Dance of Shadows

Dance of Shadows

by Yelena Black, Yelana Black


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Vanessa has just enrolled in the world-renowned New York Ballet Academy-the same school from which her sister, Margaret, mysteriously disappeared.

Three years later, Vanessa follows in Margaret's footsteps to find out what happened to her. But when Vanessa lands the role most girls at NYBA would kill for, she ends up trapped in a sinister spiral of secrets that go beyond the dance world. Because someone-or something-wants to use Vanessa for more than her talent. Is she doomed to relive her sister's strange fate?

Riveting and sexy, Dance of Shadows is a psychological thriller you won't be able to resist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599909400
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Series: Dance of Shadows Series
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

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Dance of Shadows 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
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.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.) 15-year-old Vanessa is starting at NYBA (New York Ballet Academy), and her mother is going nuts because Vanessa’s older sister Margaret disappeared from there 3 years ago, and they haven’t heard from her since. Vanessa is determined to do well, ballet is what she loves, and she intends to make it her life, but sometimes when she dances really well, walls blur and things look odd, and she doesn’t know what this means. When Vanessa is then given the lead in the December production of ‘The Firebird’, she is overwhelmed; the position was supposed to go to a senior, not a freshman, and even more worryingly; Margaret was also cast for the lead in the same production 3 years ago. Other things are going on at NYBA though, several girls have gone missing, other than Margaret, and now one of Vanessa’s new friends – Elly has also disappeared. Why do girls keep disappearing? Does this have something to do with ‘The Firebird’? And is Vanessa destined to follow in her sister Margaret’s footsteps? This book started off really slowly, at 25% of the way in it felt like it was really dragging, and it didn’t really pick up until the 60% mark. Vanessa obviously loved ballet, and wanted to be a dancer more than anything, even enough to go to the school that her sister had gone missing from. Her secret that dancing sometimes made things seem unreal was a little odd, and I did wonder why it hadn’t stopped her from dancing altogether. She just seemed to think that if she ignored it, it would go away, which is a valid plan of action I suppose. I found the fact that one of the girls – Elly, had left under mysterious circumstances wasn’t given enough attention, as it seemed that for a while the girls were happy to just assume that she had gone home. I kind-of expected the realisation that she hadn’t gone home to come sooner, but this actually took a while. As I said, the pace in this book was really slow in the beginning, and I had difficulty with it right up to the 60% mark, where things started to happen, and the pace picked up. It was around this point that the mysteries in this book became more interesting, and I began to really want to know what was going on, and who Vanessa could and couldn’t trust. And of course, no book would be complete without a blinking love triangle would it? Vanessa pursues a relationship with Zep (the male lead in the production), whilst another boy Justin seems to be stalking her. There seems to be reason’s for Vanessa to mistrust both of them, although her infatuation with Zep does seem a bit OTT for the amount of attention he actually pays her. I personally did not trust Zep at all, but then Justin was a bit odd as well if you ask me. I had kind-of guessed what was going on overall, but I didn’t guess the details, and there were some aspects that I hadn’t guessed at all. The last 12% of the book was very gripping, and definitely the best part. Some things were tied up nicely, but there was still enough to keep me interested in the second instalment. At the beginning of this book I was thinking that this was going to be a disappointment, but I’m so glad that I persevered with this, because I ended up really enjoying it. Overall; This started slowly, but built up to a great finish. 8 out of 10.
AshleyiSee More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is an amazing writer! The book was full of mystrey and I loved that it had to do with ballet can't wait for the next book
BethanyL More than 1 year ago
While I did end up enjoying Dance of Shadows, it took a long time for me to enjoy it. About three quarters of this book is a big, frustrating, seemingly-going-nowhere mystery. In fact, I thought that I’d get to the last page and it would say FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN BOOK 2! Luckily, that did not happen. But I did spend a lot of time thinking, “WHY WON’T VANESSA JUST TALK TO PEOPLE?” Because, as it tends to happen in mysteries, talking to people often solves problems. But, I guess if people got over their pride and concerns that they’d look completely insane early on, most mysteries would be more novellas than books. Anyway. Once the game is set and we finally finally finally get clued in to what exactly the hell is happening, this book is all of a sudden a little Whedony. Obviously that made me squeal with glee on the train home, which in turn made people look at me weird, but I don’t care. But seriously, Dance of Shadows feels like it could be one of those off-A-plot episodes of Angel in which Fred infiltrates a ballet company to figure out what exactly is going on on the inside. And there would OBVS be a hilariously awkward scene in which Angel has to put on tights and dance while Cordelia looks smugly on from the wings. Oh, wishful thinking. For those of you who are really into ballet and get upset when a book promises to be about ballet and then only uses one or two terms that end up being plié and arabesque, this book will not disappoint. Ms. Black clearly knows ballet, is comfortable with the terms and vocabulary, and isn’t concerned if those terms are polarizing. Which made me a happy little ballet nerd. Though I found a lot of this book to be highly frustrating while reading it, I thoroughly enjoyed it in hindsight. Once you have the pieces and understand what all is happening, the clues are just GLARING at you from the page and it all makes fun, dancey, demony sense. So if you’re in the mood for a dance-centered mystery that you don’t want to try and solve while you’re reading it, Dance of Shadows is the perfect choice.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Yelena Black's Dance of Shadows has been on my TBR for a long time, and I recently decided to give it a chance. The cover was stunning, and I can never resist a boarding school setting, especially when the said school is in New York City. Dance of Shadows started off strong. The mystery was interesting, and I was dying to know how it would all end. Was Vanessa's sister willingly missing? Or was there something more sinister at play? What was up with the intimidating teachers? And the biggest question of all - why did all the lead female cast members disappear under mysterious circumstances? These questions are what kept me reading until the end. I also think Yelena did a great job of fleshing out the setting, and I liked that it included a ballet/dance component. Unfortunately, the longer the book went on the more I began to lose interest and the more I began to see some major flaws. For one, the characters never came to life, in my opinion. I kept waiting and waiting for development to occur, but it never happened. Did I root for Vanessa? Yes. Was she likable? Yes. However, I never felt like I "got" her. I also had a hard time keeping track of her friends. They never had distinctive personalities. For two, we have a case of an insta-love. I'm not a complete insta-love hater. Sometimes I think it can work really well in the book; however, here it just got to be a bit too much. Vanessa was gaga over Zep - and I mean GAGA - as soon as she saw him, and honestly I never saw the appeal of him. Zep was a creep. He treated like Vanessa like trash more times than one and only wanted to see her when the time was convenient for him. The second of which is such a huge warning sign, in my opinion, but Vanessa usually justified his actions. Overall, Dance of Shadows had a lot of potential; however, it never truly lived up to it. While the ending was shocking, I don't feel all that driven to read the sequel. As horrible as it may be to say, I just don't care about the characters enough to spend more time on their story. So I would recommend this? Not particularly - there's many other boarding school mysteries I would suggest before this. However, I could see fans of ballet and theater possibly enjoying it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The world was great, and the plot would have been good if it were written by nearly anyone else. I agree with OtotheD in every way. The characters are terrible. Zep is hot. Vanessa is a Mary Sue. TJ is your typical tomboy, and there's a very stereotypical gay character whose name I can't recall. Zep, as was previously stated, is basically your predicable hot guy. What do you know? In the end (SPOILERS) Vanessa, being the quirky protagonist she is finds a boyfriend despite her previous infatuations with Zep! This may seem harsh, but I've written better characters at the age of 13 than she did after graduating college. If you were to read this book, I suggest doing so for free, at the library.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
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 times where I facepalmed thinking, Vanessa are you serious? Weren't you here for a reason, etc. I did like the mystery, how she confides in her friends. Then the last half, it got a little better and the story moved forward. Sure you could kind of guess what was going to happen. But then at the same time, you're thinking, huh well I didn't see that coming. Sure it has its flaws, sure it takes some time to get through. But I'm glad I at least finished it, wanting to give it a chance. A good to okay read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vanessa is a wonderful ballerina bjt she is neber sure if she wants it. She feels like she needs to follow in her older sister margaret's footsteps. So she goes to the NYBA the ballet academy where her sister went and dissappeared. Vanessa gets cast as the firebird and she learns that every ballerina at the academy who received this role dissapeared. Meanwhile her friend Elly went missing and her boyfriend Zan is acting aloof and mysyerious. Great read!
Dia_Pelaez More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I couldn't put it down! I didn't find it bored and slow at all. All teenage girls should give this book a try!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great page turner—dance, deviltry, and surprises in every chapter. I cannot wait for the second book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So mny interesting plot points that change over the course of the story. Zepplin or justin a love triangle for vanessa. At first she doesnt like justin but she doesnt realize she loves him until one night she has a dream about him. Great read couldnt put it down. Recommend ages10and up. Lots of kissing and a person gets stabbed there are demons and burning. -John Green author of the fault in our stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Idk wat to say great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago