Review Blog

Apr 08 2013

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

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Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-4088-2997-4.
Vanessa Alder is living every girl's dream: she is a dancer, but not just any dancer she is a ballerina.
When Vanessa made the choice to attend the New York Ballet Academy she had only one thing in mind. Finding her missing sister Margaret. But things aren't always as simple as they seem. After being cast in the lead role of the school ballet production The Firebird Vanessa and her friends discover a pattern of disappearances, each missing girl had been cast in the lead role in The Firebird. In between learning the impossible La Danse du Feu (the dance of fire) and worrying over her tenuous relationship with Zep (the male lead) Vanessa finds herself putting her mission to find Margaret second. But when a crazy ex ballerina finds Vanessa and warns her to get away from the school Vanessa and her friends investigate further into the notorious school's past in order to discover what happened to her sister.
The novel is aimed at young adult readers with an interest in the paranormal and gives the reader just a taste of what it is like to be studying to become a dancer without skipping over the realities of the blood, sweat and tears which come with it. I absolutely loved the tone of the first half of the book but it raised my expectations too high as the last half was a bit of a let down. The introduction of the paranormal to this novel seems to be unnecessary; if it had been more obvious all of the way through it could have been a fantastic novel. If I could I would recommend only the first half of this novel as it begins as an excellent story however I don't think that the ending fits the beginning as well as it should.
Kayla (age seventeen)

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