Book Review | Dance of Shadows


Title: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Pages: 369

Genres: YA, Fantasy/Paranormal, Mystery, Romance

Published by: Bloomsbury Children’s USA


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 …


What I Thought

Being a dancer myself, I was instantly intrigued by Dance of Shadows.  Plus, that gorgeous cover helped draw me in even more.  That being said, this book is not exactly what I expected.  Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. Just so you’re aware, this book is a paranormal mystery.  I wasn’t aware of that right away. I thought it was just a mystery novel, and so I was a little startled at a certain event that happened in the beginning of the book!

Okay, so to start things off, I loved the plot.  The intrigue and mystery of what happened to Vanessa’s sister, is always there.  You never stop wondering what happened to Margaret, and as the story continues more mystery ensues.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the dancing!  I loved reading about Vanessa and her friends going to classes, watching performances, breaking in their pointe shoes, etc.  I love ballet, and so I just loved reading about the dancing.

There were also some great descriptions.  There was one section in particular that was describing the girls getting ready for class, that was so descriptive and vivid, that I could smell their hair spray and hear them tying their shoes, and feel the dance floor on my feet.  I love books that really make me feel like I’m in the story, and Yelena Black is excellent at conveying that, especially during and right before the dance classes.

There were some great characters as well.  Everyone had a unique personality, and I thought it was cool that even though they were all so different, they all had that one shared interest: ballet.

Now, let me say what I didn’t like:

Vanessa’s relationship with a certain guy.  Oh Vanessa… I felt like singing I Knew You Were Trouble every time he came around.

There were also times when I felt like certain events should have been more spread out.  The beginning of the book was great, the middle of the book was pretty good, and the ending was great.  There were just some moments towards the middle, where I felt like nothing was really progressing with mystery.  The ending was very exciting though, and that made up for it, for me at least.

You can definitely tell there’s going to be a sequel for this book.  Which I will be buying! 😉


Review originally written August 2013.

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