If you loved Swoon by Nina Malkin, then you are in for a real treat with the upcoming sequel, Swear — which offers even more romance, mystery and thrills than the first book. But while your favorite characters return, this sequel is really a whole different flavor from the first book.
A promise broken. A bond betrayed. It’s been six months since ghost-turned golem Sinclair Youngblood Powers confessed his love, stole Dice’s heart, and disappeared from Swoon, perhaps from existence. Despite the hurt, Dice has been moving steadily toward ordinary. Dreams of Sin still plague and pleasure her sleep, and the mark of Sin’s love remains on her skin, still sore. But Dice has been throwing herself into music, finding solace in song and sometimes even in the arms of her band mate, Tosh. Life seems almost…normal. The last thing Dice wants is to mess with anything remotely supernatural. But when her best friend’s boyfriend goes missing, Dice has no choice but to become very much involved. She knows that his disappearance was no accident, and it somehow has everything to do with Sin. Because Dice can feel it: Sin is back. And the promises and deceptions he left in his wake have returned to haunt him.
What do you do when an oath of devotion threatens to destroy the one you love?
What I love so much about Swear is that unlike most sequels, the story is so different from the first book that it feels like an original novel that just so happens to feature some familiar characters. Swoon ended things pretty neatly — and rather than try to undo the events of that first book, Malkin wisely plows forward with her characters into the realm of “what happens next.” It just so happens that “what happens next” is supernatural forces intervene and wreak a bit of havoc on the lives of Dice and her friends. But it’s a fresh plot, and not a rehash of the previous book.
Once again, Malkin masterfully weaves together elements of different cultures to create a magic that is all her own. I love the way her writing brings the story to life — with the supernatural simply accepted as a part of life in the town of Swoon. It just works here, and since the characters don’t need to spend long passages coming to grips with the paranormal, they can move on with tackling the challenges presented to them. At times, the pacing seems to lag a bit and the resolution felt a bit rushed, but overall, I loved this just as much as the first book — if not a little bit more.
And while some readers may be turned off by the book’s more mature content, I found the edgy material so refreshing. So much YA is watered down to cater to younger teen readers, and the really sexy scenes sort of “fade to black” — but not so much in Swear. Malkin perfectly weaves in some really hot, steamy romance that will leave you tingling with each passage. Yet none of it is gratuitous; it’s all part of the fabric of the text and the plot. Each steamy encounter adds to the story.
Sexy and deeply seductive, Swear is even more addictive than Malkin’s first foray into the world of Swoon, Sin and Dice. Prepare to be seduced.
Swear is in stores October 18th.