Customer Reviews for

Dance of Shadows

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Omg

Idk wat to say great read

posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Vanessa Adler is a superb ballerina, so it¿s only natural that s

Vanessa Adler is a superb ballerina, so it’s only natural that she would be selected to attend the prestigious New York Ballet Academy. Though dancing is a huge part of Vanessa’s life, her main goal is to figure out what happened to her sister Margaret who attended the ...
Vanessa Adler is a superb ballerina, so it’s only natural that she would be selected to attend the prestigious New York Ballet Academy. Though dancing is a huge part of Vanessa’s life, her main goal is to figure out what happened to her sister Margaret who attended the academy a few years ago, then went missing.

It’s no surprise that Vanessa is cast as the lead in The Firebird as she is the best dancer at the school. The problem? Margaret was also cast as the lead right before she disappeared, and even more disturbing, several other girls also disappeared not long after getting the same role.

Now Vanessa must put together the pieces of the puzzle before she is the next to go missing.

While I wasn’t a fan of the overall book (more on why later), I thought the world building was very strong. Ms. Black knows her dance terms, and it’s obvious she knows what it’s like to be in a ballet academy. She also captured New York City very well, and the infusion of the paranormal was a nice touch.

My first, and biggest problem with the book, were the characters. Vanessa was incredibly one-dimensional and very shallow. I never connected with her, and since she is the protagonist, it’s really hard to get into a book if you can’t root for the MC. The rest of the characters were very bland as well. Zeb was very predictable in an almost Edward Cullen sort of way, and Vanessa’s friends all seemed to be nothing more than cardboard cutouts. Not one of them stood out to me, and after a while I just got used to reading their names in a passage without trying to remember who was who.

While the story is interesting and at times intense, I felt it could have been so much more if the writing were stronger. It didn’t flow well, and some of the dialogue was cringe-worthy. The pacing was also off, and there were times when I found myself skimming passages to get to a good part.

I had REALLY high hopes for this one. The minute I saw the cover, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately for me, it just didn’t hit the mark. The idea is great, and the story interesting, but the execution just wasn’t there for me.

With that said, I think this one will appeal to fans of paranormal romances. I can definitely see it hitting the mark with Twilight fans, or people who don’t read nearly as many books as I do in a year. I had a lot to compare it to, and that may have been part of the reason why I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

posted by OtotheD on February 12, 2013

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  • Posted February 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Vanessa Adler is a superb ballerina, so it¿s only natural that s

    Vanessa Adler is a superb ballerina, so it’s only natural that she would be selected to attend the prestigious New York Ballet Academy. Though dancing is a huge part of Vanessa’s life, her main goal is to figure out what happened to her sister Margaret who attended the academy a few years ago, then went missing.

    It’s no surprise that Vanessa is cast as the lead in The Firebird as she is the best dancer at the school. The problem? Margaret was also cast as the lead right before she disappeared, and even more disturbing, several other girls also disappeared not long after getting the same role.

    Now Vanessa must put together the pieces of the puzzle before she is the next to go missing.

    While I wasn’t a fan of the overall book (more on why later), I thought the world building was very strong. Ms. Black knows her dance terms, and it’s obvious she knows what it’s like to be in a ballet academy. She also captured New York City very well, and the infusion of the paranormal was a nice touch.

    My first, and biggest problem with the book, were the characters. Vanessa was incredibly one-dimensional and very shallow. I never connected with her, and since she is the protagonist, it’s really hard to get into a book if you can’t root for the MC. The rest of the characters were very bland as well. Zeb was very predictable in an almost Edward Cullen sort of way, and Vanessa’s friends all seemed to be nothing more than cardboard cutouts. Not one of them stood out to me, and after a while I just got used to reading their names in a passage without trying to remember who was who.

    While the story is interesting and at times intense, I felt it could have been so much more if the writing were stronger. It didn’t flow well, and some of the dialogue was cringe-worthy. The pacing was also off, and there were times when I found myself skimming passages to get to a good part.

    I had REALLY high hopes for this one. The minute I saw the cover, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately for me, it just didn’t hit the mark. The idea is great, and the story interesting, but the execution just wasn’t there for me.

    With that said, I think this one will appeal to fans of paranormal romances. I can definitely see it hitting the mark with Twilight fans, or people who don’t read nearly as many books as I do in a year. I had a lot to compare it to, and that may have been part of the reason why I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2013

    Vanessa Alder has been haunted since her older sister Margaret¿s

    Vanessa Alder has been haunted since her older sister Margaret’s disappearance. Three years later she finds herself in Margaret’s place as a standout freshman at the New York Ballet Academy. As the handsome Zeppelin Grey catches her eye and head choreographer Josef hints Vanessa could be up for the lead in the winter ballet, she’s easily caught up in the movements.
    However, Vanessa isn’t there to dance. Her main goal is to find her sister. Reported as a runaway, Vanessa is positive that Margaret is lurking somewhere in New York. Yet as the pressures of dance begin to overwhelm her, Vanessa wonders if she is starting to hear and see things. There are secrets hidden within the NYBA and Vanessa will do whatever it takes to discover what happened to her sister.
    This book was a real letdown. The cover? Fantastic! The blurb on the back? I need to read this now! The verdict? BOOOOOOO.
    Let’s go over the reasons why. 1. The romance not only doesn’t make sense, but it makes the plot clunky and derails from an interested plot. Zeppelin Grey? The name annoyed me so much I hated every scene he was in. 2. It wasn’t executed well. 3. The ending is blurry, and there are bits and characters that are completed forgotten about. This is a first in the series, but there was no alluding to there’s more that lies ahead until the last page. 4. Vanessa as a whole is one-dimensional and her heart and soul for finding her sister isn’t followed throughout the book. It’s a mistake that could have changed the outcome of the book.  
    I really wanted to like this book; it had such promise. I was excited from the prologue and cover, but this was not carried through with each chapter. I loved the idea of a dark mystery surrounding an elite dance school in New York. The beauty and grace of ballet flitting through the pages. Perhaps someone else can give it a go. I won’t be continuing the series. There isn’t enough intrigue for me to want to know what happens, but kudos to the Bloomsbury marketing team! They did a standout job! I just wish someone had held the author to the same standard as the cover design. It really could have been a perfect match. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2013

    After the many contemporary romances that I've read, I was hungr

    After the many contemporary romances that I've read, I was hungry for a bit of mystery-thriller combo, so I leafed through my TBR pile and found Dance of Shadows.

    I'm more of a singer than a dancer, but I have to admit that I like watching ballet. There's just something mesmerizing about watching the fluid and graceful movements of a ballerina that makes it hard for me to tear my eyes off. Plus, from what I know of ballet, it's a kind of craft that masks the pain to show only what's beautiful and ethereal through movements, so I was curious to read about the hardships of ballet students in Yelena Black's Dance of Shadows. It also doesn't hurt that it has a mystery vibe going on for it.

    First things first! Let us take a second to admire the beautiful poster! LOL.

    Now, we go to the review proper. Heh.

    Story-wise, I'd have to say that incorporating a ritual dance in ballet is something unexpected. Nonetheless, it was a great plot-device. Everything started out great, but half-way through the story, I don't know what happened. And I really think that this story had something going on for it, I just don't know why there was a downhill.

    As for the characters, well, let's just say they became a little too stereotypical. Vanessa, the wide-eyed freshman to an elite ballet school. Zep, the mysterious and gorgeous upperclassman, and Justin, the guy who seemed to have an agenda of his own but stalks Vanessa for some unknown reason.

    Oh, and I'll just have to say that the love line in this story is absolutely incorrigible. It's one thing to have a crush and be infatuated, and it's another to be in love. I really cringed at the part where Vanessa's whole world just seemed to revolve around Zep aside from ballet, even though he's always missing in action. And how can she be in love with someone she barely even knows? 

    All in all, this one is a lengthy story which started out great but slowly fizzled out.

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