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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: Ash

Ash is Malinda Lo's re-telling of the Cinderella. Re-telling is too weak to describe what Lo does with the story. Eviscerated re-imagination might be about right.

This Cinderella did go to a couple of balls, did dance with a prince, and did have a wicked step-mother as well as horrible step-sisters, and there are some fairies and fairy-tales involved, but that's about all she shares with the fairy-tale you probably remember. The faeries are also the darker sort, coming out of stories like Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer., rather than Enid Blyton

The plot is fine, the story is fine, and even the characters are fine. Unfortunately, the writing doesn't line up. There's no soul there, no lyricism. Everything is written in a matter-of-fact post-modern fashion, which isn't what fairy tales should be about. Part of it is that Malinda Lo is probably trying to distance the reader from the traditional story, but another part is almost certainly because Lo just can't write that well, and is perhaps relying on a crutch of the Gay and Lesbian culture's almost certain support of this book.

Not recommended.

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