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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: "Supernatural Enhancements" by Edgar Cantero

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.
*(summary courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review:
This book was absolutely brilliant.  The story was fast paced and instantly ensnared me.  The build-up was amazing, and I found myself wanting to jump inside the book and interact with the characters when it came to clues.  Speaking of which, I have heard of encrypting letters during wars, but I never knew the types and how to do it.  It was quite fascinating to learn a little history about it and know how to encrypt and decrypt letters for future reference (you never know).  Trying to figure out the clues made me feel like Nancy Drew or one of the Hardy boys.

I could barely figure out what clue led to what. Usually I am very good at solving riddles or figuring out the clues before the characters do, but this book left me stumped.  I enjoyed the brain challenge. The dialogue was pretty interesting between Niamh and A.  I have never met a mute person, so it was interesting reading the communication between Niamh and other characters.

The red herring and twist at the end definitely got me; I really didn't see it coming, which is surprising to me.  The mystery element was the finest I have ever read. The saying that hindsight is always 20/20 is quite true in regards to this book, because looking back I can now piece together the clues to see how it all fit together; perhaps the characters can too.

368 pages
Expected publication: August 12th 2014 by Doubleday

Rating: 🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔

Recommend?     Yes! For Everyone!

(ARC courtesy of Doubleday Publishing and Net Galley)


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