Review: Leech by Hiron Ennes

This one will give you the creepy crawlies!


Leech by Hiron Ennes

Released September 2022

Source: Received for Review Consideration

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  | Amazon

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.

My 2 Cents for Free!

Leech is a unique blend of body horror, bodily autonomy, and sci-fi elements. It takes place in a crumbling chateau where a doctor arrives to take the place of the one who recently perished to care for a grouchy old Baron and his family. But there’s so much more going on than that . . . Hold on because it gets weird and a little complicated here.

The doctor is part of something called “The Institute” and the doctor has been working for this family for a while - only they don’t know it. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it all because that’s where the sci-fi bit comes in and it did my head in a bit so I probably can’t explain it anyway. The new doctor discovers a terrifying parasite inside the old doc and that’s when everything starts to go to hell.

This book is very gross so if you’re into that, you’ll love the body horror. It’ll give you a good case of the ick’s and the creepy crawlies. The body horror and the fate of the dog keeper were what kept me reading through until the end. Whenever dogs enter the story, you’ve got me – unless you kill them all, and then I’m out. What didn’t work so well for me were the many side trips and interludes telling tales of the past and whatnot. It slowed down the pace quite a bit for me. And to be honest, parts of this story were very confusing for me in the beginning (and now that I’m finished there are some things I’m still a bit bewildered about). I eventually caught on to most of it but it took too long for my liking and used up my last good brain cell.


So yeah. It’s not a quick read. The writing was dense and super wordy like an old-time horror novel and it required a quiet room and my complete attention and at times I had to force myself to keep going. But I don’t regret it. I’d tell you if I did. Some truly terrible things happen and it does not shy away from the horror show of being a woman or a person with no power. It’s a pretty bleak read so prepare yourself for that if you need to.

I’m giving it a three because I did like it except maybe for the bits I just bitched about.




Comments

  1. I'm too tired for super dense and wordy writing right now, but that isolated crumbling chateau is just the kind of eerie setting I love in books like this one.

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  2. I could see myself liking the creepy crawlie gross horror but I don't like confusing.

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    Replies
    1. It was worth it in the end, but there were moments when I nearly threw in the towel.

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  3. I'm not sure my 2022 brain is up for the task with this one!

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  4. Thanks for the heads up! This one is on my list.

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