{Review} Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows
by Yelena Black
Series: Dance of Shadows #1
Pages: 447
Release Date: February 12, 2013
by Bloomsbury

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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…

*A copy was provided by Bloomsbury for review purposes*

Coming into this book I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I’m glad that I didn’t have very high expectations because I would have been even more disappointed than I am now.  What this book had was a bad case of bad-execution-ites.  The idea for this book was awesome, but the execution was not.  The writing was definitely not amazing, but the thing that really got me was the bad staging, and the lack of finesse when introducing new characters or situations.  The staging was way too obvious and easy, and the events were choppy and disconnected.  Vanessa had 4 best friends within 10 pages, and they were tight, tight, tight.  And the way they were introduced wasn’t very well done.  Also, this book had insta-love at it’s finest.  Not to mention, the guy dumped his then girlfriend to go with Vanessa.  Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like when that happens – in real life or in books.  The ending was pretty decent, but I think it was way to easy to overcome the evil and come up with a solution.  It wasn’t thrilling, it wasn’t very well done, and pretty much summed up the whole book: too sudden and lacking finesse.

I had a huge problem with this cast.  First off, Vanessa.  Who, as I mentioned earlier, stole another girl’s boyfriend.  Enough said.  She was annoying, weak, and clueless.  And boyfriend himself, Zep.  Ditto what I said about Vanessa.  He was annoying, controlling, mean, and a jerk.  There were so many things wrong with these two characters that they really shouldn’t have been written like this.

The only reason I’m not giving this book a big fat 1 star is the idea and the few bright moments in the book where things moved smoothly and the staging was good, and also because of the fact that the book was pretty well written, in the middle at least.

2 pink flowers


  1. Thanks for an honest review, I have this one checked out from the library but have not read it yet. But not like the main characters really makes the book hard to get through. I do love the cover though.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  2. That's disappointing. I really hate when things happen too easily too! It kind of makes me want to give the book one star, LOL. I'm glad that you found a few redeeming things, though. Fabulous review, Emily!

    Megan@The Book Babe

  3. It does sound like a good idea, but after reading your review I'm not going to try it. Insta-love is the worst...it's sickeningly horrible and fake :( Thanks for the review!

  4. I wanted to love this one, it had so much potential to be awesome and I am in love with anything related to ballet. I was disappointed in this one too.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven


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