Thursday, February 28, 2013
Dance of Mediocre Shadows
Dancing, like music, can be a spiritual thing, but when the people surrounding get too caught up in it, it can get dangerous. In Yelena Black's Dance of Shadows, Vanessa already knows how dangerous the New York Ballet Academy can be, but she doesn't care. She cares about finding her missing sister.
Vanessa has been accepted to the prestigious New York Ballet Academy, but her parents are obviously nervous about her actually attending since her sister disappeared from the same Academy years ago. Still, they let her go, and she is determined to attend. For Vanessa, ballet is addictive, almost a drug, but there is something even more important at the Academy than dance: answers about her sister's disappearance.
When she gets there, she realizes there are many dark secrets to the Academy. The lead choreographer, Josef, is ruthless in his control of all the dancers, and it turns out Vanessa's sister isn't the only lead ballerina to disappear. In fact, every girl who was made lead in the Firebird has disappeared, along with some others. But it seems anyone who digs too deep goes missing as well. And when Vanessa is made lead in Firebird as a freshman, she starts to get close to the truth. When a friend of hers goes missing suddenly, the shadows around the studio become all too apparent. Vanessa will not give up on her sister and the other girls, but she may be playing with fire...
Sadly for me, I didn't think this was a stellar story. I was very interested in the ballet angle, the missing girls, etc., but where this story went was particularly odd. But that wasn't the only thing I struggled with. First, the characters weren't well-developed, including Vanessa. They were all very flat for me, and even the love triangle with Zeppelin and Justin was so dry I just didn't particularly care who she ended up with.
**SPOILERS AHEAD** And even worse for me was the supernatural element. I think the mystery of the missing girls was a great angle, but wouldn't a school be shut down if it lost 13 girls in 20 years, especially with so few kids accepted into the school?? How does that go unnoticed? But even so, the supernatural element was odd. It wasn't particularly interesting for me, and I love supernatural books. Also, the "mystery" was relatively predictable and seriously?? A necrodancer? Oh, boy. That was a stretch. Worse yet is that this is supposed to be a trilogy. As if one demon of the dance wasn't bad enough, now we plan to track down all the evil ballet demon summoners? *END SPOILER*
So, sadly I will most likely not be reading the next book in the trilogy. If I do, it will most likely be a moment of weakness to see where the story leads. I wasn't particularly thrilled with this book and I wish the story was as flawless as the beautiful cover.