In an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s replacement has a mystery to solve: discovering how the Institute lost track of one of its many bodies.
For hundreds of years the Interprovincial Medical Institute has grown by taking root in young minds and shaping them into doctors, replacing every human practitioner of medicine. The Institute is here to help humanity, to cure and to cut, to cradle and protect the species from the apocalyptic horrors their ancestors unleashed.
In the frozen north, the Institute’s body will discover a competitor for its rung at the top of the evolutionary ladder. A parasite is spreading through the baron’s castle, already a dark pit of secrets, lies, violence, and fear. The two will make war on the battlefield of the body. Whichever wins, humanity will lose again.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was completely blown away by Leech. From the very first page I was completely drawn in, and by page 60 I was hooked and loath to put the book down.
Leech is an atmospheric, gothic horror of the best kind. The atmosphere is just perfect and the setting of a remote castle in the far north just added an extra layer of dark & creepy to the story. Nothing is ever quite as it seems and Hiron Ennes really embraces that in this book. Leech is less filled with twists than is it with reveals, things you didn’t realised you knew, or had been hinted at until it’s revealed. I’m not even sure this is a thing, but if it is Hiron Ennes achieved it – a slow burn reveal where you suddenly realise you’re looking through the eyes of someone who wasn’t quite there at the start.
There’s this overarching world-building in Leech where Ennes hints at the world before a catastrophe, and the world in Leech is just similar enough that it could very well be set in our world after some kind of apocalypse. I loved these moments where Ennes revealed a bit more about the world before, or a piece of folklore about the setting. It added this extra layer of ‘other’ to the book that just made me love everything so much more.
I can’t quite put into words just how much I loved Leech. The atmosphere, the characters, the hints at things that might be there, and the inclusion of a giant creature that you can’t be caught outside at night by…
This is the perfect book to read as the nights get longer, just trust me and add this to your spooky season reads.
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