Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sweet Aswang is a horror novel written by Anthony Hains. Spencer had given up on the idea of getting to sleep and was studying the vacation links his uncle had suggested for their next adventure when, suddenly, he felt compelled to go outside and follow the odd noise he heard. It was a strange sound, a clicking noise like the sound of a dentist tapping on your tooth, but his discomfort had started several days before that. He felt odd, on edge, and his blood sugar levels had remained obstinately out of control despite his careful attention to counting carbs, frequently testing and meticulously monitoring his insulin dosages. His mom and dad seemed to think he was to blame for the surges, drops and spikes, and his dad could get pretty rough about it. Spencer quietly left his bedroom and went downstairs to the front door, and he noticed that the sound was still out there, albeit fainter than before. He opened the door and, for a moment, saw something that shouldn’t have been possible. Chloe, the girl next door, had happened to be out there as well, and she saw it also. The next day, when they heard about the horrific murders that had taken place in the Hoffman house the night before, they began wondering just what it was they saw.
Anthony Hains’ horror novel, Sweet Aswang, is a taut and chilling coming of age story about two young teens who are trying to learn to live with newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes. Both are finding their blood sugar levels fluctuating despite their best efforts, and both can see the monster that seems intent on destroying lives in their town. I got a new appreciation for and insights into the efforts kids have to make in order to stay healthy after developing Diabetes -- things that most of us take for granted. Hains adroitly merges that condition shared by Chloe and Spencer into the plot of his tale, and the result is an original and exciting horror story. His characters are well-defined, and I especially appreciated the mention of the adventure trips shared by Uncle Theo and Spencer, which had become so valued a tradition for both of them. Sweet Aswang is most highly recommended.