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The Fear Institute  By  cover art

The Fear Institute

By: Jonathan L. Howard
Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
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Publisher's Summary

The third novel in the acclaimed cult-favorite series starring necromancer Johannes Cabal.

Johannes Cabal and his rather inexact powers of necromancy are back once more. This time, his talents are purchased by the Fear Institute as they hunt for the phobic animus - the embodiment of fear. The three institute members, led by Cabal and his silver key, enter the Dreamlands and find themselves pursued by walking trees plagued with giant ticks, stone men that patrol the ruins of their castles, cats that feed on human flesh, and phobias that torment and devastate. The intrepid explorers are killed off one by one as they traipse through this obfuscating and frustrating world, where history itself appears to alter. Cabal, annoyed that the quest is becoming increasingly heroic, finds himself alone with the institute's only remaining survivor, and after a shockingly violent experiment, begins to suspect that not everything is quite as it seems.

©2011 Jonathan L. Howard (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc., and Skyboat Media, Inc.

What listeners say about The Fear Institute

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slow at first, but well worth it

Fear Institute is definitely a departure from the previous two in the series in terms of tone and setting. It felt like Howard was trying something new (and Lovecraftian) that didn't always fit. There were times where Cabal felt slightly out of character, or that the analogies used for humor dragged on for too long to really be funny. However, it really picks up toward the second half, and imo the ending alone makes it fully worth reading!

Performance wise, Nicolas Guy Smith's iteration of Cabal was missing his German accent, which was a little disappointing after the first two books' audio renditions. But I got used to it after a while, and everything else was spot on.

6 people found this helpful

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*yawn*

How could an adventure novel be this boring? The other books in the series are fun: biting, quick paced. This seems to drag. Like the dream world Cabal and his companions explore, time distorts and warps. That's not a good thing.

4 people found this helpful

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Lovecraft? Okay

So he went full Lovecraft on this one. It's good, but expect what you are gonna get. Having Lovecraft open as you listen might help. But don't worry - it's worth it.

4 people found this helpful

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A bit Confused and Hate the Ending

I love the idea of this story series - but it can be slow going - the dialogue is a bit trite and expected and I never feel that Cabal has earned his disdain for everyone else ---or everything else. The end of the story was very unfulfilling - not just "a tidy happy ending" -- that is not what I mean - I mean - I listened to the last chapter 3 times trying to figure out what it meant. I am not a "slow" to connect the dots person - but I will have to give the rest of this series a pass.

3 people found this helpful

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Truly, I think this book was ghost-written...

I loved the first book in this series 'Johannes Cabal the Necromancer'. But the other two books have been such a departure in writing style. I truly think the author may have hung up his laurels after the first book and allowed ghost writers to helm the following two (which includes this one).

If not, that something else is amiss. Maybe he has a co-author, or gifted editor for the first book. Maybe the first one was just inspired, and he hasn't got the fire back. Who can say?

In any event, I'd recommend giving this a pass.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Loved book 1 and 2 of the series, but this one was a letdown. Very little of the humor that was in the earlier books, and the story seemed tedious. I am hoping the next book will be back up to the same standard as books 1 & 2.

New narrator was just ok. I missed hearing the slight German accent that was present in the earlier books, but I'm sure I'll get used to the new narration.

2 people found this helpful

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The perfect voice for Cabal

I loved this series when I read the first two. This guy has the perfect voice for Johannes, and captures the essence of the book brilliantly.

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Good

I really liked the story, but the pacing of the narration was a bit too fast.

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Into the Sea of Waking Dreams

Johannes Cabal is one of my all time favorite series, the first and fourth novel are two of my favorite books, ever. This is not the best of the Johannes Cabal series, it suffers from the fact that Cabal does not have a well-suited companion to play off of. Nevertheless, it also contains a chapter that absolutes shatters me; and an ending that made the wait for the fourth book nearly unbearable to wait for me. It is also well written, creative, and entertaining. You also must read this to get to the fourth book. It is worthwhile to read, but personally, I find it a weaker entry in the series.

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Good

I liked the story but still not as funny or entertaining ass the first book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-20-22

Brilliant! Witty and clever. Highly recommend!

Really enjoyed this creative story of dark humour and unexpected twists and turns. Very original and well written. The performance is excellent and I'm launching straight into the next book now... Enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 12-03-21

Fascinating yarn well performed

Nicholas Guy Smith did an excellent performance.

I picked this up as a free offer from Audible and really enjoyed it. Some real humour and a decent pace. Fantastic scene setting. All round entertaining

1 person found this helpful

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  • Boz
  • 12-02-21

Loved this book.

I really enjoyed the storyline and humour in this book. It's quite of the wall and dry. Reminded me a little of terry pratchett.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SARAH
  • 10-18-21

Kept getting lost!

Found the story hard to follow, lots of jumping about and if I lost concentration for a few seconds he was in a completely different place and I had no idea how he got there! The narrator has a nice voice but so many words were pronounced wrong it was driving me nuts, especially "prehaps" instead of perhaps, "follongs" (phalanges?) and tiara rhyming with Sierra. Made me realise just how often the word perhaps is used in this book. I think this is one I have to read rather than listen to, to have any idea what's going on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • benjamin
  • 09-09-20

Must Listen!! Funny and captivating

I loved this book, loved the flow of the story.
I would recommend 100%

1 person found this helpful

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  • SAQ
  • 11-09-22

Excellent

Love this anti hero and book series, Flashman meets Terry Pratchett . The narrator was fantastic.

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  • Catherine🧡
  • 08-29-22

entertaining story. and perfect narration. thanks

What a brilliant story, I was completly absorbed from the start. Characters dialogue, setting all worked for me, I've listened to a few Johannes cabal books, this is my favourite so far ,

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  • JimboJames
  • 06-07-22

loved it

I do not usually read this type of book, but found it very interesting, humourous and thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • james
  • 03-19-22

sooooo good

so glad I found this series its excellent. I've now basted through them all and listening to this again because alot happens and I think a second go will be even more enjoyable

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  • Cara
  • 12-15-22

Excellent book, very funny

I love these books, they are comical & easy to listen to. I’m completely addicted to listening to them & if you haven’t before, you should definitely give it a go.