Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows
Yelena Black

Rating: F
Release Date: 02/12/13
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 Justin, 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...

My thoughts on the book:
Dance of Shadows is just dull, for lack of a better term. The synopsis sounds great, and the concept is amazing. However, the execution is terrible. The pacing is off, the characters are one-dimensional, and the writing is sub-par. I started this book expecting a unique and intriguing novel and ended up bored to death and irritated. 

Vanessa is one of the dumbest characters I've ever read. Not to mention she has no personality. She insists on doing stupid things repeatedly when the answers are right there in front of her. She trusts the wrong people constantly, she can't figure out ANYTHING for herself, and to top it all off, she's obscenely bland. She is an awful character, and I found her impossible to relate to OR root for. I can't even remember most of the other characters names. Justin is also bland, and he doesn't stand out, and neither does Zep. Josef is pretty much a carbon copy of Justin and Zep. There is not a single character in this book that has a personality. The lack of character development is unbelievable. 

The pacing for this book is extremely slow. The world-building and place development are non-existent. The writing is awful, and the author seems to love the smell of sweat... yuck. Thinking about some of the supposed steamy scenes still makes me nauseous because of all the sweat sniffing and such. If I hadn't been to NYC several times, then I would have had no idea what the city looked like. Black tells us NOTHING about New York. I certainly didn't feel like I was there, which is probably a good thing, considering all the sweat. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to my worst enemy, and that's about it. It's seriously bad. The only redeeming aspect is the concept, which the author completely destroys with the horrible writing, lack of character-development, and lack of world-building. 


  1. I read the synopsis, got ridiculously excited (ooh, a book about dancing! A mysterious sister), then read the review and realised it wasn't something I would enjoy. I mean, a bit of atmosphere is good and I get that sweat and tears and torn muscles are part of dancing, but sometimes descriptions can get a bit much. I remember reading a book where the author kept going on about a 'screened-in porch', which bugged the heck out of me. It's funny how small details can really prevent enjoyment of a book.

  2. F?! Recommended to your worst enemy? Well, this is just too bad!
    I love ballet, and the gorgeous cover and blurb got me really excited. Not anymore LOL

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  3. Wow. Didn't actually expect this book to be so bad. Well, who doesn't hate it when there is no world building what so ever? or no character development? I hate it when I feel like all the characters are copies of each other, and sweat? yuck, indeed.
    LOVED your honest review, though
    Your reader,

  4. Oh poo! I have a copy of this for review! Think I'll be speed reading this one by the sounds. I hate bland characters, there's little worse than not giving a damn what's going on in a book!
    Hope you find your worst enemy to pass this on to!

  5. How disappointing! I thought the cover and the description sounded good; it's too bad the book didn't live up to those expectations.


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