Review: Dance of Shadows

March 10, 2013 Review 20 ★★★★

Review: Dance of Shadows
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 447
Release Date: February 12th 2013
Series: Dance of Shadows #1
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 . . .
“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.That. Tagline. Love it!

I went through a few different stages when I decided to read it. I had originally thought it was a paranormal novel, then when I read the summary again and there wasn’t any hint of that, I thought it was just a novel about dancing. I went into DANCE OF SHADOWS not expecting any sort of supernatural twist, so when things started to happen that didn’t make sense I actually wrote it off as a coincidence and thought there was a murderer involved.

Needless to say, this book and I had a very interesting relationship. I think that is why I enjoyed it so much-I had no idea what to expect, so I wasn’t able to predict anything. I hope everyone can go into this with that same level of unknowing, so I’m not going to give anything away.

Vanessa gets into New York’s most prestigious ballet school for one reason-her sister, Margaret. Margaret disappeared while attending the same school, and Vanessa’s goal is to find out what really happened to her. Soon after Vanessa settles in, she finds out Margaret is only one of many girls who disappeared without a trace from the school. This is where the mystery kicks in. And a fantastic one at that.

My main problem was with the romance. There is insta-love, in this case, lust. There is a love triangle. One with equally bad love interests. They were both stereotypical hot jerks, both with ulterior motives. Other than the romance, I really didn’t find fault in much else. The story was engrossing and magical, and the inclusion of dance was icing on the cake.

I absolutely loved this because of its originality and darkness. I will be reading the sequel.

20 Responses to “Review: Dance of Shadows”

  1. Megan TheBookBabe

    That cover is absolutely fantastic! The mystery in this one sounds really engrossing, but I’m not so sure about the insta-lust. (I’m really glad that someone else recognizes the difference! <3) And with equally bad love interests on each corner, I'm not so sure that I wouldn't have a heart-attack and die. All the same, though, I trust your opinion. Fab review, Alise! (:

    Megan@The Book Babe

  2. rivie bleu

    That sounds interesting. I like when I start reading a book and I have no idea what will happen or what the book is about. Well, only when I’m hooked from the first chapter, because if I’m confused and not interested from the beginning I want to know where it will take me before I get there lol


    A book that keeps you on your toes! That’s always a good one. I’m starting to think there should be an “Insta-” dictionary….. it could contain all the marvelous ways of using the word “insta-” in a book review!

  4. Gellie

    Hi Alise! It’s been too long! It’s like I’m seeing light for the first time #moredramahere

    What drew me to this book would have to be the cover. It’s so pretty. Then the title with its mystery. I’ve always dreamt of being a ballerina. Of course, it didn’t help that my dad said I’d cause an earthquake if I fell. In my defense, I was not that heavy. I was cutely chubby =))

    From the sypnosis, it’s easy to pinpoint the romance. And for books like that, it’s usually bad. I actually thought this was going to be a love square! Too many hormones. Ugh. But I’ll definitely check this out for the mystery and magic. One of my favorite combinations <3

    Great review, Alise :D

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      I’m sorry, who are you? Just kidding :) I think every girl wants to dance at some point. LOL sounds like my dad, full of jokes.

      Actually now that you mention it, it is kind of a love square! I tried to ignore the romance and focus on the rest so that’s why I enjoyed this so much.


  5. Jim Dean

    I really enjoyed this one – mainly because it’s crazy as heck! As you said, it’s massively original, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

  6. Kaina

    YAY!! So glad you enjoyed it, ever since I saw the cover I’ve been itching to get my hands on it. Can you believe I’ve never read the summary though? Now that I have I WANT IT EVEN MORE!! I’m kind of excited to hear it has a supernatural twist, however I’ve never really read any books about dancing so this would be a first for me. As for the love triangle with insta love and bad love interest o_O My enthusiasm has just decreased a bit lol. Great review!! :D

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      Ha, I’m like that too! This was my first with dancing too, but I thought it was really realistic and imaginative :) Lol, the bad love interests kind of make the book more entertaining, actually. Thanks!

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