The mesmerizing English debut from the author of Meddling Kids—whatbegins as a gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt.
Months after the last of the Wells sons jumped out of his bedroom window in Axton House (incidentally forgetting to open it first), a strange couple of Europeans arrive in Virginia to take possession of the estate. A. is the 23-year-old unforeseen scion; Niamh is the mute punk teen girl he refers to as his associate or his bodyguard. Both are ready to settle into their new cushy lifestyle, and the rumors about the mansion being haunted add to their excitement. But ghosts are not in any way the deepest secret of the house.
Through journals, letters, security footage, audio recordings, and ciphers, we follow A. and Niamh as they delve into Wells’ dubious suicide, the secret society he founded and its mysterious Game —a “bourgeois pastime” of global proportions— in Edgar Cantero’s dazzling and original gothic adventure.
About The Supernatural Enhancements
A mesmerizing novel…what begins as a gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt in The Supernatural Enhancements, Edgar Cantero’s wholly original, modern-day adventure.
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?
Told vividly through a series of journal entries, cryptic ciphers, recovered security footage, and letters to a distant Aunt Liza, Edgar Cantero has written an absorbing, kinetic and highly original supernatural adventure with classic horror elements that introduces readers to a deviously sly and powerful new voice.
“The kinetic action of a graphic novel wrapped up in a literary thriller.” —The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg)
“A clever and engrossing horror-thriller mash-up that delivers genuine scares.” —Buffalo News
“A wonderful, enthralling book. . . . One of those rare literary creations that shortens the long hours of night. You emerge from its pages at sunrise, suddenly aware that you’ve spent the whole night reading. Few authors create such books. Edgar Cantero does it gracefully.” —Jason Mott, bestselling author of The Returned
“A spectacular debut novel. . . . Cantero’s fresh, original prose style and the steady flow of twists, turns, and code breaking will have mystery, thriller, and supernatural fans glued to their seats until they reach the electrifying conclusion.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Eerie, puckish, and full of surprises. . . . Cantero pays homage to Bram Stoker and H. P. Lovecraft and The Shining, but he’s no less enamored of The X-Files, fax machines, and punk girls with dreads. The result is a propulsive, beguiling novel that is as easy to get swept up in as it is hard to describe.” —Justin Taylor, author of Flings
“Quirky in presentation and good fun throughout, Cantero’s yarn pleases at every turn.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A fun and addictive read.” —LitReactor
“Cantero sets the novel up to be one type of mystery and then he lets other mysteries float into the story. It’s not that he invalidates earlier mysteries . . . but rather he makes them no longer as important because this next one is crazy!” —Raging Biblioholism