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Yelena Black

Autor(a) de Dance of Shadows

4 Works 233 Membros 24 Reviews


Obras de Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows (2013) 208 cópias
Dance of Fire (2015) 15 cópias


Conhecimento Comum




I’m the last person who would criticize someone’s writing, but I do think I can criticize the moronic plot that the book packagers came up with. (Tinderbox Books LLC came up with the concept, pitched it to Bloomsbury, hired the writer Yelena Black.) It seems like a case where more attention was paid to the book’s cover (which is textured and features an extra, metallic color, and there’s also a downloadable app that interacts with the cover) than to the “content,” or “writing” as it used to be known.

The story seemed promising—it’s essentially the plot of Satan’s School For Girls, remember that 1970s made-for-TV movie? But there really wasn’t any story. [NOT A SPOILER, BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING TO SPOIL.] On page four, an evil choreographer eviscerates a ballet student into a pile of ashes. Then the main character spends 360 pages trying to make sense of the strange happenings at her ballet school, only to finally learn that an evil choreographer eviscerates ballet students into piles of ashes.

I was excited about this book because it takes place at a ballet school so closely modeled on the School of American Ballet that the original publisher’s summary referred to the fictional school as the School of American Ballet. (The summary was recently changed on Amazon to give the name actually used in the book, New York Ballet Academy.) When I say it was modeled on SAB, I just mean that the location of the school in the book is the same as SAB’s real-life location, and just like in real life, the school is associated with New York City Ballet. I don’t mean that the real-life Peter Martins is necessarily eviscerating students into piles of ashes.

But the ballet theme is just a thin veneer over the clunky plot. Everything ballet-related is sketchy and rushed. The students take a class (boys and girls together, not a partnering class), but they don’t warm up at the barre. They go to see NYCB perform but there’s no description of the dancing, no intermission. They’re learning to dance The Firebird for their workshop performance, but it’s never explained who choreographed this Firebird. It might have been the evil foreign choreographer but it was never clear. There’s talk of how most ballerinas are fragile (really?), but not the main character Vanessa. When the students are having trouble with the choreography, they don’t talk about how to do the steps, they decide they need to understand the emotions behind the roles. Their teachers never give them any kind of corrections, they just tell them they’re wonderful or terrible. With a bit of search and replace, it could really be any kind of school—a school for chefs, wizards, ice skaters, whatever; there’s no specificity.

What did I like about this book? I loved that the teachers would hit the students on the legs with a stick, like in imperial Russia. I loved how a principal dancer at NYCB was forced to stand in front of the curtain after the audience had left, waiting to be punished for making a mistake in her performance. I liked how for twenty years every student cast in the lead of The Firebird had mysteriously vanished, and yet they still kept putting it in the program. In short, I liked everything that was over-the-top, campishly sinister, and ballet-related. There just wasn’t enough stuff like that for my taste. If you enjoy love triangles with one brooding boy and one golden boy, you might get more out of this book than I did.

If you had joined an elite ballet school for the sole purpose of finding out what happened to your missing sister, and people were constantly warning you to beware, and you kept seeing inexplicable things, would you really be surprised to discover that something supernatural was afoot? I would not read the sequel, but I would read something else by Yelena Black. I hope she gets the opportunity to write another book with a more well-constructed storyline.
… (mais)
1 vote
jollyavis | outras 23 resenhas | Dec 14, 2021 |
As a freshman in her first year at the New York Ballet Academy it should have been impossible for Vanessa to be cast as the principal dancer in the upcoming ballet, but Vanessa has a talent for dancing, even if she lacks the passion for it. However Vanessa came to New York for more then dancing, she came to walk in the footsteps of her missing sister Margaret, to dance where she danced and to hopefully discover the truth of what happened to her.

Vanessa is consumed by two mysteries, her sister and the dance. It was the ballet her sister was meant to dance and now the part is hers, Margaret is the reason Vanessa dances, her motivation to go one when she no longer feels the will to. But when she dances she forgets everything, only the dance matters, the erratic, chaotic dance that is somehow linked to her sister. As her dancing improves she comes ever closer to discovering what happened to her sister, but will it be enough to find her.

Dance Of Shadows combines ballet with the supernatural, where dance opens a portal to another world and a ballet of love, loss and danger mirrors life. Like the dance, Vanessa is erratic in her thoughts and chaotic in her actions as she is drawn deeper into the mystery of her missing sister and driven closer to discovering the secrets of the ballet La Danse de Feu. With two leading men and supporting friends this dance is sure to please the romantics at heart.
… (mais)
LarissaBookGirl | outras 23 resenhas | Aug 2, 2021 |
1 Determined and Talented Dancer (NOT here for the dancing...)
1 Elite Dance Academy
3 Excellent Friends (non-catty variety)
2 Mysterious Boy Love Interests (Creepy Variety), including
1 ZEPPELIN GRAY - he has metallic gray eyes (is that even a possible thing?) and his name is ZEPPELIN (HOW is that a thing?)
1 Catty (Ex?)Girlfriend

13(?) Missing Lead Ballerinas, including
1 Elder Sister and 1 Friend
1 Missing Diary
1 Unnecessarily Weird Hazing Ritual

1 Unbelievably Creepy Rehearsal Space
1 Bizarre Difficult Demon Summoning Ritual Dance (okay, that may be a spoiler, but it was also INCREDIBLY obvious from the Prologue)
2 Sinister Necrodancers (yes, that is what they are called)
1 Secret Library
1 Demon
… (mais)
Caramellunacy | outras 23 resenhas | Mar 10, 2021 |
This book was different from a lot of books I've read. The plot about a dancer who goes to a famous ballet school and then discovers girls have been disappearing wasn't something I've really seen before. I liked the mystery and intrigue of the story although I was frustrated that no one would tell Vanessa what was actually going on. Everyone was so sketchy and I just wanted to Vanessa to demand answers! The beginning was a little boring but I did pick up and the ending was cool. Overall not a bad read.… (mais)
AlyP59 | outras 23 resenhas | Apr 25, 2019 |

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