Book Review: Dance Of Shadows

Dance of ShadowsDance of Shadows by Yelena Black

The blurb: 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 was immediately drawn to this book because of the cover, it’s beautiful and striking, it seems a pretty cover will always be enough to turn my eye!

The premise was an interesting one, Vanessa, our heroine, joins the New York Ballet Academy to find her sister who went missing several years before. She’s an excellent dancer but dance isn’t her only passion in life, so she’s not as dedicated as the other students but has a natural ability. It turns out that many ballerina’s have gone missing over the decades and a mystery unravels for Vanessa and her friends to try and solve.

Dance of Shadows has a unique take on the mysterious, I loved all the dancing references and could picture them preparing for classes and rehearsing, the rigours and strict routines of a dance school are the perfect backdrop to the inordinary. The characters were good, it was nice that Vanessa wasn’t a complete loner which is a route I was expecting the book to take. My main critiscism with it is that it took an awfully long time to get started. Now it states Dance of Shadows #1 on Goodreads so inevitably this is a series/trilogy so I understand that taking a long time to set the scene is sometimes necessary. However the action in this book really only took place in the last couple of chapters. For example there’s  a force for good – the Lyric Elite that are fleetingly mentioned and not really explained. I feel with a supernatural/occult mystery this big that further clues could have been dropped earlier on in the narrative. There were some, but the reader could’ve been rewarded earlier.

I didn’t warm to any of the leading men mentioned in the blurb, Zep (name was frankly a bit ridiculous) Justin or Josef, I think the romantic angles are played up in the blurb more than they are in the book! the frenzy and passion of dancing is conveyed beautifully however!

Saying that, it’s only a minor critiscism and I finished the book (my first of 2013!) having thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll definitely look out for book two!

7 out of 10 stars! *******

BUY ME! Dance of Shadows

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