Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ARC Review: Dance of Shadows

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
4/5 stars
Bloomsbury, 2013
447 pages
YA Dance Paranormal Sisters
Scheduled to release February 12

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why did I want to read this? Just look at the cover-how gorgeous is that? I knew I'd want to read it the instant I saw the cover and was so pleased to receive early access to a copy.

All in all, I found the book to be a good read but nothing out of the ordinary although it benefited from having several topics I adore: ballet and sisters. I love performing stories and ballet seems to be one of the more popular themes yet I never tire of them. As I've said, I also love stories about sisters. In this case, Vanessa is attending a New York ballet academy because her older sister Margaret disappeared from it three years earlier after scoring the lead in the school ballet "The Firebird." Although Vanessa enjoys dancing, her real motive is searching after her sister whose disappearance is one in a string stretching back for years.

I do feel like the book is on the long side when I consider what happened. I think some judicious editing might be in order. Still it was kind of like crack and highly addictive-I flew through the pages, reading almost all of it in one day. It is definitely plot-driven rather than character-driven. I kept getting confused and trying to remember if Vanessa or Margaret was the sister searching. Although Vanessa is friends with some of the other dancers, they are not very well-defined. This distance is increased by the third-person narration that mostly focuses on Vanessa but also jumps around some times.

Of course there are also some love interests. First is the enigmatic Josef, the choreographer with a dark past. Then there is Zeppelin (blech on the name, which especially stands out from the more restrained traditional names of the sisters) who is the male lead opposite Vanessa. And lastly is Justin (whose name is also a stark contrast to Zep's), who seems intent on stopping Vanessa from dancing, not that he shares any compelling reason why with her at first.

In short: fast moving plot but less than compelling characters. I know why this appealed to me but it will definitely not appeal to everyone.

Other Opinions:
MarjoleinBookBlog: 5/5 stars
Mundie Moms: 4.5/5 stars
Owlcat Mountain: "negative to 'meh'"
Smart Folks Read: 3.5/5 stars
The Title Page: 1/5 stars


  1. Wow, this seems to be one of those "love it or hate it" kinds of books. Which makes me intrigued, of course!

  2. I'm not sure if I'd enjoy this or not. I do like stories with sisters but I wasn't sure if this was paranormal/supernatural or if there was a regular reason for the disappearance. The cover is definitely compelling. I may pick this up from the library and try it.

  3. Hmmm, I tend to prefer character driven stories over plot driven ones, so I'm sure if this is the one for me. If I have a chance to read it though, I probably will :) Great review!

  4. I really like the sound of this book and it does have a pretty cover! Zeppelin and Justin ARE pretty opposites of each other, huh. I'm glad you enjoyed the book overall even if the characters weren't super well defined. :)

  5. That cover is gorgeous, isn't it? Wow! I don't think I could handle the fact that it's in need of editing though. I'm getting a little tired of books that are just needlessly long.

  6. The cover is gorgeous and I love books about ballet and dance. Glad to hear it was addictive!

  7. I agree! The cover is gorgeous.. I have just finished this book and had similar feelings to you, I also quite enjoyed it though despite the lacklustre characters.


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