Clearly, as an older male, I am not the target audience for a book like this, but: 1) I really enjoy YA literature; 2) I like a good mystery; and 3) I studied dance, specifically ballet, in my younger days and still work in the entertainment industry. Maybe that makes me part of the target audience after all?
This was a quick, easy read. Perhaps a little too easy for my tastes.
First, I never got a sense of urgency or impending death, despite the constant danger that our heroine, Dani Spevak, was in. From finding the dead body, to hiding from the police, to carrying a live bomb, to a death threat tossed through a window, to the nearly impending death at the very end… it all flowed so smoothly and evenly that I never once worried that this might be the last book in the Dani Spevak series. And without feeling a sense of danger, it was nearly impossible to be emotionally tied to the characters.
Early on I consciously was reminded of my early writing teachers’ lessons of “show, don’t tell” and how this seemed to violate that rule. It was because I was being told the story that I wasn’t caught up in it directly.
Plotwise, I have to admit that I’ve always taken issue with characters that make astounding leaps in deductive logic… or buck authority because adult professionals are too stupid to understand. Yes, I’ve been a fifteen year old (have three teens in my house now, one 15), but any character brave and bold enough to be the focus of a series of mysteries needs to rely less on luck and more on making smart choices. This, above all, was the biggest strike against the book, to me.
However, because of it’s true target audience, I’ve given it a bit of lattitude. I can understand that there IS an audience out there that really wants mysteries in an arts setting and that would find this extremely attractive. There’s enough story, enough mystery, enough dance for a quick fun read for the right audience.
Looking for a good book? For the right audience, this might work.
* * * * * *
Pas De Death
author: Amanda Brice
paperback, 140 pages