Hello friends, still not having the best weeks of my life. I’ve never really been a big reader of thrillers, but I seem to be gravitating to them this year (Fever Dream, White Tears, The Haunting) and they certainly do take your mind off of things — I can see why

so many people unwind with thrillers and mysteries.

This week is was The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. I read it because I LOVED Meddling Kids by Cantero. The book is told in snippets of diary entries, letters, telegrams, transcripts, descriptions of video tape, post cards, and a dream journal. You will either hate this or love it I think. At first, I didn’t really like it, and it made it hard for me to get into the story, but then I stared to enjoy it. There’s also a lot of cryptography – which the book actually does a cool job of explaining how they work. The end was super weird.

THERE WILL BE SOME SPOILERS BELOW! YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ THEM! PART OF THIS BOOK’S CHARM IS THE UNEXPECTED TWISTS!!

Essentially, this is the story of “A.” who writes most of the letters, diary entries, and dream journal entries that are in the book, and his “friend?” Niamh as they live the classic horror trope – inheriting a huge, allegedly haunted, house from a second cousin A. didn’t know, and the cousin belonged to some sort of secret society and killed himself. A. and Niamh are trying to unpack the mysteries of the house and figure out what the second cousin was into.

As they live in the house A. begins to have odd dreams which are incredibly powerful (and horrifying), additionally there is clearly a ghost in the bathroom. Cantero likes to play with, is this supernatural, is it not supernatural in his books — and seems to like to come down on the side of, supernatural things are really happening, but perhaps not as many you thought. There does turn out to be a secret society, and it is super interesting and super weird (it involves an all seeing eye, al la Lord of the Rings, and crystal balls that can transmit memories/dreams). Then things take two additional twists! I didn’t really care for either of them. I think the most common criticism I saw of this book on Goodreads was that the end was sort of jarring, and kind of didn’t fit with the rest of the book, and I will agree with that.

But, I still recommend this because I find the format interesting, I like the cryptography, and I wasn’t too frustrated by all of that. Cantero does tie things up pretty neatly, not everything makes sense, but what’s left hanging isn’t to frustrating. Apparently he is thinking about a sequel or sequels, although apparently he’s just got tons of ideas for novels and isn’t sure when he’ll write it. Oh, and also he wrote this book himself in both English and Spanish. So, he’s not an overachiever or anything.

Oh, also as a reader I loved this:

A.: [Y]ou must know how it works. An artifact containing … raw feelings, unprocessed sights and sounds and pains that the brain interprets – is that too crazy?

Dr. Belknap: No. It has existed for thousands of years. It’s called a book.

Currently reading: Everything Happens For a Reason And Other Lies I’ve Loved and Like A Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy, and off to the library to get the next book in The Broken Earth trilogy.