Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
"Vanessa Adler isn't so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It's been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family's gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister's destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn't just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school's dancers-prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline-become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons."- summary from Amazon

I was a bit excited to read this book because I mean, seriously, look at that description. Mystery, demons, ballet- what more could you want? However, I was a bit let down. A lot of the secondary characters seemed to blend together so even though there were different names, I never felt a real connection. I did enjoy Blaine though- the gay friend (of course lol). The dialogue and prose felt a bit stilted at times, and just didn't seem realistic to me. I also felt like the book was overly long, and everyone was SO VAGUE ALL THE TIME. I wanted to slap people (mainly the two love interests) for being all "I want to tell you something, but I can't because I need to protect you." Even though you know that then the main character is going to be all "I'm gonna find out what it is anyway" and get in trouble and needs saving. The best way of protection is to let them know what's going on. There's suspense and then there's this, where vagueness is just repeated over and over for the sake of suspense. No, just ... no. This book could've been cut in half and probably should have been.

OK, I got a bit riled up there. There are some good things to this book. I did like the mystery of it all, which is the main reason I kept reading. I wanted to find out what had happened to Vanessa's sister and oooh, it's a doozy! Black did a good job working on the mythology of sorts for that aspect of the book- it was very interesting. I liked some characters- Vanessa was cool as a main character and I liked her voice. Blaine was fun whenever he was in a scene. Not really sure what else to say.

Overall, an average debut. I might read the sequels if I have time because it's an interesting premise and this book was left off in an intriguing place, but it's not something I'd need to have.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. This book makes it sound like SAB is like the Bolshoi--unrealistic much? Still, love ballet intrigue. Just got an arc of DANCER DAUGHTER SOLDIER SPY which sounds really cool. Plan to read it soon. Happy to have hopped onto your blog today (via your tweet)!

  2. I have this book in my to be read pile. Its got one of the nicest covers I have ever seen and I really hope I enjoy it, I have seen some really bad reviews of it, at least yours is pretty kind. I might read it next, I am intrigued to see what I think of it, the whole premise sounds great.