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Dance of Shadows: Chapters 1-3 [Kindle Edition]

Yelena Black
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This excerpt from Yelena Black's Dance of Shadows contains the first three chapters.Dance of Shadows will be available February 12, 2013.Vanessa knew that dance was in her blood, but she had no idea the world of elite ballet was center stage for the darkest of secrets-until her sister, the star dancer in the family, mysteriously disappeared from the world-renowned New York Ballet Academy.Three years later, Vanessa follows in Margaret's footsteps, lands the role most girls at NYBA would kill for . . . and gets trapped in a sinister spiral of secrets. Back-stabbing bunheads, a fiercely unrelenting choreographer, and the sexy male lead of the troupe-they all want something from Vanessa. And though she revels in the attention, what Vanessa truly craves are answers. Instead, she feels as though she is losing her footing at every turn. Is she doomed to relive her sister's strange fate?

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-An ending that can't gracefully suspend disbelief follows a middle that drags on far too long in this paranormal ballet melodrama. The novel begins with sinister initiations, ravishing lead male dancers, and instant BFFs at the New York Ballet Academy, where Vanessa studies just three years after her sister disappeared during her tenure there. Ballet is a family tradition, but Vanessa's passion for dancing is not her deepest motivation for attending the school. She wants to find her sister, or at least learn what happened to her. Joseph, the school's temperamental, perfectionistic choreographer, has decided to try, once again, to stage Stravinsky's The Firebird, the same ballet that was canceled after Margaret vanished. Vanessa is distracted by gorgeous senior Zep, already cast as Prince Ivan, who seems to have eyes for her even though he is involved with senior queen-bee Anna. It seems a foregone conclusion that newcomer Vanessa will be his Firebird, despite her freshman status, but she remains unsettled by bizarre happenings, like dorm-friend Elly suddenly and untraceably leaving school. The strange basement practice room at adjacent Lincoln Center with burn marks on the floor and white outlines of dancers surrounded by ash on the walls creeps Vanessa out. Cryptic warnings from Justin, the third side of a love triangle, about the dangers of the school accompany plot developments that spin things from improbable to impossible. Secret conspiracies seeking dark power through dance and an ancient secret society to combat them finally pirouette the plot right off the stage. Not likely to receive standing ovations from any but the least demanding readers.-Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Vanessa arrives at the New York Ballet Academy as the best young dancer to have auditioned. But there is more than ballet in her reason for coming. Her sister, Margaret, was a student there several years ago—until she disappeared, leaving her family distraught. Vanessa wants to figure out what happened to Margaret, but she soon finds herself embroiled in a bizarre plot that has elements of the supernatural, and to her consternation, she is at its center. The plot is so full of holes, a corps de ballet could dance through it, beginning with why her parents would let Vanessa follow in Margaret’s footsteps, and ending with the fact that more than a few missing girls from an esteemed ballet school would have long ago made someone—the police? the media? the school?—take notice. But readers who don’t look too closely will appreciate the story’s slow reveal and be caught up in the feverish dance descriptions (and the moody love for an enigmatic partner that comes with them). Hopefully much of the repetition will be cut in the next book, which continues the search for Margaret. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The publisher is going all out on social media, and putting resources into a six-figure ad campaign. That should get the title notice. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper

Product Details

  • File Size: 1778 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (December 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQY54TC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,947 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced and engaging read February 12, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
DANCE OF SHADOWS is a fast-paced, exciting and addictive read. With an easy flow, an intriguing mystery and a dark undertone, this story will be tough to put down before its climactic conclusion.

When Vanessa Adler enrolls in the New York Ballet Academy she knows that finding answers to her sister's disappearance will be a long shot. But she has to try. Because she knows Margaret wouldn't just disappear without a word. And when another girl goes missing without a trace, Vanessa is certain it can't be a coincidence.

But solving the mystery won't be easy with nothing but a hunch to go on. And with days and nights spent trying to master a complex dance, one that challenges her both physically and mentally, and one that when she gets it right seems to alter her surroundings and blur reality, finding the time and energy to search for the truth isn't easy. Especially with the elusive and mysterious Zeppelin Black occupying so many of her thoughts.

And when a piece to the puzzle is finally revealed, it will lead Vanessa down a path to the truth that is even darker and more sinister than she could have imagined and to secrets that could prove lethal. To the dancers. To her friends. To her.

Author Yelena Black has penned an incredibly engaging story of dark powers, dark motives and deadly consequences in this first book in her series. Blending together a contemporary story with that of a paranormal mystery, DANCE OF SHADOWS brings something a little bit different to its audience. And with a plot and setting that revolve around dance and a main character whose skill lies in the movement of her body, this story sets itself apart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just Didn't Do It For Me January 30, 2014
By Erica
Dance of Shadows is a beautifully written story that is haunting and completely keeps you guessing. Anything with dance is always an interest of mine – I’ve danced since I was 4 years old and I simply love it. Books centering around dance are always so well done and I just love reading them.

I love books that keep me guessing, but Dance of Shadows was a bit too much of a mystery to me. Throughout the book there are characters who make it clear they know what is happening or at least know pieces, yet Vanessa completely blows them off. I was left so frustrated at knowing nothing because of Vanessa’s immaturity.

It was the last quarter of the book that did this one in for me. While I thought it had its flaws in the first part of the book, I was genuinely enjoying it. The last quarter of the book had me constantly rolling my eyes. The pacing got weird and to be honest, things just went weird. There was one happening after the next that just didn’t work for me. This is also where all the paranormal comes in. From when I read the description and heard about Dance of Shadows, I thought that the book was basically ballet meets demons. There is a complete lack of paranormal, except for a few subtle hints, for most of the book. The paranormal element was cool, but I think it would’ve been dealt much more justice if it had been more spaced out instead of merely crammed into the last part of the book.

The ending also annoyed me. While some things were wrapped up, so much was left open ended. After the extent of the questions that weren’t answered throughout the majority of the book, this was a bit much for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dance of Shadows June 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not too sure what I think yet. I got this because someone suggest I read it, but not to sure just from the description. So I might just borrow this from a library and see if it gets better past the 3rd chapter. If it doesn't you'll find out in a full review of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More like Dance of Lameness April 11, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I fell for the cover and for the synopsis of Dance of Shadows and I really, really, really wanted it to be as amazing as its packaging indicated it would be, but alas, no such luck.

First of all, let's take a minute to realise the main character's, Vanessa, love interest's name is Zeppelin. Keep in mind he's a dark-haired hunk with swelling biceps, not a Hindenburg-like airship. That is dumb. People do not name other people after airships. Second, their relationship doesn't feel natural or believable, it feels like something is deeply wrong with it. Sometimes Vanessa and Zep would have fights and on the next day were back to grinding against each other like mad dogs, as if nothing had happened at all. Before even talking to each other, he left her creepy notes telling her she "shined in every way", and Vanessa would almost tear her hair out whenever Zeppelin was with his girlfriend. That when she wasn't busy planning all her dates with a guy she saw once. What?

There's also how Vanessa refuses to listen to Justin (blonde-haired hunk with swelling biceps, also not an airship) every single time he tries to warn her about something. It's basically as if someone you knew kept telling you "Hey, can we talk? I really have some important information that might help save your sorry butt", and you just did the whole dismissive wave thing at him and went "Nah, that can wait."

The writing was fair to middling, some nice metaphors and pretty descriptions filling in here and there, but sometimes scenes would make absolutely no sense. In one scene, Vanessa is sitting while everyone gets up to leave, as she should, as well. Her friend is beside her, but she's momentarily distracted by something. When Vanessa turns back, everyone is gone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dance of Shadows was a book with a premise that immediately intrigued...
Vanessa Adler knows that dancing runs in her family, but she isn't so sure that she belongs at the prestigious New York Ballet Academy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Team LitPick
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books
This book was amazing. The characters could use some work, but the atmosphere was so exhilarating it makes up for the characters. I never would have expected the plot. Read more
Published 6 months ago by JennaJoker
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be amazing, but failed to impress.
I must admit that I was drawn to this book because of the amazing cover and an interesting premise. I love books that feature dancing and in this case it was ballet. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Anatea @ Anatea's Bookshelf
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start and ending, with a slow middle and some issues.
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... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brandi Breathes Books
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful
This book is very descriptive and lets you feel what the characters are feeling. Its suspenseful and slightly creepy but makes you want to read more. I want to read more
Published 9 months ago by personally
2.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of the ballet
**I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl Book Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great
This book was great because it has mystery suspension and details....I mostly recommend this book for dancers.but it is a good book for everyone.
Published 10 months ago by Ryanne Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Slow At Times
Not my usual read, but it was entertaining and an easy read. The characters were a bit shallow and could have used a bit more character development - perhaps some of that will come... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Em & M Books
5.0 out of 5 stars Dance of shadows
I am a dancer myself, and this had me on me on the edge of my chair. I am scared now.
Published 12 months ago by F. Seamons
2.0 out of 5 stars A dance that needs a lot more practice
Vanessa Alder has been haunted since her older sister Margaret's disappearance. Three years later she finds herself in Margaret's place as a standout freshman at the New York... Read more
Published 12 months ago by AshleyiSee
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