Book Tour: Leech by Hiron Ennes

It’s October so let’s start off spooky season right with a rare blog post from yours truly! Today I’m on a book tour for Leech by Hiron Ennes thanks to Tor UK and Black Crow PR. This one’s a spooky gothic sci-fi with an isolated setting, family drama, and a whole load of parasites. Right up my alley then.

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.

Leech is a gothic sci-fi featuring a parastic hivemind that’s secretly taken over all of humanity’s medical institutions, an isolated chateau covered in snow, a dysfunctional family, and a new parasitic threat that might be competition. If that doesn’t make you go “ooooh” this spooky season, I don’t know what will.

With a haunting atmosphere, dense, yet compelling writing, and a series of strange and unexplained events, Leech reminds me of old school sci-fi and gothic horror. It’s slightly archaic, out of time, and that aligns fantastically with the setting and narrative. This book isn’t set in our world, but if feels like it could be a dark alternative universe of our history.

The first-person narrative is a fantastic choice. It places you in the head of a person infected by a parasite – the parasite is the protagonist. It has to keep it’s existence quiet, even as a threat to it’s entire species sends IT into a horrifying panic. I’m not usually a fan of the descent into madness trope, and that’s not quite right in describing what happens here, but it fits, and it’s done so well. No spoilers but I adored the slow burning character development in this book.

I’m someone who likes to have things explained, and Leech is full of unexplained mysteries. Sometimes I wanted a bit more, but I can appreciate how the mysteries themselves added to the strangeness and gothic atmosphere of the novel. I might reread it just to pick apart all of the little details one day.

This is a fantastic read to pick up if you want to get into the Halloween vibes, especially on a cold evening. The content warnings are quite intense though, especially for sexual assault and domestic violence, so please check them out if you know you might need to!

Thanks to Black Crow PR and Tor for providing me with an Advanced Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

HIRON ENNES is a writer, musician, and student of medicine based in the Pacific Northwest. Their areas of interest include infectious disease, pathology, and anticapitalist healthcare reform. When they’re not hunched over a microscope or word document they can be found playing in the snow or playing the harp (though usually not at the same time). They’re queer in every sense of the word, and they really want to pet your dog.

Leech is their first novel.

Leech is out now! There’s never been a better time to go pick up a copy!

If you want to remember to check out this book you should add it to Goodreads!

You can get this book from major booksellers such as Waterstones and Blackwell’s.

I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

I’m so excited to see what everyone else’s thoughts were!


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