A Long Spoon: A Tor.Com Original

January 29, 2016 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★½

A Long Spoon: A Tor.Com OriginalA Long Spoon by Jonathan L. Howard
Published by Macmillan on December 17th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Ghost, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Pages: 32
Format: Kindle
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You may have heard of Johannes Cabal; he is a necromancer and a little infamous. He is also very sensitive to attempts on his life. When a murder of crows tries to... well, murder him, and the contents of his bath are transmuted into hot nitric acid, he suspects someone may mean him harm. The trail leads to one of the less travelled parts of Hell itself, and there Cabal will need a guide.
As Dante had his Virgil, so Cabal employs the services of a devil who is a monster, a predator, and -- most alien of all to Cabal -- a woman. The devil Zarenyia and he delve deep into Hell, even into Satan's greatest mistake, to confront challenges quite outside the ken of any mortal. But one should always use a long spoon when supping with a devil, and Cabal soon realises the unthinkable, a horror beyond his experience. He is actually beginning to like her.

I’m a big Johannes Cabal fan. The only problem is the books come out far too infrequently for my taste. What a lovely surprise to find out that Mr. Howard has put out a series of shorts to help folks like me get their fix.

The plot of “A Long Spoon” isn’t all that complex, but like most of Johanne’s adventures it’s weird and full of amusingly sarcastic dialogue. Johannes, ever on the lookout for a means to revive his dead wife, is hot on the trail of a mysterious ancient Chinese mystic who supposedly unlocked the secret to immortality. The only problem is the chap isn’t much on visitors and he’s taken up residence in a place even devils try to avoid. And so starts another wild romp from my favorite necromancer and his latest acquaintance, a succubus with eight legs.

It’s fun, like a good Johanne’s Cabal story ought to me. It’s also one of several other shorts available. After reading this one in an afternoon, I’ve snapped up the rest.


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