"A Powerful and fascinating foray into the future of science and its unforeseen consequences"
A shipwreck. A lost treasure.
A hell of a race from one to the other. Brendan Le Grange has delivered a winner!
On an ordinary night in a quiet, upper-middle-class neighborhood, eighth-grade classmates Chloe Danvers and Spencer Genovese sneak out of their homes to investigate a weird clicking noise. They watch as a shadowy figure slinks through their street, dashes around a house, and disappears.
The next morning, they learn that the Hoffman family has been murdered and in their efforts to find out what happened, Chloe and Spencer discover that no one else can see or hear the malevolent being they glimpsed. Only a shared medical condition enables them to sense its presence. Their illness provides a measure of protection from the creature, but not for long. It becomes aware of them and begins taunting them in a series of disturbing events. Now they must determine its weakness and stop it before it goes after its next victims.
A grippingly spun Urban Fantasy for young adult readers, Sweet Aswang might be a novella but it packs a serious punch. It’s a requirement of stories like these that adults are largely absent and Hains treats his young protagonists with tenderness and affection as they find themselves battling the supernatural. Underpinned by an imaginative plot with plenty of unexpected twists and turns along the way it is hard to imagine two more endearing characters than Spencer and Chloe who find their friendship, attraction and loyalty flourish in the darkest of circumstances. It would be easy to summarise Sweet Aswang with a few common place adjectives but as with his previously released, The Disembodied, Hains brings an episodic familiarity to his tale that makes it highly visual. In part, this is down to well-observed characterisation and the flow of his dialogue. It’s easy to read, yet highly immersive, as all notable fiction should be and the idea to give Chloe and Spencer a disease which is also their salvation adds a clever and above all original twist whilst highlighting the daily challenges of teenagers living with Diabetes.
A genuine gem of a read from Hains Sweet Aswang is sure to connect with its target audience and is highly deserving of a place on your bookshelf.
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