Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: Dance of the Shadows by Yelena Black

By: Yelena Black
Published by: Bloomsbury Teens
To Be Released on: February 12th, 2013
Source: arc from publisher to review
Series: Dance of Shadows #1
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed It
Pre-Order from:Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 Josh, 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 - quoted from Goodreads

Dark and intriguing, Dance of Shadows weaves together mystery and suspense with the beauty and danger of this story's elegant ballet. Graced with an appealing storyline, and the mystery behind this story's main character Vanessa, sister's disappearance, this was a book I was hooked with from the moment I started reading it. Yelena Black's third person writing was well crafted, and flowed well never once making it confusing on who was talking and what was going on. I enjoyed being completely wrapped up with all that was going on. I loved the setting and the cast of characters I met.

Vanessa herself is a character I enjoyed getting to know. She's a character who grew and changed through out the story, and surprised me in some ways with how she went from being naive about some of the things going on at the dance's boarding school to being a strong character who wants to get to the bottom of all that's happening. The two guys who have her torn were both well written, and I'll admit I was just as torn as she was, and went from wanting her to pick the one to strongly disliking him at the same time the mystery surrounding him was revealed. I loved who she ended up choosing and I'm dying to know what will transpire between them next.

Not being one who knows a lot about ballet, I felt Yelena did a wonderful job at making me feel like I was able to comprehend what she was talking about, and all that was going on in regards to the ballet. I loved how the mystery and the suspense was woven into the ballet. It was detailed, and richly written, so much so that I had no problems picturing the dances, and moves that were being performed and practiced. I enjoyed the cast of characters I met. They were lively, mysterious and so easy to like. 

I loved the twists and secrets some of them harbored, and I loved the well written love triangle that this story had. It went against the norm and I felt like Vanessa's feeling between the two guys were justified and relatable, given all that is going on with both of them. I can't wait to read more about the romance that I'm hoping develops between Vanessa and the one she choose (I'm leaving out their names so that I don't spoil anything) in the sequel. This is a deliciously dark, wonderful read and one I'd recommend picking up when it's out in February. 


  1. I've been intrigued by the cover and the synopsis for quit a while and your review pretty much summed up the reasons I want to read this book so bad. I don't know anything about ballet either, so it'd be great if I could understand the story's nuances without a ballet' dictionary. And I didn't realize it'd be a series, so thanks for pointing that out. Paint me intrigued to find out what exactly lies behind this beautiful cover.

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

    1. Aw, thank you for that huge compliment! I hope you enjoy it. The cover is so fitting for this book. I can't wait to read the sequel.

  2. The cover is beautiful and the synopsis is very interesting!

    Your review is great! I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

    1. Thank you Lisa!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  3. Strong setting and good characters? Why yes, I totally will have to read this book eventually.


    1. Yes you do! I hope it's one you enjoy. I loved the direction this story took. The cover is BEAUTIFUL!


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