The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

What begins as a clever, gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure 18782854hunt in The Supernatural Enhancements, Edgar Cantero’s wholly original, modern-day adventure.

When twentysomething A., the unexpected European relative of the Wells family, and his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl with shockingly dyed hair, inherit the beautiful but eerie estate of Axton House, deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone—including A. himself. After all, he never even knew he had a “second cousin, twice removed” in America, much less that the eccentric gentleman had recently committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window—at the same age and in the same way as his father had before him . . .

Together, A. and Niamh quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and a cushy lifestyle. Axton House is haunted, they know it, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets they slowly but surely uncover. Why all the suicides? What became of the Axton House butler who fled shortly after his master died? What lurks in the garden maze and what does the basement vault keep? And what of the rumors in town about a mysterious gathering at Axton House on the night of the winter solstice?

Told vividly through a series of journal entries, scrawled notes, recovered security footage, letters to Aunt Liza, audio recordings, complicated ciphers, and even advertisements, Edgar Cantero has written a dazzling and original supernatural adventure featuring classic horror elements with a Neil Gaiman-ish twist. – Goodreads.com

This book format was unlike anything I’ve ever read – the story was told through letters, diary entries, video footage, dream journals – and although some readers may find that distracting or hard to follow, I thought it was fun and welcomed something new.

There’s just no way you can’t like A. and Niamh.  A. (his full name was never given) had a great sense of humor and I really liked the straightforward, no-nonsense and yet charming way he dealt with people.  Niamh was quirky, opinionated, and usually the most intelligent person in the room.  Their interactions with each other had me laughing out loud  more than once.  The fact that they named their dog Help so he would come and lend aid if they needed help was just hilarious – and kind of smart.

I admit I skimmed through some of the pages on code breaking – seemed like a lot of in-depth information that wasn’t critical to understanding the story, but the rest of the book had me completely engrossed from the first page.

I enjoyed the intriguing premise, the mystery, vivid dream sequences, plot twists, challenging puzzles, surprise ending – this book was just a pleasure to read.  If you’re looking for something different that will entertain, test your intelligence, and creep you out a little, The Supernatural Enhancements won’t disappoint.

This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

 

 

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