ARC Review - Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Title - Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows #1)
Author - Yelena Black
Genre - YA Paranormal
Pages - 447
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Source - ARC

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 Review:

Dance can either make you or break you!

That is what Vanessa thought! Vanessa doesn't care that she got into the post prestigious Ballet school in New York. She has a higher purpose that she must complete in order to have a clear conscience. Vanessa thought she was on her own, she has lived her life in doubt and uncertainity. When her parents gave up the search of her missing sister Margaret , she knew she had a duty and purpose to herself to uncover what really happened a NYBA.

Vanessa's character is flawless, yet her steps are out of sequence. To regain her balance she must believe and feel the dance. Being the protagonist of the novel, she has high expectations to achieve and she achieved them through her outstanding pliĆ©'s. Her character is portrayed as a very courageous  caring and confident young woman, her intelligence and maturity rewards her for being only 15 years old. What I loved about her character was her personality, she has such a complicated yet beautiful characteristics about her that you feel elated yet you sympathise with her development of emotion and as a character throughout the whole novel. 

Her character as a Ballerina is pure magic and is completely fresh to myself as a reader. I adored her passion for dancing and how she embraces. However Yelena creates a character of a typical teenager in love and the passion of enjoying a new life experience  When Yelena combines the two she create such a unique, fresh and magical character that your left inspired to Dance and conquer and new purpose of your own life!

Zeppelin Gray is a Senior and most talent Ballet dancer out of the whole Academy! Yet his intentions for being a ballet vary and develop throughout the whole novel. I adored him from the beginning and thought, 'Yeah, it just going to be nice teenage romance, nothings going to happen'. But looks can be deceiving. His purpose as the lead Ballet dancer in the production changed to something dark and sinister. His intentions evolved and left Vanessa in a weaken position in the relationship. Between them, they had the 'spark' but not without the growing baggage that both character carried around. Yelena was very clever to add that twist and I loved how she structured his character and personality to integrate with novel.

"The legs," he said, motioning to her muscular thighs. "The hair. The wild look in your eyes. You dance like you're a feral animal." He shook his head. "You're nothing like your sister, but you could be better. I think -" He held up his finger. I think you could be tremendous. Frighting, but tremendous."

But then there is Justin... His looming curiosity and creepy presence over the sister of Margaret, clearly shows his interest in her. But his interest grows when she is casted as the lead of the Firebird product. This particular production has a certain dance that could become fatal to Vanessa but also the cause of Margaret’s disappearance. When Justin wants to help Vanessa, his appearance is strong yet conflicted with emotion. However, his intentions may be truthful but his is

What I loved about this book was the growing amount of characters in the novel; her group of friends is something that I envy the most. They make you happy and they are always there for you. They are the perfect set of friends and they make you believed in yourself and chose the right and better decisions of life. My favourite of the group was Blaine, his character and personality brought the group to get her and made that much significant and unbreakable. Amongst other characters the most essential characters brought the book to life by plaguing it with the evil and damn right awful conditions that the dancers have to endure.

I thoroughly enjoyed and the cover is the most beautiful, I've seen to date. I would fully recommend this novel, if you are or aren't a dancing fan or the twist that comes with it! The characters, the plot and the very the clever twists has brought a very high expectation of this debut novel by Yelena Black!

Rating: 4.5 Butterflies

I would like to say a massive Thank you to Emma Bradshaw over at Bloomsbury Publishing for sending me my first proof book for an honest review.


  1. I am glad you liked this one because I thought it seemed really intriguing!

  2. I loved this one too! DOS blew my mind, it had me hooked. I am not a fan of dancing so I was quite reluctant to start it but I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Emma :D xx

  3. Hey Emma,
    can I just start by saying that the cover of this book is AMAZING!!! I don't think I will read it though because it seems to be targeted more towards women (the ballerina and dancing stuff). Your review was great and I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for more :) Hope you can do the same-

  4. This cover still makes me drool, no matter how many times I have seen it now. ;) I'm glad you were impressed with this book, Emma! I've been a little wary of it after reading a few mixed reviews from a couple of friends, but you have managed to convince me again. :) I'll read this some time next month.

    Lovely review!

  5. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis sounds intriguing. I always love a good mystery, so I'm immediately wondering what happened to her sister. I love the quote you chose. Excellent review Emma. I'm going to have to add this to my TBR. :)


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