Author: Yelena Black
Date Published: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Young-Adult, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror
Barnes & Noble
About the Novel:
Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts...
Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames...
Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed...
After the many contemporary romances that I've read, I was hungry for a bit of mystery-thriller combo, so I leafed through my TBR pile and found Dance of Shadows.
I'm more of a singer than a dancer, but I have to admit that I like watching ballet. There's just something mesmerizing about watching the fluid and graceful movements of a ballerina that makes it hard for me to tear my eyes off. Plus, from what I know of ballet, it's a kind of craft that masks the pain to show only what's beautiful and ethereal through movements, so I was curious to read about the hardships of ballet students in Yelena Black's Dance of Shadows. It also doesn't hurt that it has a mystery vibe going on for it.
First things first! Let us take a second to admire the beautiful poster! LOL.
Now, we go to the review proper. Heh.
Story-wise, I'd have to say that incorporating a ritual dance in ballet is something unexpected. Nonetheless, it was a great plot-device. Everything started out great, but half-way through the story, I don't know what happened. And I really think that this story had something going on for it, I just don't know why there was a downhill.
As for the characters, well, let's just say they became a little too stereotypical. Vanessa, the wide-eyed freshman to an elite ballet school. Zep, the mysterious and gorgeous upperclassman, and Justin, the guy who seemed to have an agenda of his own but stalks Vanessa for some unknown reason.
Oh, and I'll just have to say that the love line in this story is absolutely incorrigible. It's one thing to have a crush and be infatuated, and it's another to be in love. I really cringed at the part where Vanessa's whole world just seemed to revolve around Zep aside from ballet, even though he's always missing in action. And how can she be in love with someone she barely even knows?
All in all, this one is a lengthy story which started out great but slowly fizzled out.