point I begin to say DAMN a lot.” And don’t even get me started on the cat scene in Chapter 12. Yikes! Well done, Mr. Howard. Well done. And thank you for this book.

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