“Lusty…The drama is high in this sequel, which will appeal to readers who enjoyed the passion and romance of the first book.” Booklist
"The plot runs along at a good pace.... This story will appeal to readers who enjoyed Swoon, as well as those who can’t get enough paranormal romance." SLJ
Author Nina Malkin picks up young Dice's story six months after her love, Sinclair Youngblood Powers, A.K.A. Sin, disappears back into the afterlife. In the previous book, Swoon (Simon Pulse, 2009/VOYA April 2009), Dice and her cousin, Pen, accidentally tap into their clairvoyant powers and bring Sin, a licentious troublemaker from the 18th century, from the afterlife into the party scene of a rich New England town. After Sin declares his undying love for Dice, he disappears back into the metaphysical realm, leaving Dice feeling bruised and yearning for their connection. Dice attempts to move on with her life and with a new beau, but is interrupted by strange occurrences that can only be linked to Sin. Soon enough, Sin returns to the scene, only to be followed out of the spiritual realm by Antonia, an obsessed girl from Sin's previous life. Amidst all of the tension between lovers, Dice forms a blues band that pulls in all characters, from the 21st and 18th centuries. Fans of supernatural romance will find Swear to be a disappointment. The main love interest, Sin, is almost unlikeable and, while described as a mischievous, carefree troublemaker, his actions are often contradictory to his nature. The plot is unfocused and a poor continuation of the storyline from the previous book. Nonetheless, high school readers who grew attached to the characters and love story in Swoon will wish to read what happens next. Reviewer: Heidi Uphoff
Gr 10 Up—It's been six months since Dice's bad-boy paranormal boyfriend, Sin, disappeared, and the 17-year-old is determined to quash her supernatural side: no more reading tarot cards or communing with spirits. However, when her friend Crane is kidnapped by a vengeful ghost, Dice finds herself using her powers. As she pursues a normal relationship with a cute bandmate, Sin, sensing her new love interest, reappears and reestablishes his relationship with her. The two travel through a portal to an alternate reality to face the ghosts in the old house where Crane is held captive. They don't bring him back, but rather they return with Antonia Forsythe, a ghost who claims to have a prior connection to Sin. Dice must fight for the man—well, golem—she loves, without angering Antonia and risking harm to Crane, who is still hidden somewhere in the alternative world. Despite occasionally stilted dialogue, the plot runs along at a good pace, albeit to ever more and more unlikely situations. A bacchanal with gods from every imaginable pantheon results in Dice gaining, among other things, the ability to communicate with animals. This talent allows for an ending straight out of "Cinderella," with Dice's animal friends finding letters that prove that Sin never had any intentions toward Antonia, either in the past or in the present. This story will appeal to readers who enjoyed Swoon (S & S, 2009), as well as those who can't get enough paranormal romance.—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH
Not every teen paranormal romance requires a sequel—and this demonstrates why.
In Swoon (2009), readers were mesmerized by the sensually seductive Sinclair Powers, a ghost-turned-golem whose many charms left teenager Dice sighing under his spell. Nowadays, Dice has been living Sin-less, but when her best friend's boyfriend disappears, she surmises that supernatural forces are again at work. A deranged dead debutante has declared her undying love (literally) for Sin, has taken said boyfriend captive and will not free him until she and Sin are wed. Dice, with her psychic abilities, acts as an intermediary between the two ghosts, trying to figure out how to both get her friend's boyfriend back safely and how to once again make Sin hers. Readers looking for the same erotic tones found in Swoon will be disappointed; Sin is a stark 180-degree departure from his previous womanizing self, a watered-down shell of his earlier characterization. This plodding affair moves along discontinuously, from a battle of the bands to haunted houses to a sylvan party with the gods. While Swoon was neatly resolved at the end, this sequel feels like an unnecessary offering, more rambling and with a decidedly different tone.
With romances between supernatural creatures and humans dominating the market, this seems like a shameful ploy to draw out something that should have been left where it was—kind of like resurrecting the dead to find a potential boyfriend. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)