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Dance of Shadows

Dance of Shadows - Yelena Black **Review originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog** - Rating 3.5 of 5

REVIEW: The first thing that caught my attention about his book was the cover. One should not judge a book by its cover but there are times when vanity goes above reason. The beauty of the cover doesn’t necessarily describe the story.

Dance of Shadows is an intriguing, dark and interesting story that compels you to keep reading. Think of Black Swan with a touch of magic and the paranormal. The story is set in New York City as a backdrop and one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country The New York Ballet Academy. The action develops slowly, but the author doesn’t waste time in pointing out the characters that will make an impact in the story.

It all starts when Vanessa decides to follow her sister’s step and attend the same school her sister attended before her disappearance. I think the promise of the book is good, we don’t always get to hear or see what goes on in the world of ballet and this book gives you an idea of how intense that world can be. The story follows the events three years after Margaret disappearance, Vanessa is set on becoming a dancer while finding out what exactly happened to Margaret. She is convinced Margaret is alive and is somewhere in New York City. Though it is not clear what exactly happened to Margaret, Vanessa is convinced that whatever happened to her, it happened while she was in school but nobody knows what happened or worse, they don’t want to say anything. The New York Ballet Academy is one of the most prestigious schools in the world, and behind the perfect and sophisticated facade there are mysteries, secrets and pain.

I liked how the author introduced us to a world that for most is unknown and sometimes obscure. The world of ballet is one that isn’t always spoken of. I enjoyed the mystery behind Margaret’s disappearance, the whole story felt like a conundrum that was being decipher piece by piece. Vanessa had matured since her sister disappearance, becoming a ballet dancer wasn’t a dream of her as it was for Margaret, but she knew that by becoming one she would be able to get close to the mystery surrounding her sister’s disappearance.

The characters in this story were very mature and likeable. Margaret was smart though at times insecure and childish, she brought the needed drama to the story. Joseff on the other hand, brought mystery and passion though not necessarily a major character in my opinion he did gave the story a sense of realism. Zep’s character showed that adversity and passion when mixed can shape and harden a person, making them susceptible to do horrible things, some unimaginable. Justin, I knew his character would be the breaking point of the story, the one whose important thought not immediately recognized would be the one to make it all come into place. I think the secondary characters made more of an impact to the story than the main characters. I enjoyed how mature most were and how they interact with one another. Though I am not exactly convinced that friendships develop as quick and strong in the matter of days, I did enjoy their bonding.

The story overall was nice, the plot unravels nicely, however the author switched between what was really important and the focus of the story. At times it made me wonder if it was indeed a love story or a mystery and suspense instead. What I didn’t enjoy as much is how sometimes Margaret would lose her focus and concentrate on her attraction and love for Zep and stray away from her reasons to being at the NYBA. I think the premise of the story is good, I am looking forward to finding out what happens next. I think the magic, the mystery and passion behind the world of ballerinas and ballet are exquisite and magical on its own. Dance of Shadows has potential, it is suspenseful, magical, enticing and passionate. I am looking forward to book #2.