Author: Edgar Cantero
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): When twenty-something 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?
My Summary: A. and his companion have traveled halfway across the world to collect A.'s inheritance: a huge Victorian mansion and a fortune to match. Most people would be thrilled, but A. is a little uneasy about the whole thing - after all, he never knew his cousin, and living in his house seems kind of strange. To top it all off, there appears to be some sort of presence haunting the mansion - one that doesn't want A. around.
But angry ghosts are the least of A.'s worries. His cousin seems to have been involved in some sort of secret society - one that may be responsible for his death - and they aren't happy knowing the mansion or its contents are in A.'s control. With time running out before the winter solstice - and the society show up for their mysterious yearly ritual - A. and Niamh scramble to figure out exactly what is going on inside the old house, and determine the cause of his cousin's death.
My Thoughts: The minute I read the synopsis, I knew I'd be falling head over heels for this book. Two days and a few hundred pages later I was proven right: Edgar Cantero's The Supernatural Enhancements was an incredible read.
I love a good Gothic mystery, and that is exactly what Cantero has provided. Despite some elements sounding a little cliche - a haunted house, a mysterious death, etc - the author was able to twist and turn them into something incredibly unique.
I adored the supernatural elements of the story, which brought with them their own set of questions: is it right to let someone die, if you have the power and the ability to stop it? I really enjoyed the whole "piecing-the-story-together" thing as well - it kept me glued to the pages and gave the story room to expand and grow in my mind. I liked that I was able to fill in some of the blanks and make it my own.
This novel was well-written, engaging, and just fun all around. Niamh was probably my favourite part of the story: I did not expect that much depth to come out of such a mysterious character. I loved the element of the secret society; I think fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore will really enjoy it as well.
I also really liked all the twists and turns! I was definitely not expecting that ending.
Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this novel to fans of Gothic lit as well as anyone who enjoys mystery and suspense with a hint of the supernatural.