Bel Reviews: Yelena Black's - "Dance of Shadows"


Ballet is one of those things that you either love or hate. I’m a fence sitter to say the very least and my dance style boarders on a spider on a hot tin roof, and can in no way be mistaken for grace or beauty. However, I know the behind the scenes world of ballet is pretty cut-throat and nasty, which always makes for a great suspense novel. Black Swan anyone?

Dance of Shadows isn’t a typical boarding school/ university novel. Sure it has the stereo typical hazing, the secret society and the new girl falling for the cutest guy in school; but this one had me questioning the motives of the lead character.

Vanessa is living in the shadow of her sister, Margaret, who went missing from the New York Ballet Academy years before this story is set. She dons the point shoes and pli√ęs her way into the academy, not believing that Margaret could have just run away. What she discovers will clear her sister’s name and open up a huge can of worms for the NYBA.

My issue was with Vanessa’s single-minded¬†working to get into the NYBA, just to find her sister and then still having enough mental capacity to fall in love, go to classes and dance so well. I find it hard to believe anyone would get as far in a profession that is so difficult to break into in the first place.

The mystery elements in the story were entertaining. The characters and the settings were as you would expect. The rest is all just a little predictable.

What isn’t predictable is the cover art. A beautifully posed dancer with red petals making her costume is rather special but things get very interactive. Once you download the free app and hover your smart phone over the cover, the dancer comes alive. If you get the book and do this please let us know what it’s like.

If you liked the movie Black Swan, and enjoy boarding school novels, this one is perfect for you.

Twitter name: TheYelenaBlack

Paperback, UK, 369 pages

Published February 14th 2013 by Bloomsbury (first published February 12th 2013)

ISBN: 1408829975 (ISBN13: 9781408829974)


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