Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: "Dance of Shadows" by Yelena Black

Title: Dance of Shadows
Series: Dance of Shadows #1
Author: Yelena Black
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2013

"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 ."

I read this book a little while ago but Dance of Shadows was an impulse buy that happened largely due to having the most gorgeous cover. I mean look at it, pale and red and perfect. Plus the idea of it seemed very interesting and original. It did not disappoint, I loved it!

Black's writing style was very fluid (which seems to be my favorite word to describe a writing style that I like) and even though the plot had a lot of mysterious and on-purpose unclear parts, then it was still quite easy to follow.

The characters in this book were really not what I expected them to be. Vanessa could be a little at odds with herself but not to the point of being obnoxious. Unlike what the blurb suggests she is also not overflowing with male-interests. The relationships to these men are all different, ranging from love to dislike to professional. What I most liked about Vanessa was her motivation. The depths of her almost self-deceiving conviction with what she believed that her sister Margaret is alive just to deal with her grief was amazing. I will leave the rest of the characters up to you to find out about because I do not want to give too much away.

I left the story for last this time because it was phenomenal. I have great respect for ballerinas. What they do is incredibly difficult, beautiful and often short-lived. And the way Vanessas feelings were described when she danced... (insert a content sigh). For someone who can barely dance while she is counting the beats out loud, even I was drawn in. 
Also, for so long I had no idea if this was supposed to be fantasy or an all-human mystery or something else entirely. I will tell you this much, it will get a supernatural element. And the build-up to the revelation of the supernatural is great. 
The ground work for the next novel was laid at the end of the book and I think this can go on to be a great series. I really hope that the author will not sever the connection with the first book by leaving out the importance of the dance in next book. Which I am impatiently waiting for.

This said, I was thinking that this book is between 4.5 and 5 stars but at the end decided on 5. 

 This review has been brought to you by your Book Mistress for the day.


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