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Dance of Shadows

(Dance of Shadows #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  3,912 ratings  ·  630 reviews
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 liv
Hardcover, 369 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (first published February 5th 2013)
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Brittney The romance isn't as much of a focus as in a lot of other YA novels but it's definitely there. Creature wise it's more ghosts/demons than vamps. Hope …moreThe romance isn't as much of a focus as in a lot of other YA novels but it's definitely there. Creature wise it's more ghosts/demons than vamps. Hope that helps!(less)
Aria there is not, there is a bit of romance in it
there is not, there is a bit of romance in it

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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Helen 2.0
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Three years ago, Vanessa's sister disappeared without trace from the New York Ballet Academy, where she had won the prestigious lead role in the school's Firebird production. Now Vanessa follows in her sister's footsteps in the hope of finding out what happened to Margaret. Dance of Shadows is a paranormal YA novel all about dancing to save your life.

Fabulous premise, but fell short on execution. There were about 300 pages of buildup and unsolved mysteries, and then when it all finally sets int
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

WARNING: this review contains spoilers as well as the occasional CAPS LOCK OF FURY AND FRUSTRATION. You have been warned!

Here, let me start by spoiling this review for you by cutting to the chase: Dance of Shadows is spectacularly bad.

It does actually have a promising premise that mixes the strenuous world of Ballet and a supernatural mystery involving disappearing prima ballerinas as well as demons. Oh premise, you could have been so much fun had you
Wendy Darling
"...she stumbles upon the fact that he is staging a performance in which "the school's dancers become pawns in a world of demons."

Hah hah, SOLD.
Anatea Oroz
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

I must admit that I was drawn to this book because of the amazing cover and an interesting premise. I love books that feature dancing and in this case, it was ballet. Add to it a mystery and you have me sold. But what I didn't know is that this book is not what it seems like when you read the blurb. This book isn't just a dance book with a mystery twist, but there's a whole paranormal twist too, and I feel obligated to say this in my re
All Things Urban Fantasy
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

There are books that make me rage in a good way (for example, books I love with a cliffhanger on the very. last. page.) and books that make me rage in a bad way (the kind that leaves me wanting the hours I spent reading it back). Unfortunately, after drawing me in with its beautiful cover and mysterious blurb, DANCE OF SHADOWS ended up causing the latter kind of rage. Based on the description of the book, I was hoping for a combination of Black Swan and
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
That cover O__O I simply fell in love with this amazing cover that captured my heart the second I saw it. Not really pleased with what I got in the end as I had high hopes in liking the book despite the low average rating.

A book of a sinister ballet school and mysterious disappearances of dancers, Vanessa is accepted into the school of Ballet, not only for dancing purposes, but also in search for her missing sister, Margaret. Then Vanessa meets Zep, dark and
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
2.5 stars

Started out creepy and awesome, but ended up being one big insta love fest. The actual ending wasn't that bad though. I'm interested in reading the next book.
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
First off, this is a 3.5 rating for me.

This started off really well. The premise is what drew me in and the cover.

You have Vanessa who goes to a ballet school to find out what happened to her missing sister. And from there, it has its up and downs.

The first half was interesting, then in the middle, I got bored. I kept wondering what the other characters, who honestly, I found I wanted to know more about.

But the moments with Vanessa and Zep, I don't know, I just couldn't get invested in. And ti
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
"The right steps with the right dancer can wreck havoc."

Vanessa’s sister disappeared from the New York Dance Academy, but she’s not the first one. 11 girls have gone before her, and all in the same way. They were told to master an odd dance– La Dance du Feu– before they went missing. Something is wrong, terribly wrong within the 4 ashen walls of the dance theatre and Vanessa must find out, or the world will spin away into the hands of a sinister force as she dances. Mark my words, the disappeari
Oct 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: for-slj
Maybe 1.5, at times. Okay, yes, the cover is GORGEOUS, but . . . .

I kept thinking that the inspiration for this novel had to be the movie BLACK SWAN, maybe with a dash of ROSEMARY’S BABY? Just didn’t work. Maybe people mad for ballet PNR will squeal with delight, but that doesn’t seem like a big demographic.

Vanessa is a freshman, but she is going to be on her own at the New York Ballet Academy to study and perform. Luckily, some of her dorm-mates are straight out of GLEE, instant best friends of
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two Stars: The dangerous and dark side of ballet.
Vanessa hugs her parents tight as she bids them goodbye. This is it! She has achieved her dream of being a dancer at the elite New York School of Ballet. Vanessa clings to the hope that somehow she will find her missing sister, Margaret. Margaret was also an aspiring ballerina at the NYSB, who was cast as the lead in the Firebird Ballet as a freshman, only to disappear, a victim of the pressures of ballet. Yet, Vanessa does not believe, even after
2.5 stars

This review will be written mostly in Mean Girls GIFs, so don't be angry about it. Fair warning.

Dance of Shadows has one of the greatest concepts I've ever heard in my years of reading. A demonic ballet school? Sign me up! SO many elements of this book's premise were things I'd been dying to read: a mysterious missing sister, a crush that never goes beyond that (Wow! A first!), and a ballet instructor brimming with mystery and intrigue.

And then I made the foolish mistake of believing th
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
See this review and others like it at!

Dance of Shadows had a fantastic premise and decent writing, but the execution ultimately did not live up to the hype. This book had too many plot holes, an inconsistent pacing, and a cast of one-note characters. Even though I enjoyed the world Yelena Black created within the New York Dance Academy, I cannot give this book a recommendation. I do think that Ms. Black has potential as a writer but I might give her time to get a few more b
Originally posted at: Girls on YA Books

~Review: this book really 447 pages?? Well, I guess that's one way to start off a positive review...This book flew by so fast I had no clue!! I completely submerged in this book not paying attention to the pages (or i this case, percentage finished). I just kept reading until I was done or needed to fangirl or vent on goodreads through status. Second...look at that fantabulous cover!! I don't care what anyone says or thinks...this cover has blown
Sigh, yet another book that fails to live up to it's gorgeous cover.

I was pretty excited for this because the premise sounded pretty promising and like what many have been saying, it could possibly be like the Black Swan of YA novels but unfortunately there were so many problems with this book that I honestly couldn't have liked it as much as I tried.
The largest problem of them all and one can basically kill or make a book for me are the characters. I can ay that there isn't a single character
Interesting ...

That's one word to describe Dance of Shadows. It wasn't what I thought it would be like and in a way, I kind of liked that. In it you will be introduced to the world of ballet. You will also meet Vanessa, who is sort of on the mission to find out what the hell happened to her sister many years ago. What does she do? Well, she plans to go to the same ballet school that she did. While there she meets some friends, dances to her hearts content, sort of finds love, and gets closer and
Read my full review:

I rated this book a 2-star total, and I think that’s being mild. I have no idea why anyone even decided to publish this crap. There are tons and tons of potential manuscripts out there that are ten times as well-written as this book, that have characters with actual depth and a storyline that makes sense. Dance of Shadows has neither of those, and yet it was picked up. The book doesn’t even look edited. It has major flaws screaming fro
Dark Faerie Tales
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Hauntingly beautiful story with a mystery that will keep you guessing through the whole book.

Opening Sentence: In the harsh glare of the lights, Chloe’s shadow stretched across the stage.

The Review:

Vanessa Adler is a freshman starting at the most elite ballet school in the country, The New York Ballet Academy. Her sister Margret attended the same school but she disappeared 3 years ago and was never heard from again. Vanessa enjoys dancing but h
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
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 ba ...more
Ana Garza
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
SUCH a beautiful cover! I wanted to like the story more, but I just felt a disconnect that I can't really explain.
Full review can be found here

Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) for sending me an advance copy of Dance of Shadows through NetGalley. In no way did this affect my opinion of the book.

When I first read the blurb of Dance of Shadows, my first thought was:
Zep. Justin. Josef. WTF. A LOVE SQUARE. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. (Also, what kind of name is Zep?)
Now having read the book, all I can say is 1. Thank God it wasn't a love square (although it was still a love triangle -_-) and

OKAY, THE COVER!!! OMG!! That alone prompted me to buy the book.


And as for the synopsis of Dance of Shadows sounddeedd really interesting, and I really, really, really wanted it to be as amazing as its packaging indicated it would be, but alas, no such luck.

First of all, let's take a minute to realise the main character, Vanessa, love interest's name is Zeppelin. Keep in mind he's a dark-haired hunk with swelling biceps, not a Hindenburg-like airship. That is dumb. People do not name other peopl
Meg Laverick
Feb 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just... ugh. Where to even begin?

This book contains two of my pet peeves: Wasted Potential and some serious, idiocy both on behalf of the characters and on behalf of (what the book assumes is) the target audience.

Let's get into the wasted potential, shall we? This book begins from the premise that dancing in itself is magic. That the right dancer performing the right dance perfectly can transcend the ordinary and break down the barriers between our world and the next.

That is an awesome idea. N
Nov 15, 2012 added it
This was one of the largest amounts of time I have ever wasted in my life...not that it took me very long to read. The characters were boring and under developed apart from one, who was not even a protagonist, merely a foreshadowed character who was not given the chance to develop but squashed like a fly. Dance of Shadows was like reading a messed up fanfic of Twilight-I know what you're thinking; Can Twilight get even more twisted and messed up than it is already? Well, as it turn out-yes it ca ...more
If the ratings bar had 100 stars, this would be the book I would use it on.

I don't know if it is because I dance, or because I dance and I love mystery, but I LOVED this book.

Now I know, most reviews you will see did had really low ratings, but it is probably because they can't see the creativity in this book. Yes, there were some parts that I found myself skimming, but that is not the point. This book had great thought detail and had nice imagery. It kinda felt like I was there.

Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it

I am a sucker for stories that involve ballet in any way. I love watching it, doing it (no I suck but it's fun), and just essentially everything about it. I read this a couple years ago and remembered loving it. And while I still enjoyed it, I wasn't as blown away by it.

The mystery of what happened to Margaret and the strange disappearances at the NYBA is essentially the whole focus of this story with a smattering of ballet practice thrown in. Also the times that Vanessa was at practice, I
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
5 stars.
Right after reading it.

4 stars.
A few minutes later.

3 stars.
A lot of hours after.

1 star.

But, because my original was five star, I'm going to make this 3 stars. Not the best blend and really slow-paced.
Interesting premise. Like nothing I have read thus far however I'm unsure if I will finish the series. I guess we will see
E2 Zoey
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the book Dance of Shadows, a theme I have found to have occurred in this book is that sometimes you have to go the extra mile to save others and in the end, doing that is worth it. In this book, Vanessa, the main character, only came to New York Ballet Academy(NYBA) to figure out a mystery and not to dance: She was here to figure out about the disappearance of her sister, Margaret as well as the previous ballerinas who have also disappeared. As clues after clues come up, she has to risk getti ...more
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Yelena Black is a recent MFA graduate of Columbia University. She currently resides in New York City and is a full-time writer. She has a keen interest in dance and all things devilish.

Other books in the series

Dance of Shadows (2 books)
  • Dance of Fire (Dance of Shadows, #2)

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