cover image The Brothers Cabal

The Brothers Cabal

Jonathan L. Howard. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-03754-1

At the conclusion of The Fear Institute, necromancer Johannes Cabal lay nearly dead at his own front gate. At the start of his fourth adventure, he wakes, nursed to health by his brother, Horst, a vampire who was last seen as a pile of ash. Johannes and the resurrected Horst must stop the Ministerium Tenebrae, a confederation of supernatural beings—at least one of whom holds a deep grudge against Johannes—bent on turning the country of Mirkarvia into a kingdom of monsters. The brothers team up with arcane secret societies and a troupe of female stunt-pilots, and confront discomfiting parts of their own natures: Horst battles his vampiric instincts, and Johannes is beset by his nascent conscience. Where Johannes is prickly, Horst is charming, and they are an enjoyable double-act. But most of the novel is a flashback to Horst’s episodic journey to his brother’s gate. Even if more of the brothers together would have been welcome, Howard nevertheless ably spins an entertaining and surprisingly emotional yarn that promises entertaining future trials for the Cabal brothers. (Oct.)