Saturday, 8 December 2012

#174 Book Review: Dance of Shadows [ARC]

Dance of Shadows [ARC]
Release Date: February 2013
Author: Yelena Black
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy:  Fishpond
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
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 Josh, 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 . . .
Absolutely gorgeous. First up, I like the smoky and firey background. I love how eye-catching the girl's red dress is, how flower petals seem to fly up from the dress and how her pose is very enticing. The girl looks similar to how I imagine Vanessa looks like!


Welcome to New York Ballet Academy, an elite ballet school for the talented ones...

It is every ballet dancer's dream to attend New York Ballet Academy. It's where people from different places come together; to enhance their ability to dance and fully let themselves immerse into the art of ballet. However, mysteries surround the Academy and Yelena Black's dark and enticing story brings you a tale of deadly dance with a touch of paranormal...

Dance of Shadows is a dark, taunting yet somehow an eerily gorgeous story. Reading this book allows me to reminisce my memories of learning how to dance ballet and all the hard work in training. I can really connect with the experience of dancing ballet in this book. Yelena captures the intense and beautiful feeling of dancing ballet and the 'sacrifice' needed to bond with the dance. What makes this book intriguing is the touch of paranormal and mystery. Ballet is no longer just a beautiful art but it is also dark and terrifying. Through Yelena's writing, she magnifies ballet as though it is a living thing. The book also explores the life of a ballerina and how tough it can be for them. What I particularly adored from this book is actually Yelena's descriptive explanation of ballet. It is detailed and thorough that I can imagine myself dancing in this elite Academy.

I have to admit, the characters in this book are not very likeable. Vanessa is alright. I understand what she's feeling but I find it hard to connect with her. I sometimes hated how she acts and the decisions she made throughout the story. Although, when she dances, I forget my issues because Vanessa is a very talented dancer. Her dance makes the dance itself alive and I can't help but be entranced by it. As you can read from the summary, she 'attracts' 3 men; Zep, Justin and Josef. The main love interest in the beginning is Zep and although he is described as this gorgeous, beautiful dancer, I did not like him. His charms did not appeal to me at all and his relationship with Vanessa is so sudden and strange. Justin himself is similar to Zep. He carries this aura of mysteriousness and I can't understand why he acts that way around Vanessa. Josef is at first, interesting although when we discover his story, it feels flat to me. However, Vanessa's friends are all okay and they are pretty enjoyable to read about in this book!

Can you imagine attending an elite Ballet Academy, only to discover that something truly mysterious is hidden beneath its reputation? Dance of Shadows is an enticing mixture of the art of ballet, darkness, romance and paranormal. While the characters are not very enjoyable to me, what I thought stood out most from this book is Yelena's descriptive exploration of ballet and its beauty. If you love books about dancing, then this book might just be for you!
4 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Dance of Shadows!
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy!

Check out the book trailer below!


  1. Oh I have a copy of this too and can't wait to dive in because of the gorgeous cover alone. I didn't realise that it was a mish-mash of so many different aspects; paranormal, romance and mystery! It sounds like it has a lot going for it, plus despite you not being able to connect with the characters as much as you'd hoped, I'm glad you still enjoyed it. You have left me with some hope for this book! Lovely review Celine! :)

  2. I really really like the sound of this one, and I love the cover, but I'm really put off by the 'attracts 3 men' part, I'm kinda sick of all these YAs where the men all fall over themselves to get the 'normal but not normal girl' so I think I'd dislike it for that reason. Shame tho, cause it sounds kinda Black Swan-esque and cool.

    Cait x

  3. I love the idea of this one, but the characters seem so "meh" that I can't imagine enjoying this story much. Not to mention I've never been too much into dance, but seeing such a positive rating from you has me thinking that I've got to read this one after all. Amazing review, Celine! :)

  4. Great review Celine. Im looking forward to reading this book although im not that excited to meet these unlikeable characters but I will do my best! <3

  5. Characters in books don't have to be likable for me as long as they're well-developped, although I'm not sure that's the case in this one... Still, I ADORE the combination of so many different elements and I've always loved books about dance, despite my lack of talent in such, lol! Brilliant review, Celine! :) I have a copy of this and I quite look forward to reading it, especially with that gorgeous cover to swoon over every time I see it. ;)

  6. Oh, I'm so happy you enjoyed this book! This book has been on my shelf for quite a while but I couldn't bring myself to read it, but after reading your review, I'll start this ASAP!
    Great review, Celine! : )

  7. A love-triangle is already something I'm not a fan of, but now there are even three man? How the hell does she do that? I'm sorry to hear that the characters aren't really likable, but I like the idea. I try to stay away from books about dancing, because I don't have so much with that, but this sounds interesting! Great review :)


  8. I'm not always a fan of the main character attracting multiple love interests (it's a little unrealistic sometimes) but I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this overall and it definitely has me excited about reading it myself. The cover is to die for. :)

  9. It's great you enjoyed this in spite of not liking the characters much. The cover is gorgeous. Great review Celine. :)

  10. This cover is really pretty and I like how it incorporates ballet! EEP to the characters not being very likable though, that's certainly a buzz kill. Lovely review, Celine!


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