“Impeccably clever and atmospheric.”
― Tamsyn Muir
― G. V. Anderson
A surreal and horrifying debut, Hiron Ennes’s Leech defies our understanding of identity, heredity, and bodily autonomy.
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.
Preview the first two chapters here
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PRAISE FOR LEECH:
“A wonderful new entry to Gothic Science fiction, impeccably clever and atmospheric. Think Wuthering Heights… with worms!” ― Tamsyn Muir
“Leech uses language with startling acrobatism, creating a with more secrets than the human body can contain.” ― Cassandra Khaw
“Worldbuilding both subtle and surprising. Killer prose. Grotesque biology like I’ve never seen. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if David Cronenberg and Edgar Allen Poe bumped into each other at the same parasitological conference, here’s your answer.” ― Peter Watts
“Startlingly original, yet eerily familiar, with Leech, Ennes spins classic Gothic horror and fascinating science fiction into a creation that is disturbing, horrifying, and impossible to turn away from.” ― Brom
“This book managed to surprise me, and that’s not easy for this jaded reader. I read everything, therefore I thought I had seen everything. Leech isn’t like anything I’ve read before.” ― Tade Thompson, author of Rosewater
“A tense, disturbing work of Gothic horror that embraces the difficult themes of power, abuse, agency and raw survival in an unforgettably apocalyptic setting. Gory, shocking, raw ― and utterly humane.” ― Kameron Hurley
“Leech is wonderful, with a truly unique protagonist, a gooey, squicky post-apocalyptic setting, and a dose of Gormenghast gothic. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and The Traitor Baru Cormorant.” ― Django Wexler
“A razor-sharp balance between the Gothic and the weird, Leech is a startling surprise. A unique narrator, a complex and twisted world, toe-curling horror.” ― World Fantasy Award-winning author G. V. Anderson
“Surreal body horror, surprising turns, and staggering ideas ― all woven together by beautiful writing. This debut novel is one to remember.” ―Tim Lebbon