Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stay In The Shadows, Where You Belong

Published: February 12th, 2013
Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows # 1)
By: Yelena Black
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
ISBN-13:  9781599909400

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 . . .


     Being a completely uncoordinated, average schmuck I have a secret addiction to books or movies involving ballet - especially teen ones!  Center Stage and Save The Last Dance are my life's blood people (especially the soundtracks, which are awesome!) and I revel in them! :)  So I went into this thinking that it would be a dark, paranormal version of one of my favorite movies.  I was wrong in the extreme.  The book started out promisingly creepy and devolved very obviously into something subpar and disappointing.  The main character, Vanessa, is dealing with disappearance of her sister Margaret from her ballet academy months earlier, after which Vanessa vowed to find her - which she spends the book not really doing at all.  The idea that a demon could literally be abducting ballerinas and stealing their souls is a very interesting and original one, but when done with someone as bland as Vanessa being the searchlight it died for me.  She makes pretty much no attempt to find her sister (even though it's what she's supposedly there for) and is described as dancing with supernatural ability and being almost perfect.  Yet she never PRACTICES and shows some serious disinterest in dancing!  When girls start to disappear, one of them being a girl Vanessa is friends with, no one ever calls her parents to find out if the school's story about her going home is true.  Vanessa's two guys, Zep a.k.a Zeppelin Black and Justin, were both paint by numbers and the ways the author described them read like something out of a twelve year old's Twilight fan fiction story - only less believable at times.  The plot dragged because it was predictable to the very last 'twist' at the end.  All of the side characters were cardboard cutouts.  Their personalities were waiting to be delivered and never arrived.  I was unimpressed with the constant stupidity of everyone in the book (especially Vanessa) to see what was right in front of them.  Seriously, I knew who the villain(s) were less that halfway into the book and the constant overlooking of something smacking these people right in their faces just made me mad.  Just because they're teens doesn't mean they're complete and total oblivious morons!  I will say that in the last 15% or so the author redeemed it a little bit for me and I did like the ending.  But I won't be moving on to the next one because I'm sure that it will be just as badly written.  And a cliffhanger is not a good enough reason to read a sequel no matter what anyone says...  Not recommended to anyone except possibly fans of the Tiger's Curse series by Colleen Houck, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and Fallen by Lauren Kate.  In other words, just say no.

VERDICT:  1.25/5  Stars

**received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published February 12th, 2013.**

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