Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Big shout out where shout outs are due, thank you to the Reading Room for my review copy of this book. 

Dance of Shadows is a YA paranormal romance set in the world of a New York based ballet school and tells the story of Vanessa Alder who wants to solve the mystery why her older sister, Margaret disappeared from the same school three years earlier. Other strange and sinister things are going on at the school, students are disappearing and Vanessa isn't sure who she should trust, her loving older boyfriend Zep, or the mysterious and nasty Justin.

I found Dance of Shadows to be quite an intriguing mystery and found myself turning the pages as I wanted to know more about what happened to Margaret and what sinister forces were at work at the school. Justin makes for quite an interesting hero/anti-hero. Zep, or Zepplin Grey was less interesting, but boys who have little more than good looks and the ability to spin out the odd insincere compliment rarely are. I guess who the villain may be and was right, but what may have happened to Margaret remains cloudy and leads on to a sequel.

That said, and perhaps it is just my age showing here, I felt the book was lacking something. We never really get to know any of Vanessa's classmates apart from basic stereotypes--i.e. Blaine is gay, Steffie is Vanessa's best friend and Anna is beautiful, popular, dating Zep and hates Vanessa. It would have been nice to see their characters expanded a little, but perhaps this will happen in the sequel. Some of the drama/horror wraps up a little too nicely, but again, perhaps there is more to come in the next book. Overall, this is a sincere and macabre effort, but probably isn't a book for anyone outside of the intended teenage audience.

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