I am very pleased to be a part of the triple threat blog tour, hosted by Bloomsbury! Below, is my review of one of the three titles, Dance of Shadows. Check it out, and check out the facebook page for the book. Don't forget to check out the other two titles as well!
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
Source: e-ARC provided by publisher
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
Dance of Shadows follows the story of Vanessa. She's been accepted into the most prestigious ballet school in New York. Vanessa has a talent for ballet, but she really has one reason for attending the school: her sister mysteriously disappeared while attending the school. Vanesa is determined to find out the truth, and what she finds, involves a huge conspiracy that affects every single person who has taken the lead as The Firebird.
While there, Vanessa falls for the handsome Zep, the male lead in the school's current production of the Firebird. While only a freshman, she also manages to capture the attention of the choreographer, Josef. He sees in her great potential, and things begin to unravel fast when the cast list in announced and rehearsals officially begin.
First off, I loved the setting and the fact that it focuses on ballet. It made it unique. I also thought the writing was smooth, and that they pacing was well done. There was just enough mystery to keep me turning the pages, and the truth behind Margaret's disappearance is dark and disturbing. It did not disappoint. I also found Vanessa to be an interesting character, although a bit too naive. Oddly enough, I was still able to connect with her despite the third person narration. From reading Dance of Shadows, though, it's very obvious that Yelena Black loves ballet. The details of the craft are so vivid, so moving, that I began to fall in love with ballet as well. This is most definitely a plus.
If I had to fault this book on anything, it'd be the forced romance between Zep and Vanessa (that felt much to based on appearance initially), the fact that no one seems to care about the disappearances, and the lack of passion Vanessa felt for ballet. Vanessa just did ballet. It wasn't what motivated her. She didn't eat, drink, and breathe dance, even though it was required and she acted as if she did. Her main concern was really her sister, and she just naturally fell into dance. I wouldn't mind so much, if Vanessa wasn't portrayed as such a "prodigy". Luckily, there are plenty of moments that she messes up, in which she feels she cannot meet the expectations placed upon her.