Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

Let it be known that this book is as intriguing as the cover! And coming from a #coverho, that's pretty good stuff. 

Where should I start with The Supernatural Enhancements, by Edgar Cantero? In a book this twisted, you just have to jump in.

An unnamed young man named A. and his sidekick, the 17-year-old mute, Niamh, move to Point Bless, Virginia where A. has inherited his second-cousin-twice-removed's eery old mansion. Not long after their arrival strange happenings-- ghostly visitors, flickering lights, overwhelmingly realistic dreams, and cryptic messages--begin to consume their days...and nights. 

This story is told in snippets: letters, notes, video and audio transcripts. I'm usually not one for this type of format since it can get a little gimmicky, but Cantero has done an admirable job of maintaining a distinctive "voice" for the characters and a nice mixed atmosphere of doom and shenanigans. While I've seen this one compared to Night Film, by Marisha Pessl, I get the feeling this book takes itself less seriously. 

What we really have here is an adventure story. The characters don't have to go very far to find the's inside their own crumbling mansion...but it's no less adventuresome. The tone of this novel is no doubt ominous, but it's lightened up by the often flippant, snarky characters. At times it has touches of the Victorian in a decidedly contemporary setting. 

Bits of the novel are surprisingly thinky, as the characters find themselves going down the rabbit hole of cryptography and various puzzles. It sure kept me guessing with its complexity in those moments, and it added to the sense of twisted mystery.

It's all a really odd, but amusing mix, and I was rapt until the last page. And OHHHH, the last page. When I finished this book, I went to Twitter with an, "I need to talk about this!" Tweet on my fingertips. 

This would be a great choice for the RIP event later in the year or a feisty way to cap off summer.

Pub. Date: August 2014
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Format: E-galley
ISBN: 9780385538152
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for review consideration.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A More Diverse Universe 2014!

A couple of years ago, Aarti from Booklust, started a fantastic event called A More Diverse Universe (#Diversiverse for short) in the spirit of reading diversely. Originally, this event was aimed at reading sci-fi and fantasy by authors of color, but this year Aarti is opening up the reading opportunities even further. 

For those who have not heard about #Diversiverse before, it's a very simple challenge.  For those of you who have participated in the past, it's even easier this year.  The criteria are as follows:
  • Read and review one book
  • Written by a person of color
  • During the last two weeks of September (September 14th - 27th) 
I made it one of my goals to read more diversely in 2014. I've met with mixed success since my reading has been kind of weird this year in general, but I am DEFINITELY in for #Diversiverse. Since the reading is open to any genre this year, I have some decisions to make! 

I know I will be reading from my very own TBR or the university library because I don't need any more books in my house, and I have scads of diverse authors represented. Now they just need to be read. Looking over my Goodreads list, these are a few of the contenders:

We Need New Names, by NoViolet Bulawayo, has been on my TBR for a while now. This Booker shortlist title from last year is calling to me. 

Second Hand Smoke, by Thane Rosenbaum, represents the way children of the Holocaust inherit that history of atrocity from their parents. I loved The Golem of Gotham, so this read is long overdue. 

This One Summer, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, looks too good to pass up. I keep seeing it on various comics sites, and I have to get ahold of it (from the library). 

So what will you be reading for #Diversiverse? If you haven't already, go on over and sign up! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Monday! The Weekend Reading Recap

You guys! I took another little mini-staycation this past week, and I feel GOOD! My husband and I both took vacation from work on Thursday and Friday. We saw movies, we ate great food, we spent time by the pool, we had some adult beverages, and I kissed summer goodbye! That part wasn't so great, but it had to be done.

It's Bout of Books week, and I may have lost my mind. Work will be hairy because I have a draft of all the alumni magazine feature stories due on Friday. Yayyyy, work! I also have online classes starting today. Another semester of I come! Finally, the aforementioned Bout of Books. I'm super excited, but let's just hope my brain isn't so hazy that I'm worthless.

This weekend I finished...

The Undertaking of Lily Chen, by Danica Novgorodoff, may not have quiiiiite lived up to my expectations, sadly. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the plot was thinner than I expected while the artwork far surpassed my expectations. A mixed bag. 

The Supernatural Enhancements, by Edgar Cantero, on the other hand, blew me out of the water. While I did have some minor qualms with it, I found it to be one of the most fun books I've read in a while. Ghosts, eery dreams, an all-seeing eye, and one heck of a twisted ending. Looking forward to reviewing this one. 

Now I'm on to the next book...

I KNOW, I KNOW! You're tired of seeing Tell the Wolves I'm Home pop up on my blog, and then I don't read it, and yadda yadda. No really! This time I'm reading it. I'm 100 pages in, and I'm a smitten kitten. It made me cry twice in the first 44 pages...while I was at the auto tire store. Ummm, yeah. Pretty sure I lived up to every female stereotype those guys had, but what do ya do? 

I really haven't the foggiest idea what I'll pick up later in the week. Probably one of the books I listed in my Bout of Books goals, but it might also be... 

Lumberjanes, issue 05! This is a series by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen. This comic comes from BOOM! Studios, and it's the MOST fun series I've read in a really long time. Smart, sassy, action-packed and with ridonkulously dynamic artwork. I can't get enough. I'm subscribed to the single issues on Comixology, and 05 is out this week.

What are you reading? 

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