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Review: ‘Supernatural Enhancements’ surprises with unexpected turns

Cover art for 'The Supernatural Enhancements'
Courtesy of: Doubleday Books

The Supernatural Enhancements

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Edgar Cantero’s The Supernatural Enhancements may have all the trappings of a ghost tale: Gigantic house with a storied history and some unsettling activity, and a new owner who can’t believe his luck in inheriting such a vast property, to name a few, but for all the spectre-ish elements, this novel hides much darker and more mysterious secrets.

In the novel, the enigmatically named A. and his mute gal pal Niamh, move from the U.K., to A.’s newly inherited Virginia estate, courtesy of an extremely distant relative. Though a series of letters, video and audio transcriptions, notes and a bit of traditional narrative for good measure, Cantero takes us along for A. and Niamh’s twisting journey to discover why the locals describe their new home as one that comes with “supernatural enhancements.”

Though some may find the frequent changes in how the tale is being communicated, the assembled materials give the novel the feel of scientific exploration and investigation, both of which play perfectly into the action on the page. In fact, the act of reading becomes something akin to watching a “found footage” film, but without the sense of extreme fatigue. Instead, the stumbled-upon sensation that comes from experiencing the story in this way is immersive.

Cantero spins a serpentining and far-ranging yarn that will keep readers flipping pages with curiosity. What begins feeling like a ghost tale, quickly transforms into something quite different indeed. As the narrative transforms, the enjoyment that comes with reading increases accordingly.

Those that enjoy classic horror given a fresh spin and appreciate a good twist will find their time mining the secrets of Axton House quite satisfying.

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Title: The Supernatural Enhancements
Author: Edgar Cantero
Format: Hardcover
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
Publish Date: August 12, 2014
Language: English