If you found this content anywhere else apart from http://nocturnalbookreviews.blogspot.com/ it's being used by a content scraper. Please consider using the link above and subscribing to my blog Nocturnal Book Reviews directly. Thank you!


I'm using IntenseDebate which doesn't show up if you browse home page. The comments are visible on individual posts.

Early YA Review: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (Dance of Shadows #1)

ARC thanks to Bloomsbury UK

Synopsis from Goodreads
Vanessa doesn’t believe that her sister is a runaway. She wouldn’t leave her family behind without saying a word. The only way Vanessa can discover the truth behind her mysterious disappearance is to follow in Margaret’s footsteps, but to do so she risks her sanity and maybe even her life . . .

Vanessa Adler is one of the talented few to get a place at the acclaimed New York Ballet Academy. Between backbreaking rehearsals for the school’s production of The Firebird she desperately tries to find out what happened to her sister before she vanished. There are rumors that the pressure of performing the lead role, the same role Vanessa is now rehearsing for, drove her mad. Other girls have gone missing too. Can the role be cursed? Vanessa’s new relationship with leading-man Zep only seems to complicate things further. What is he hiding from her and can she really trust him?

Black Swan meets Gossip Girl in this thrilling first book in a new series. Sexy, sinister and full of secrets, readers will be hooked on Dance of Shadows from the first page. Look out for the sequel in 2014.

Release Date: Feb 12th 2013

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 I have to warn you straight away that the one thing that drew me to this book was the main thing that made my judgement of Dance of Shadows extremely prejudiced.

I am an ex-dancer myself and although I've never danced en pointe, as my primary was folk dance I still had a full classic ballet education (as you do in Russian choreographic schools), went through few major ballets and was pretty damn good at what I was doing. I still love dance to bits, and that book was an affront to my passion of all things dance.

 Vanessa Adler, the main character, is a very talented ballerina but she dances because her mother and her sister did it and she feels obligated to go the same route. When her older sister Margaret disappears after going to study ballet to a prestigious Julliard school in New York, Vanessa decides to go and do the same thing. Yup, she just forever follows people and doesn't want to make something of herself on her own.

Dance of Shadows is very poorly executed, it's awkward, full of wooden token characters and it doesn't make much sense, but above all it doesn't understand dancing, and my major pet peeve of this book is that Vanessa despite her brilliance is indifferent to dancing. Let's not even go into faux pas with ballet terms sequences that did not make any sense, empty theatre when it should be teeming with people after the performance and no emotional nuances of getting into a role for the two main dancers of Firebird...

What?!! She could not possible be brilliant and not love dance. Ballet is a hard graft, it's a huge huge sacrifice, people. You basically can not have ordinary life if you are a ballerina. You can't go home and forget about ballet like you would do with a normal job. You live and breathe by it and you very often marry in the same circle because you literally have no time to meet any outsiders, and if you do - what life can you make with them if you are always on the road and they are not?

Saying that she does not care about ballet is unbelievable. You don't work that hard and get that far if you are indifferent to dance, you have to be truly passionate about it.

So this was my first and worst problem with this book. 

Secondly, the effing plot didn't make any sense and was very sketchy. What is wrong with Stravinsky and Firebird? I happen to love this composer and this ballet and I do not find anything demonic and strange in his music.

 Also all this people were disappearing from Julliard and nobody was making a fuss?!! Right. Like that is going to happen.

Thirdly, Josef was a piss poor choreographer, and I would not for one moment believe that he could work in one of the best ballet schools in the world. Screaming and insulting someone? Yeah, sure, some of them do that. But absurdly accusing someone of ineptitude when they don't know the dance steps and never seen it in their life? That's just plain crazy.

Forth, where is the rest of the school? The rest of the studies? Teachers? Living in general? Are we supposed to believe that apart from Josef and his flankie ballet teacher everyone else blends into shadows? That nothing else happens? 

Basically, I have to stop my rant now because the deeper you dig into this book, the worse it gets. I'm sure lots of people will find it entertaining, but from my perspective I do not recommend it to anyone.

* * *
ОООО, как же меня разозлила эта книга!!! В общем, всем танцовшикам и экс-танцовщикам читать этот бред противопоказано.

Автор не только не понимает ничего в танце, она пишет также "талантливо" как Лорен Кейт и Бекка Фитцпатрик, так что если вы их боготворите, скорее всего она вам понравится.

Здесь нет сюжета, герои деревянные и вообще сама книга с её несуразными диалогами и нереальным представлением о балетной школе и натуре самого танца - это самый настоящий бред.

Я уже писала на английском как меня бесило отсутствие какого-либо интереса к танцу у самой Ванессы, которая якобы считается блестящей балериной. Вот скажите мне, как можно быть блестящей балериной если на балет тебе похер? Как можно выбрать себе карьеру в танце. если ты его не любишь а просто танцуешь, потому что получается? Меня как экс-танцовщицу меня это доводило до белого каления.

Множество ошибок, начиная от незнания того, как функционирует балетная школа и заканчивая несуразицей балетных терминов. Хреновый хореограф, который бы ни за что в жизни не попал в Джуллиард - одну из лучших балетных школ мира. Несуразный ритуал порезанных ног, на что настоящая балерина не пошла бы ни за что. Тупые второстепенные персонажи, сплошные исчезновения подростков, которые совершенно не расследуются, и вообше вся интрига книги, высосанная из пальца...

Ну никому, никому эту хрень не советую!


Blodeuedd said...

So not gonna read this one, ok I would not see the things you see, but I could still see some of the things

Ellie said...

After that i think I will skip it. Have it on my NetGalley shelf as I was intrigued by the ballet and Firebird aspects....but completely agree with you that you would not be at Juillard if it was not your passion.

Christina said...

Oddly, I feel like every time there's a ballerina in pop culture, she's been forced into it by her controlling mother. That happens in Black Swan and in Center Stage. Weird. It does seem like a lot of work for a career you hate. But, then again, a lot of doctors and lawyers go down that road to please parents.

Then again, I don't actually know any ballerinas, so I can't really say if that's real life. I would think passion would be pretty key in being an enthralling dancer, though.

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

I'm sorry to hear this was so disappointing! If you are writing a book about ballet, you have to do your homework about ballet terms. Since I'm not into dancing, I wouldn't know the mistakes, but I can see that it's annoying! And I can see that the indifference from Vanessa is strange. I wasn't so excited about this book, despite the pretty cover and the dark promise, but I won't pick it up any time soon. Thanks for the great review :)


Cayce said...

I was never interested in reading this, but after your (fantastic!) review, I know that I'm not missing anything. :)
"Black Swan meets Gossip Girl" I've never watched GG, and well Black Swan was amazing, but horrifying... And the cover? Honestly, it sort of scares me...
Still it's a shame, because I really love ballet (know little of it, but LOVE it) and a good book with dancing in it would be awesome.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Blodeuedd, I think you have even less tolerance for nonsense than me, so I think you will not like it :D

Ellie, it's a pity actually. I would have loved to read your review! *wink* You are never ranty but have a healthy constructive criticism instead.

Christina, I don't know. The reviews on this one are very polarised, so it's either love or hate.

Mel, I was very sad about it. I love dancing, and read books on it or watch movies every chance I've got.

Cayce, it is a shame, but I'm sure a lot of people will still eat it up like cotton candy ;) It will find its reader.

Post a comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Subscribe with Feedly

Subscribe with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Karina on goodreads

Subscribe by Email


Followers via Bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin


grab our button



The Night Circus
Gabriel's Inferno


In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

Book Blogger Directory


Powered by Blogger.

Blog Stats since May 2011