Katie Johnson's Reviews > Dance of Shadows

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
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's review
Sep 07, 13

really liked it
Read from August 29 to September 04, 2013

'Steffie gasped, then covered her mouth. They were standing in a puddle of something thick and red. A long, terrible drip seemed to echo through the room. Vanessa felt the color drain from her face as she turned to Steffie. Slowly, they looked up to see two pairs of ballet shoes dangling from the light, dripping blood.'

I have had my eye on this book for a while waiting for it's release. You might think it was because of its very appealing and enchanting cover but no the blurb intrigued me straight away. Every month I would be checking if the release date had been moved forward (or even back, that I wasn't hoping). It even came to a point where I began pestering my friends about it's release. I was just so determined to get my hands on what seemed to be a very exciting and haunting mystery.

After several email notifications on new book releases. Dance Of Shadows finally came through. I made my way into town one afternoon, just after finishing my day at university and popped into Waterstones. I wanted to ask if they would be stocking the book when it was officially released, that being the following week. A shop assistant attended to my question by checking the database. It came to us both by surprise that they already had one out on the shelf.

As the shop assistant walked over to the YA Book area she scanned the shelves. When she returned with a smile of satisfaction on her face, a book in hand, she questioned if I wanted to buy it there and then. Oh only if she had known how long I had waited for this book.

Ok so on with the review...

NYBA is a school for enthusiastic and talented ballerinas. When Margaret a freshman, is claimed to have run away because she couldn't handle the pressure and reach the high expectations for students at the academy. Vanessa her younger sister isn't so convinced that this was the truth. After receiving all of what was left of Margaret's belongings, Vanessa and her parents had to come to terms with the possibility she was never coming home or worse dead. Vanessa knew her sister, she was a strong and devoted dancer, so surely she couldn't have ran away just because she cracked under the pressure, that wasn't her. Besides the police still hadn't found any evidence or trace of her wanting to leave. It's like she just vanished off the face of the earth, entirely.

When 15 year old Vanessa decides to follow in her sisters footsteps, as a ballerina and attending to the same academy, she goes searching for answers. Strange and mysterious things begin to happen, things that shouldn't be happening in any ordinary ballet academy let alone a school.

I found Dance of Shadows an easy read, though I think that's mainly down to it's gripping story line. With every turn of a page the suspense and mystery follows you, leaving you wanting more. Some nights I would be up late trying to find a place to stop. But every chapter had it's own little cliffhanger.

The characters are well developed, each having their own spark of life with colourful personality's. Vanessa is not so much my favourite character especially towards the end of the book. Though she was a good and loyal friend, she wasn't very good at listening to other people. Apart from the ones she loved. But loving them doesn't give you the means or even reason to why you should trust them or what they say. Vanessa really needed to grow some sense, she was shrouded in the dark behind what was and wasn't possible. With every step she was clearly headed in the wrong direction, though it just proves how naive girls of 15 can be.

Blaine however was the most comical and trustworthy character in my opinion. He related to Vanessa very well, practically the whole way through I felt he was left out or the last one to know, he wasn't the one she confided in but he could have been. (view spoiler)

Overall this book is a very pleasant read. It was nice to be whisked away in a world of mystery and magic followed by sinister and strange occurrences. Just like any good book it had a romance intermixed with the deliciousness of the plot. There were times when the story line heated up and the sparks flew high, but it felt as though I was never truly satisfied, I wanted more.

Regardless of all the negative reviews I would give this book a try! Why not find that little 15 year old girl you once were and soak up this mysterious yet plagued story line to find out what really goes on at your average ballet academy.

I am intrigued for what is to come in the follow-up Dark and Dangerous! :D
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08/29/2013 marked as: currently-reading
09/04/2013 marked as: read
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