The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

I wouldn’t say that I have a lot of special skills in life, but one of the things I am really good at is procrastinating. Give me a deadline and I will find you ten reasons I cannot possibly do said thing by set time, including, but not limited to, things like rewatching seasons 1-4 of The X-Files and organizing my closet. Because priorities. But sometimes… Sometimes there is crossover. Sometimes you’re reading a book and discover that there is a character that is quite possibly more obsessed with Fox Mulder than you are (and you don’t want to put off writing the review). By you I mean me, but that is a given if you’ve read more than three posts on this blog.

And Fox Mulder + a book review = a beautiful thing. However, let’s face it. Books aren’t always about lovely writing and meaningful messages and life changing characters. Some books are just for fun. This is one of them.

Supernatural Enhancements

So which of the following makes The Supernatural Enhancements worth reading (I’ll begin with a literary one)?

a) The title takes its name from an Edith Wharton ghost story.
b) One of the main character’s defining characteristics is that he is an X-Files fan.
c) The novel may cause you to reconsider your stance on techno music, if only so you could hear that rare EP with only four sodding tracks.
d) The idea of House of Leaves having a lighthearted, simpler cousin – in book form – is appealing.
e) There’s a dog named Help, so that help will always come when you call.
f) All of the above.

Naturally the answer is all of the above. I’ll let you in on a secret, the answer is always all of the above. The Supernatural Enhancements is a summer novel with an autumnal heart – it’s fun, quirky, and it never takes itself too seriously. And there are ghosts. And secret societies. And the mysterious disappearance of the butler. And it was Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick. You get the idea. What begins as a Gothic ghost story quickly turns into a twisted tale of adventure. European twenty-something A. inherits a manor from a distant cousin in Virginia. He jumps at the opportunity to move into the house, bringing the petite punk Niamh with him. It becomes clear, both through experience and neighborly visits, that Axton house is haunted – and this is just the first of many secrets the manor is hiding.

Told through a variety of mediums – letters, diaries, found footage, music reviews, ciphers, etc. – The Supernatural Enhancements is a clever, enthralling mystery for those who do not mind a little bit of fun in their fiction (please do consider it House of Leaves’ lighthearted, simpler cousin, I’d like to think I’ve come up with an apt description). While I don’t think this book will hold universal appeal, those who appreciate a good Gothic mystery mixed with a bit of the fantastic will enjoy it. Trust me, you’ll want to believe.

For fans of Fox Mulder and Shirley Jackson. A love of puzzles helps too. 4/5, a summer favorite.

Do you ever put off writing a review? Even for a book you love? Or are you just fond of procrastinating in general (as I am)?

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pair this one with spaghetti and meatballs via From the Kitchen. “The Gothic atmosphere demands a bleeding carpaccio; instead, we were having spaghetti and meatballs… Niamh was anacondaing a meatball as big as her head. Knox watched us eat like we were on the Discovery Channel.”

*I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    I wasn’t really sure that this one was my style, but I think you sold me with House of Leaves lighthearted cousin.

    • Rory

      It is. It doesn’t take itself as seriously – which is a relief.

  • Naomi

    Love that there is a dog named Help!

    • Rory

      Me too. If I ever have a dog I want to name it Pilot (after Jane Eyre), but help is super cute too.

  • Acid Free Pulp

    This book has been taunting me on the my Kindle for months! I’ve been so behind this summer, but your review is making me motivated to finally get cracking. This seems to be the summer of supernatural/spooky reads. Publishers are thinking out of the October-Halloween box. I like this trend.

    • Rory

      Me too. I could go for spooky all year round.

  • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    For fans of Fox Mulder and Shirley Jackson? Oh my gosh I NEED this. Usually any comparison to House of Leaves would have me running for the hills but I’ll make an exception.

    As far as review writing procrastination – ALWAYS. I will try to force myself to sit down and write something immediately after finishing the book before a new book pushes aside all my current thoughts but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Sometimes my thoughts require some simmer time.

    • Rory

      This is like a House of Leaves for the normal reader.

      And yes, procrastination is a sickness.

      • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

        I’m reading this now and it is absolutely a lighter version of House of Leaves. But it’s definitely fun although I admit I find myself lost occasionally.

        • Rory

          Books are no fun if you understand every bit of it, right?

  • Jennine G.

    The reason about House of Leaves is enough for me…I totally DNF’ed that book cause it was taking so long to read!

  • Angie @Angela’s Anxious Life

    This sounds like it’s right up my alley. I love unique books that includes different mediums into the book. I just think that makes the reading experience more fun.

    • Rory

      Me too! I like when there is unique narration or something unexpected. Plus this one didn’t take itself too seriously.

  • Words for Worms

    I’ve got a stack-o-reviews I need to write, but I can’t because… Um… American Ninja Warrior is on and I need to drink a Diet Coke. Or something. Gah.

    • Rory

      Haha, exactly.

  • Leah

    I recently read this one and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I’m usually not a big fan of epistolary novels, but this one was a ton of fun.

    Ugh, I’m a HUGE procrastinator. Sometimes I sit around and wait until I can get my thoughts collected, other times I just don’t feel like sitting at my computer.

    • Rory

      My problem have to do with sitting down and writing to review. It just doesn’t happen as often as it should.

  • Andi @ Estella’s Revenge

    LOVED IT! You hit the nail on the head with this, “summer novel with an autumnal heart.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. When I got to the end, I wanted to talk about this book SO MUCH. It was something, wasn’t it? Great review!

    • Rory

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Melinda @ The Book Musings

    I’m intrigued about this book!

    • Rory

      It’s worth checking out. It’s a Gothic novel without being particularly scary.

  • C.J. @ ebookclassics

    Thanks for the review! You had me at X-Files fan. Adding this one to the list!

    • Rory

      X-Files may be my favorite show of all time. Still. A, the main character, is a HUGE Mulder fan.

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  • ouida sizemore linkous

    I really loved this book more than I ever imagined possible. I had to immediately pass it on, for fear I would start reading it again. I wish there was a sequel. I feel like the door was definitely left open for that option!

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