1000 years in the future and humanity has solved faster than light travel, instantaneous interstellar communication, and are looking to colonize a distant planet. Haven’t cured stupidity though.
John is leader of a team exploring the earth like planet, Sol. After a meteor shower, he picks up one of the rocks to take back to earth for his daughter. When the rock splits open and black ooze crawls out, first mate Nico is the first to succumb to the alien parasite.
I enjoyed the descriptions of Sol at the beginning of the book, and the variety of alien life that lives there. It was the most original and interesting part of the story, and I would have liked to spend more time on the planet.
Unfortunately, once the extraterrestrial leech (which seemed to have very little in common with the blood sucking earth variety, despite the ship medic repeatedly mentioning them) makes an appearance and the story moves to the spaceship, the characters and story beats are so familiar that I was reading purely to get to the inevitable grisly deaths.
The author is talented, and being trapped with a monster is always an interesting story, but I wish that Douglas had worked a bit harder on making her characters behave like real people. These were supposed to be experienced space travelers with knowledge of alien life forms and some kind of scientific background, yet they consistently made stupid decisions. Character deaths are so much more satisfying when they’ve done everything smart to save themselves, and they still don’t survive.
If you’ve seen a science fiction horror movie in the last forty years, you have seen this story in movie form. Even though there is nothing original, there are still some moments of tension, and I can think of worse ways to spend forty minutes.
I award Leech…
Leech is available for $1.23 ebook and $6.50 print book on Amazon.