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Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows

by Yelena Black

Other authors: Regina Roff (Designer)

Series: Dance of Shadows Trilogy (1)

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16122110,492 (3.16)4



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English (21)  German (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This book was different from a lot of books I've read. The plot about a dancer who goes to a famous ballet school and then discovers girls have been disappearing wasn't something I've really seen before. I liked the mystery and intrigue of the story although I was frustrated that no one would tell Vanessa what was actually going on. Everyone was so sketchy and I just wanted to Vanessa to demand answers! The beginning was a little boring but I did pick up and the ending was cool. Overall not a bad read. ( )
  AlyP59 | Apr 25, 2019 |
3.5 stars
The front cover initially drew me to this book and for the most part I was thoroughly engaged. I liked the ballet sequences that were described and how the novel highlighted the dark side of a dance academy. I was also intrigued by the mystery that surrounded the school, but about three quarters of the way in, a paranormal element was introduced which spoilt it for me so I won't be chasing the sequel. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
I have to warn you straight away that the one thing that drew me to this book was the main thing that made my judgement of Dance of Shadows extremely prejudiced.

I am an ex-dancer myself and although I've never danced en pointe, as my primary was folk dance I still had a full classic ballet education (as you do in Russian choreographic schools), went through few major ballets and was pretty damn good at what I was doing. I still love dance to bits, and that book was an affront to my passion of all things dance.

Vanessa Adler, the main character, is a very talented ballerina but she dances because her mother and her sister did it and she feels obligated to go the same route. When her older sister Margaret disappears after going to study ballet to a prestigious Julliard school in New York, Vanessa decides to go and do the same thing. Yup, she just forever follows people and doesn't want to make something of herself on her own.

Dance of Shadows is very poorly executed, it's awkward, full of wooden token characters and it doesn't make much sense, but above all it doesn't understand dancing, and my major pet peeve of this book is that Vanessa despite her brilliance is indifferent to dancing. Let's not even go into faux pas with ballet terms sequences that did not make any sense, empty theatre when it should be teeming with people after the performance and no emotional nuances of getting into a role for the two main dancers of Firebird...

What?!! She could not possible be brilliant and not love dance. Ballet is a hard graft, it's a huge huge sacrifice, people. You basically can not have ordinary life if you are a ballerina. You can't go home and forget about ballet like you would do with a normal job. You live and breathe by it and you very often marry in the same circle because you literally have no time to meet any outsiders, and if you do - what life can you make with them if you are always on the road and they are not?

Saying that she does not care about ballet is unbelievable. You don't work that hard and get that far if you are indifferent to dance, you have to be truly passionate about it.

So this was my first and worst problem with this book.

Secondly, the effing plot didn't make any sense and was very sketchy. What is wrong with Stravinsky and Firebird? I happen to love this composer and this ballet and I do not find anything demonic and strange in his music.

Also all this people were disappearing from Julliard and nobody was making a fuss?!! Right. Like that is going to happen.

Thirdly, Josef was a piss poor choreographer, and I would not for one moment believe that he could work in one of the best ballet schools in the world. Screaming and insulting someone? Yeah, sure, some of them do that. But absurdly accusing someone of ineptitude when they don't know the dance steps and never seen it in their life? That's just plain crazy.

Forth, where is the rest of the school? The rest of the studies? Teachers? Living in general? Are we supposed to believe that apart from Josef and his flankie ballet teacher everyone else blends into shadows? That nothing else happens?

Basically, I have to stop my rant now because the deeper you dig into this book, the worse it gets. I'm sure lots of people will find it entertaining, but from my perspective I do not recommend it to anyone.

( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
So, I started to read this last night, then stopped because I forgot what it was about. I wanted to read a book knowing what to expect.
And now, I just glanced at some of the reviews and it all had 1 or 2 stars. I know other reviews should not sway me because we all have different tastes, but I'm kinda skeptical now.
  englisherna | Apr 8, 2015 |
Well this turned out to be nothing like I thought. I was sort of expecting a YA version of 'Black Swan' with this one, but it was nothing at all like Black Swan.

I liked it a lot, all the same. Started off interestingly enough, though was a little on the slow side, but I liked reading about Vanessa adjusting to life at NYBA, getting to know her friends, and the real reason she was there - the search for her missing older sister who had disappeared at the school shortly before.

Wasn't too impressed with the insta-love with the male dancer Zep. He was more annoying than mysterious. I found Justin to be the more interesting male character as there was a lot more to him that some hot guy. Sort of a little predictable at first with the plot, but as the story goes on and more missing girls pop up the mystery increases. And the last bits of the book threw the plot in a completely different direction.

Something I would never have guessed in a YA ballet novel which made it more compelling and surprising to see how it turned out. So definitely looking forward to the next one. ( )
  sunset_x_cocktail | Aug 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yelena Blackprimary authorall editionscalculated
Roff, ReginaDesignersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dance of Shadows was originally titled Diabolical or The Diabolical Dance
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Fifteen-year-old Vanessa follows her sister Margaret to an elite Manhattan ballet school, not only gaining admission but also earning the lead in a production of the Firebird, while trying to uncover why and how Margaret and other lead dancers have disappeared.… (more)

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