Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows, #1)
by Yelena Black
Publishing date: February 14th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
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 . . .
My Review:I must admit that I was drawn to this book because of the amazing cover and an interesting premise. I love books that feature dancing and in this case it was ballet. Add to it a mystery and you have me sold. But what I didn't know is that this book is not what it seems like when you read the blurb. This book isn't just a dance book with a mystery twist, but there's a whole paranormal twist too, and I feel obligated to say this in my review.
When I started reading Dance of Shadows, it immediately reminded me of the movie Black Swan. I did not really like that movie, it was confusing and I spent half of the movie trying to figure out what is real and what is just happening in dancer's head. But, I still decided to give a chance to Dance of Shadows. While I'm happy I gave if a chance because it turned out different than the movie and I liked the plot, but I'm also not happy because it had major flaws in some other areas.
Vanessa's sister Margaret disappeared while she was in New York Ballet Academy, and Vanessa decided to go to the same school as Margaret to figure out what really happened to her. She was an outstanding dancer, and soon, she is offered the lead role in Firebird by her teacher Josef. While she is working really hard to do a good job in practice and please her teacher, weird things beggin to happen and she doesn't know who to trust anymore. Her 'boyfriend' Zep is acting weird and Justin seems to follow her around.
Vanessa is one of those characters who always seem to trust wrong people and do wrong things when everything is obvious. While Justin was trying to make her see things she kept accusing him that he's just jealous of Zep and her. She was so full of herself and thought that everything is about her.
The other characters are just there for the plot. They're shallow and we don't know a thing about them. No character development. I got a feeling they just pop in the story when some facts neded to be brought up.
While I enjoyed the storyline and the world Yelena created and you can see she did her research on ballet and she knew her terms, I was really dissapointed by the lack of mystery in this book and the stupid and plain characters. 80% of the book I was rolling my eyes on Vanessa because of her stubbornness and her unability to look past her nose when she had clues practically screaming at her.
Yes, this book has an amazing cover, probably one of my favorite covers ever, and yes it has an interesting story, but the characters are keeping me from giving Dance of Shadows more than 2 stars.
I don't know if I should recommend you to read this book. If you can look past the characters and ignore them, you'll probably like this book. I'm still debating whether or not to read the seaquel. I'd like to know what happens next, but I don't know if I can read the sequel if the characters don't improve.