I’m about 10 years late to the party on this book!
Ash by Malinda Lo – 2.5/5 stars | Goodreads Review
Plot – I think the story progression suffers from trying to follow the traditional Cinderella plot points. To be honest, not much happens in this book. I would not be against reading Huntress to find out if anything happens beyond this, but I’m disappointed that Lo took all the time and effort to craft an interesting first act, but didn’t follow up with anything substantial or novel when she closes the story. I am glad that this was a relatively quick and easy read, but this wasn’t much beyond a retelling with a new coat of paint on the original most people are acquainted with.
Characters – Ash was like ash… very meh and grey. The only character I found slightly interesting was the younger step-sister, Clara (+ half a star!). There wasn’t any chemistry between Ash and Kaisa. And again, I was disappointed that since this is a retelling, you can take artistic liberty and do pretty much anything you want with the Cinderella template. But alas, there was a failure to deliver a compelling romance on top of these very bland characters.
World – Lo does a good job of setting up the atmosphere of Ash, with the history of the conflict between the greenwitches and the scholar monks, but there seemed to be no follow up to that in the end. Ultimately I liked the greenwitch and monk conflict enough to give it 2 stars for the world-buidling effort.
On a side note, I will confess I didn’t really understand what was going on with the whole Sidhean and love curse thing. If anyone gets it, please let me know… Explain. I understood that Sidhean played the role of a fairy godfather, but the ending was abrupt and I feel like there was a dearth of answers given to the reader.
I’ve heard great things about Malinda Lo’s writing, so I’m willing to pick up another book by her. I just don’t feel like this was the right book for me to start with. So, there you have it.