Thursday, 10 October 2013

Blog Tour: Black Adagio by Wendy Potocki

I received a copy of Black Adagio in exchange for my review as a part of this blog tour.                                                                                                                                                                   Melissa has been dancing since she was 4 years old to escape the oppressiveness of her home life. Now 18, she's been accepted into the recruiting stages of a new ballet company, run by the famous ballerina, Una. Determined to do her best, Melissa puts her all into her performance, though her adagios are her worst part of dancing, during them she tends to rush ahead of the music. When the company scraps the plans to perform Swan Lake and instead perform a ballet which is rumoured to be cursed, Melissa is set to compete for the lead role. But the other lead dancers seem to keep disappearing, and when other people from the town disappear too things start to heat up. Add to this Melissa's new relationship with police officer, Todd, and there is a lot for the young dancer to cope with. 
I wish to make it clear before I get into my review that I have absolutely no clue as to how to perform ballet (I took lessons when I was about 5 but I wasn't very good). In this respect the glossary at the end of the book, and the internet, were very helpful if I wanted to know exactly what a move was. There was some explanation in the text, but as you can imagine, if ballet moves had been explained every time they happened then the page count would probably be double!

I'm going to start backwards with this review...the ending, wow! That was not what I was expecting in the slightest. The plot was paced well all the way through, but the ending itself kind of just crept up on me, and was suddenly right in front of me. Personally I thought that the ending was kind of sad, in a way, though it did fit completely with the tone of the book. 

The tone of the book itself was dark. Well it didn't start off that way, in fact it started off as tutus and ribbons (literally), with a bit of school girl rivalry and the other things you would expect from a group of dancers in their late teens. But it got darker, and then it got darker still, meaning that by the end things were pretty sinister. Personally I enjoyed it, it made me really want to know what the answer to the mystery was. I had ideas at some points, but I was never too sure who was behind the disappearances. Being surprised by a book like this is something that I like, I must add! 

In case you are worrying about the dark tone of Black Adagio, there are some lighter storylines, such as the romance between Melissa and Todd, I thought that was particularly sweet, and very realistic in the way that it played out. As in instead of love at first sight there were bumps in the road, and it was slow going. The lightness of the romance along with the darkness of the mystery entwined wonderfully to create a full, and moving story. 

I don't really want to say anymore, well I do, but I don't want to spoil the atmosphere of the book, because this is seriously worth a read! 


Black Adagio
Wendy Potocki

Genre: Horror, paranormal

Book Description:

Melissa Solange is presented the chance of a lifetime. Chosen as a member of a new dance company, she works tirelessly perfecting the one element of ballet she's never mastered—the adagio. As she rehearses, a dark force watches. Resurrected by the surprise addition of a classic ballet to the repertoire, the sinister work is thought to be cursed—destroying anyone who attempts to dance it.

When the production's lead dancers begin to disappear, the old warning is taken more seriously. A death worshipping cult called The Innocents is blamed, but she is not so sure. They may be the scapegoat for an ultimate evil living in the woods of Holybrook. Desperate for an answer, she searches for what lurks in the shadows of the old trees before she becomes the next victim of the Danse Macabre.




Excerpt

Keeping track of the passengers that departed, all the stops in town were completed. The last one at the outskirts of town remained. Trying to figure out why Barbara was traveling into the middle of nowhere, he ruled out that she could be headed to the school. She wasn’t a dancer, and evening was much too late to be wandering around in the dark. Then there were those woods. It made no sense for her to be going near there. No one in their right mind would be going into that forest alone.

Alone! That was it! She was going to meet someone, but why was she doing it at this time of night? Perhaps she was cheating on the man she’d left him for. If so, his heart went out to the cuckolded husband. He hated to admit it, but he could well imagine her engaging in this kind of betrayal. If she could do it to him, she was capable of doing it to anyone.

Out on the open highway, the vehicle raced at a clip. Its windshield wipers batting away, the smattering of snow drove into the glass. He stepped on the gas, his car’s tires digging in. Gripping the wheel, the heat was now shooting out and thawing his frozen extremities. His thighs still tensed, it wasn’t from the cold, only the gravity of the situation. Certain that he could press them into further action, they wouldn’t fail him. He was old, but not dead. There was no way he’d miss this opportunity.

His palms were sweating, his brow becoming moist. Old feelings surged up from the soul holding his sanity like fragile glass. His eyes already tearing up with regrets, he wondered if there was a promise of a future. While he was interested in hearing her explanation, what he really wanted was for her to change her mind.

He was being a fool. His friends and family had told him that over and over again. Even with drumming it into his head, all his chances to be happy were let go like grains of sand from a hand opening on a beach. He didn’t want to be with anyone else. It wouldn’t be fair to pretend someone else was her. 

Easing down on the brake, the final stop was up ahead. Pulling to the side of road, he parked, waiting for the inevitable. Withdrawing from the car like a cobra from a basket, he wrapped his arms over his chest, beating his arms slightly for warmth. Hopping from leg to leg, the bus came to a halt. His eyes level with the passenger that emerged, he finally saw her.

“Barbara!” he screamed, the sound covered by the loud rumble of the bus resuming its rounds.

Spinning her head around, she met his eyes. Her face taking on an expression of fright mixed with determination, she took off for the woods. Her high boots easily cutting through the deep snow, his legs had trouble lifting, but he nonetheless tried to follow the footsteps that carved out a trail.

“Barbara, please stop! I only want to talk to you!” he pleaded, “You owe me that much!”

Arms flailing from a slip, he recaptured his balance. The lip of the woods ahead, Barbara was surprisingly fleet of foot. Only a few feet ahead of him, with a tremendous effort, he shifted into a higher gear. His legs pumping forward, his arms aided in him catching up with his elusive muse.

At the foot of the path leading into the forest was where he caught her. His hand groping forward, he snatched a hold of the synthetic white material, not letting go. His other hand joined in, gaining even a better hold on her wrist. Spinning her around, he stared in horror. Unable to speak, he broke the silence with a scream.

About the Author

Wendy Potocki lives and writes in NYC. If that isn't scary enough, she writes in the genre of horror. She
feels creating good horror is an art form. She religiously devotes herself to pursuing it over hill and dale -- and in the crevices of her keyboard.

Named one of the Top Ten "New" Horror Authors by Horror Novel Reviews, she has six self-published novels. Book trailers for many of her works may be found on her official website wendypotocki.com/. Her next planned projects are Thrill, The Virgin, and ZaSo, a Gothic tale of horror.

In her spare time, she loves to go for long walks, drink Starbucks Apple Chai Lattes, make devotional offerings to her cat named Persephone, and be stilled by the grace, beauty and magic of ballet.

web:
http://www.wendypotocki.com/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/WPotocki

Facebook Author page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-Potocki-Author/100285326834525

Book Trailers


Black Adagio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFNRk8IBKoI

The Vampire's Game
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJUWiA55w5U&feature=related

The House of Cards
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWtb1DU2XpU

The Man with the Blue Hat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgQalpFtQuY