Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy


How did I get it?:
Edelweiss, thanks to Soho Teen


Marina is born of privilege. Her mother, Sveta, is the Soviet Union’s prima ballerina: an international star handpicked by the regime. But Sveta is afflicted with a mysterious second sight and becomes obsessed with exposing a horrific state secret. Then she disappears.
Fearing for their lives, Marina and her father defect to Brooklyn. Marina struggles to reestablish herself as a dancer at Juilliard. But her enigmatic partner, Sergei, makes concentration almost impossible, as does the fact that Marina shares her mother’s “gift,” and has a vision of her father’s murder at the hands of the Russian crooks and con artists she thought they’d left behind. 
Now Marina must navigate the web of intrigue surrounding her mother’s disappearance, her ability, and exactly whom she can—and can’t—trust.


I really thought I’d adore this book. I love books that involve dance, so I was SO excited to read this book. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work for me. I finished reading it because it was so easy to read. It’s just not what I expected. Marina is an interesting character that clearly goes through a lot during this short read.

The premise is good. It’s why I wanted to read it! The time period and the setting of the book is also intriguing. I think the main problem with this book for me, was that I didn’t know enough about the Cold War/Russia. I think if it had been explained more thoroughly then I wouldn’t have had a problem at all. However, this part of the story doesn’t seem to be very connected to the character’s story.
I’m not sure how necessary it was to include Marina’s visions. She appears to share her mother’s gift for second sight. I think if this book didn’t have so much going on, then it could focus on one particular thing and make it much more stronger. Elizabeth Kiem is a talented writer, and I would be intrigued to read something else by her.

Would I recommend it?:
It’s not for me!- I don’t feel like I connected with the book as much as I would’ve liked. There just wasn’t enough information in it to make me feel like I knew what was going on around. This of course, is just personal opinion. You might enjoy it!

Reading next:
Divergent- Veronica Roth


6 thoughts on “Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy

  1. It;s too bad. you’re right, the premise is good. I’m intrigued by the premise. I learned about cold war when I was in high school but I don’t know if I still remember it that it could help me if I want to read this book.
    Nice review btw 🙂

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