Book Review: Another Dance

L. A. Ashton

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

published: 8th July 2019
spoilers? no


Kaito Watanabe has finally nabbed an interview with his idol, Cristian Alvarez. Kaito is a journalist who’s spent his entire life looking up to the figure-skating champion. Cristian’s passion on the ice unearthed a love of dance in Kaito and made him believe in the power of artistic expression.

Now Kaito is face-to-face with the man he’s always admired. He believes himself insignificant and ordinary, a moth drawn to the light Alvarez casts. He can’t allow himself to believe Cristian’s flirtations are anything but natural charm—but Cristian has other plans. The tension pitches higher, legs and fingers intertwine, and Kaito begins to wonder if his fantasies have a shot at becoming reality.

Galley provided by publisher

This book feels like fanfiction. I don’t (necessarily) mean that in a bad way. It reminds me of good fanfiction. But the problem is it feels like fanfiction in the sense that it’s like I’m reading a fic from a fandom I know nothing about. Like I’m missing some vital context to make sense of it and get that emotional payoff.

Another Dance is essentially a Yuri on Ice AU where Yuuri is a journalist and Viktor is Spanish. Kaito and Cristian meet for the first time pre-competition when Kaito interviews Cristian (side note, here: you have no idea how often I start typing Yuuri and Viktor and then remembering this is not quite that close to being fic). After the comp, they hook up (in public! That’s not unhygienic at all). And then. Not all that much else happens.

Yes, it’s a novella. Yes, I don’t expect huge amounts of plot/action in a novella. But I would at least like some development of the relationship. Here, they met, they flirted, they hooked up, they flirted some more. So when I say it felt like a fic, this is what I mean. It felt like a 10k fic that’s just been written to somehow get two characters in a fandom together. But I don’t know the fandom, I don’t have any reason to want them together. And the novella doesn’t give me a reason to. A third of it is taken up by sex scenes, so that leaves even less time to convince me to go for this relationship.

In a way, that combined with the sense I got of it being like YOI fic. Because the characters felt so like Yuuri and Viktor, I think that’s why I felt as though I was missing something. Maybe that’s something you would like, but for me, I was just a bit thrown off.

But, it’s a good story. It’s a readable story. Even if it felt a little like it should have been in some kind of larger context.

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