Faith (Geeky Zoo Girl)'s Reviews > Dance of Shadows

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
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Feb 03, 13

bookshelves: nbrc-2013
Read from January 27 to 28, 2013

Review also published on my blog StudentSpyglass

Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★
Readability: ★★★
Overall: Borderline ★★

Reading around other people’s opinions of this, it seems like Dance of Shadows is sort of like Marmite – some people raved about it, but I’ve also seen a lot of really negative reviews from people who hated it. That made me pretty nervous, but I couldn’t resist looking at it on NetGalley after I saw that cover! The plot sounded interesting enough, so I thought I might as well give it a go.

Interestingly, I wouldn’t say I loved or hated it – it was okay. Vanessa wasn’t a character I loved, but she also wasn’t Bella Swann (I’m sorry, she does my head in). Her continuous lack of confidence in her dancing abilities was irritating, and it would have been understandable (younger sibling etc.) if she didn’t feel perfectly confident taking on the mystery that was her sister’s disappearance. She just felt a bit contradictory at times. A lot of the side characters also felt really undeveloped and flat, though I’d love to know more about Justin, who felt like he could have been a really interesting character.

The romance in this was possibly the biggest let down – the blurb to me suggested that there would be a substantial romance, boys vying for her attention etc. In my opinion it was more like boy looks at Vanessa, Vanessa falls in love with him and sees the other guy in question as creepy and stalker-ish. This meant it managed to still feel like a love-triangle without being in any way satisfying! As this is the first book in a series, I can only assume that it’ll be developed further later on.

I liked the supernatural elements to this – and the fact that for a lot of the book Vanessa wasn’t sure if things were real or if she was crazy. The psychological elements did make it feel a bit like Black Swan (obviously compounded by the ballet association) but the fact that there was supernatural involvement made it much more interesting in my opinion. I’m definitely curious to know what happens next, but I’ll probably wait until book 2 is available at the library rather than buying it.
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