Monday, July 20, 2009

Johannes Cabal - The Necromancer, by Jonathan L. Howard

Necromancer, Johannes Cabal, needs his soul back. Problem is, he's dealing with the devil, and the devil wont be satisfied without at least a hundred more souls to take its place. Armed with a carnival, and a conscience that he could do without, Johannes has to collect the deeds to those hundred souls -- and beat the devil at his own game.

This book is being widely recommended on the coat-tails of Tim Burton and Terry Pratchett, and stylistically this is pretty much on the button. The story does however contain more adult content, and so is more appropriate for the older teen/adult crossover market. Otherwise anyone who enjoys a good story with plenty of off-beat humour will love this book - I did, so did others in my family -- it's already being farmed out to more people. So why don't you hop on a wagon and see where the Johannes Cabal's carnival is headed - just be careful not to sign up.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard

"Luca Campelli's wish to die surrounded by his beloved books came true..."

After Luca Campelli's untimely death, his bookshop is inherited by his estranged son, Jon. Jon is a top notch lawyer with the gift of the gab, and hardly knows what to do with his inheritance -- he isn't even sure he wants it -- until he's pressured to sell it. That's when Jon finds out that the friendly little bookshop is no safe refuge, indeed it has it's own shadowy secrets...

I did enjoy this book on the whole, but I do have one warning, and that is that although the first chapter is unforgettably brilliant, it takes a while for the rest of the book to live up to that promise. Indeed, it was only as I was about to give it up, that the plot coalesced, and the story emerged into an absorbing (if far-fetched) adventure revolving around those most revered and mysterious objects -- books.

Review by Alicia Ponder


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