WARNING: I am having trouble containing myself.
You know those epic–nay, apocalyptic–hangovers? The ones where you drank your own weight several times over and made every mistake you possibly could, and woke up the next morning feeling like death warmed over? No, like death’s leftovers that were left in the fridge too long and are making everything stink of rot by association?
Yeah, those hangovers?
I have a book hangover like that. But in a good way.
My brain is still such a joyous, gelatinous mess that I don’t think I’ll be able to summarize the awesomeness that is Edgar Cantero’s The Supernatural Enhancements. So I’ll let the book blurb do the work for me:
When twentysomething A., the European relative of the Wells family, inherits a beautiful, yet eerie, estate set deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone—including A. himself. After all, he never knew he had a “second cousin, twice removed” in America, much less that his eccentric relative 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 with A.’s companion, Niamh, a mute teenage punk girl from Ireland, they arrive in Virginia and quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and an opulent lifestyle. Axton House is haunted… they know it…but the presence of a ghost is just the first of a series of disturbing secrets they slowly uncover. What led to 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? Even more troubling, what of the rumors in town about a mysterious yearly gathering at Axton House on the night of the winter solstice?
So, for anyone nursing a book hangover like me:
(Gothic Horror + 90s Nostalgia) x Found Footage Fims = The Supernatural Enhancements
What Intrigued Me: Gothic horror. I am a lifelong Poe fan, and the story that got me addicted to good old Edgar was “The Fall of the House of Usher”. So this was right up my alley.
What Hooked Me: Found footage. Yes, like Paranormal Activity. Instead of just presenting a straightforward mystery where this happened and then this happened and I thought this etc., Cantero creates this crazy patchwork mystery from diary entries, letters, newspaper clippings, faxes, codes, and security footage. I’ve said it before: I love puzzles and mysteries. I don’t like everything spelled out for me, I like to do some of the legwork as the reader, maybe solve something before the protagonist. This catered to my sluth-y soul.
What Made Me Fall In Love: I was in love with this book pretty early on, but this needs mentioning: THE ENDING. HOOOOOLY CRAP. I’m not going to spoil it, because that would take away all the fun and the brain melting and the book hangovers, but I need to scream something.
So I’m going to spoil a lot of other things:
SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!
DARTH VADER IS LUKE’S FATHER!
HE WAS KEYSER SOZE ALL ALONG!
THEY WERE ON EARTH THE WHOLE TIME!
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
…Ok, that was only slightly cathartic. I still have an epic book hangover.
The Supernatural Enhancements is out August 12. Order a copy from Amazon or from your local bookstore. Usually I come up with a clever quip here, but I can’t because my brain is still jello.