This is the story about a young man, A., who inherits a wealthy estate known as Axton House. After the suicide of his distant cousin, A. and his companion, Niamh, become part of a world that is much more than it seems, and where there are more questions than answers: Who is the ghost that lurks in the bathroom across from the master bedroom? What is hidden in the maze? What is behind the heavy vault doors in the basement? And why do a group of men come for a meeting every year on the winter solstice? Told through a travel log perspective using diary entries, letters, and video and audio recordings we are introduced to a variety of characters as the world begins to spin out of control and the barriers between what is real and what is not begin to blend.
This book intrigued me. Some of the documents included receipts and flyers that gave me just enough evidence to make me believe what I was reading were real. About half way through I began googling Axton House to see if these events were actually based in reality. However, I was unable to find anything that proved to be fact. As I reached the end I began to understand the power of the author and the reality that, for a time, he had performed the ultimate success: Edgar Cantero had made a reader believe that his fiction was reality.
Before anyone points fingers and declares me a gullible flop, let me explain. The inside of the book begins by saying, “The following collection of documents details the events that occurred at Axton House, 1 Aston Road, Point Bless, Virginia, during the months of November and December of 1995.” Cantero doesn’t disappoint; included in the book is a telephone bill, a receipt from an electronics store, a receipt from a pool service for the installation of a pool, and a postcard addressed to the deceased original owner of the house all of which looked genuine. In letters and other documents written by the characters he provides a very different, but consistent, voice for each individual with just enough mixture of cliché phrases, language breaks, and unique speech patterns so as to closely mimic natural human speech. All of these things were brought together to create a distorted replica of reality.
I have no shame about being deceived. On the contrary, I’m rather impressed. I had never heard of Edgar Cantero or any of his works, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. One individual who reviewed the book said, “Cantero pays homage to Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft, and The Shining.” Such high praise should not be given lightly, but I think The Supernatural Enhancements is worthy of it. I recommend that anyone who has the time should find a copy of this book and take the journey with A. and Niamh as they discover the shocking secrets hidden within Axton House. Who knows, you may just begin to believe that Axton House is real too…