Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (Book Review/Blog Tour)

February 7, 2013 Blog Tour, Book Review, Young Adult 7 ★★★½

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (Book Review/Blog Tour)Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Series: Dance of Shadows #1
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on February 12, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 469
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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3.5 Stars
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 . . .

Welcome to my stop along the official Bloomsbury Triple Threat Blog Tour for Dance of Shadows! I’m so excited to be participating in such a fun tour! Expect reviews from me for the other two books in this tour over the next few weeks.

Wow. This story had so many twists and turns and unexpected elements. I was initially attracted to this book by the cover, shortly followed by the mysterious storyline… and the ballet. While I wasn’t expecting what I got from this story, I certainly enjoyed what I did. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The dance descriptions are my absolute favorite part of this book. I love ballet, and I was a clumsy little ballerina as a child. I remember and exercise my ballet teacher used to have us do in class. We would grab a flowy scarf, run as fast as we could, and then jump gracefully over her gym bag. I tripped over said gym bag. Needless to say, my career path did not include ballet. But Yelena wrote in a way that brought dance alive in my mind, and let me picture myself as graceful and swan-like as Vanessa.

2. The mystery was intriguing, and kept me guessing. Sometimes I enjoy dark, mysterious, sinister happenings, and this book really delivered that. I’m a total chicken, and this book creeped me out in a good way.

3. I was not a huge fan of Vanessa. She was a bit immature and narrow-minded to me. And Zep was just too mysterious, that he became unrealistic. The other characters… well… I don’t remember them. I really liked the guy I was supposed to not like: Justin. Haha. He was the sense of reason in this book, and he seemed to be the most developed and interesting. I really enjoyed the part he played, and hope he gets a more dynamic role in the next book.

4. Paranormal, huh? Haha. I totally was not expecting the paranormal twists that tied into the mystery. There were demons, for goodness sake! I had no idea! I liked it, though, and I’m not really a lover of paranormal stories.

5. I liked the ballet school element. It reminded me of the dynamic of Step Up. (The first movie. The others are not to be spoken of…) I liked reading about the practices, recitals, and performances. And I feel like a got a great picture into the life of a dance student.

6. I appreciated the minimal romance. If you blink, you pretty much miss the romance and I really liked that. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it and see an author build a story around something else. Although… there was a bit of insta-infatuation. I won’t call it love because it never really developed into that. But a minor obsession does keep you on your toes.

All in all, I enjoyed reading about the world I almost ended up in, had I actually been born with the ability to gracefully leap over a duffel bag. The dance descriptions were lovely, and the story was very intriguing. I liked the mystery, and the paranormal twist made it more exciting and creepy. I’m definitely curious to see what’s in store for us in book #2.

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7 Responses to “Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (Book Review/Blog Tour)”

  1. Brittany Scramuzzo

    I LOVED the dance and the mystery! But I was actually disappointed by the paranormal twist. I didn’t see it coming in a bad way :(
    Yeah, I wasn’t a huge fan of Vanessa either, but I started to get along with her in the middle there.
    Great review! I love your reviews. They’re so easy to read :)

  2. Aneeqah

    Even though the characters fell a little flat for you, especially Vanessa, I think I’d really enjoy this one! The dance aspect sounds seriously fantastic and this minimal romance thing is exciting! I think it’ll be so great to get away from romance for a bit, and just actually enjoy the story.

    Fabulous review, Jana! =)

  3. Alexa Y.

    It was a pretty intriguing book though, wouldn’t you agree? While it was not necessarily the strongest debut, I do think that there’s potential there for a good series.

  4. Selim Njeim

    Thanks for the review, Jana! As an ex-ballet dancer, I also liked the dance-related descriptions (although I didn’t quite like the book as a whole)

  5. Cali W.

    Great review. I am drawn to the book because I love ballet and the paranormal aspect sounds interesting. :)

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