Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows #1) by Yelena Black
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 . . .GR
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 . . .
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I liked the premise a lot, the character of Vanessa, and being in the dance world. However, I felt like there were some pacing issues, things skimmed over, and others that were elaborated too much. But the beginning kept me engaged, and after a somewhat slow middle, the ending griped me again until the last page. I will for sure read the next book when it comes out even if I don't grab on release day.
The ballet in this one seemed realistic as far as the setting, terms used, and the school. There is a paranormal aspect for Vanessa and select others, but as far as the paranormal goes, it is set up well and isn't too much of a stretch. Although Vanessa said more than once while she likes dance, she is mostly at this elite school for her sister. I find this to be a bit of a stretch because you couldn't be as good as she is without a pretty intense love for ballet at the end of the day, but I get where it is coming from.
I wasn't much a fan of the romance Zep never really sat right with me, and I think that Vanessa should have paid more attention to the feelings of unease or that something wasn't quite right with him. But I get the appeal, he is older, more mature, good looking, a good dancer, and he showed interest in her.
I was more rooting for the underdog, Justin. Not that it was really a love triangle, he was just there, and I liked him more than I ever did Zep.
The ending wrapped up things okay, but there are still lots of other questions that need to be answered in the sequel.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever done any sort of dance? If not, do you wish you would have or could?