A House with Good Bones is a light contemporary gothic novel. Based on the blurb, I expected something more atmospheric and creepy. What I got instead was something far more bizarre.
As a narrator, Sam is fun, witty, and sarcastic. I loved her inner monologues and felt they added a lightness to the novel that it wouldn't have had otherwise. But I could have done without the entomology lessons.
I liked the build up of oddities. Without spoiling anything for potential readers, the first two acts are slow, delivering tension and unease by the teaspoonful. Then you're thrown into what reads like a fever dream and leaves you scratching your head, pondering how everything got so far off the rails. The last 50 pages were disappointing. It all felt too odd in the context of the story, and I found none of it scary because it was so outlandish.
While this book ultimately didn't land for me, there was a great deal I did enjoy.
*Thank you to Tor for the physical ARC.*
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.*