A gothic sci-fi thriller set at a mysterious university that doesn't allow its students to leave.
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I had high hopes for this gothic campus novel, set at an exclusive and mysterious university called Catherine House. Students who attend are isolated from the rest of the world for three full years, devoted entirely to their experimental courses of study. Graduates are elevated to the highest echelons of society.
While the dark and gothic mood held throughout, unfortunately, the mysteries of Catherine House never quite came together. The book veered toward sci fi, but those elements felt just out of reach–as did so much backstory that was alluded to but never fully explained. Most characters, too, felt at a distance. I didn’t connect with this one.
Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free–but acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years, summers included, completely removed from the outside world. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige. Among this year’s incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline, only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. But the House’s strange protocols soon make this refuge feel increasingly like a gilded prison.