Leech by Hiron Ennes
What an ambitious debut! A parasitic Institute, the gothic landscape of a dystopic future, humans with machines for body parts, and another parasite on the verge of destroying life as Verdira and Inultus know it.
I initially picked this up because I loved the comp. title, Wuthering Heights. Unfortunately, nothing about Leech, apart from living in isolation, found its way into this novel. Sure, there are gothic elements galore, and some parallels to Frankenstein, but if you're looking for a deeply flawed yet realistic romance, this isn't the book you're looking for.
I loved the prose. Ennes has a knack for imagery and setting. My main criticism is that there was too much going on. In isolation, many of the elements would have worked well, but lumping them together and stitching them into a whole at the tail end of the novel didn't really work. I also felt let down by the ending, but perhaps it was meant as a cliffhanger.
Though it wasn't perfect, I'd recommend this to fans of ambitious sci-fi with a gothic slant.
*Thank you to Tor for the advanced copy.*