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“[Leech] is The Thing meets The Alienist . . . beautifully written and so strangely humane . . . I will follow this writer anywhere going forward.” —Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

A surreal and horrifying debut, Hiron Ennes's
Leech defies our understanding of identity, heredity, and bodily autonomy.

The RUSA Best Horror Novel of 2023!

Finalist for the British Fantasy Newcomer Award!

An October "Great Reads" Indie Next Pick!

Wall Street Journal Best Book!

“A wonderful new entry to Gothic science fiction, impeccably clever and atmospheric. Think
Wuthering Heights... with worms!” —Tamsyn Muir


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.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Genre: Science Fiction

Praise for this book

"Ennes spins classic Gothic horror and fascinating science fiction into a creation that is disturbing, horrifying, and impossible to turn away from." - Brom

"A tense, disturbing work of Gothic horror that embraces difficult themes of power, abuse, agency and raw survival in an unforgettably apocalyptic setting. Gory, shocking, raw - and utterly humane." - Kameron Hurley

"I didn't know a book could perfectly convey the concept of a distributed intelligence, alive and aware of each of its proxies, but Leech is proof anything is possible in good hands." - Cassandra Khaw

"What a unique book! Surprising turns and staggering ideas - all woven together by beautiful writing. This is one to remember." - Tim Lebbon

"A wonderful new entry to Gothic science fiction, impeccably clever and atmospheric. Think Wuthering Heights . . . with worms!" - Tamsyn Muir

"Leech isn't like anything I've read before. Superb writing, interesting and fresh ideas, skilful execution. Highly recommended. I'll be reading anything Hiron Ennes writes from now on." - Tade Thompson

"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

"Leech is wonderful, with a truly unique protagonist, a goeey, squicky post-apocalyptic setting, and a dose of Gormenghast gothic. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and The Traitor." - Django Wexler

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