Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Adventure, Middle Grade read, Disney, Magic
Publishing Date: May 5, 2015
Format: I borrowed the e-book from my public library. You can purchase the book from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Isle-Lost-Descendants-Novel/dp/1484720970/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0E1BR58ER0W0DQMT69GC
First of all, this book is a PREQUEL to Disney’s Descendents. I did not figure this out until a couple weeks after I read it because I still haven’t watched Descendents yet (but I really want to because it stars some of my favorite Disney actors). Also, the SEQUEL to Descendents is called Return to the Isle of the Lost and will be released May 24th, 2016 (TOMORROW!!). I already have a copy to review and that review will be up by next week. Now with that said, let’s get started with the review.
Summary provided by Amazon:
Evil tree. Bad Apple?
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost--a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.
Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon's Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the Dragon's Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.
After all the evil villains of every single fairy tale have been banished to the Isle of the Lost, their kids are now left to learn about their parents and the failures they faced before all magic was banned. Mal, the daughter of Maleficent, tries to be the baddest of them all, as much as possible with their many restrictions on the island and finds herself in some interesting situations. Now that magic is gone, Maleficent is putting all the pressure on Mal to continue the evil that is running through their bloodstream. Alongside Mal are her pals (or enemies) Jay, the son of Jafar; Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen; and Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil.
Mal is the main focus point of the book. The book highlights some scenes from Carlos’, Evie’s and Jay’s lives as well as Prince Ben’s (the son of King Beast and Queen Belle) but they all revolve around Mal. The parts with Prince Ben were scattered and he wasn’t introduced very well because the only times we got to see him was at his council meetings.
Now onto the things I loved:
I really love the concept of the book. It is amazing because most of these villains were created before this generation was born (at least the modern versions of the stories) before us and their children would be around the same age as us now. I feel like we all more or less grew up watching these fairy tales happen so it’s refreshing to see their kids for a change.
Mal was a really likable character, despite the fact that she is supposed to be a villain. Now, most villains are ‘supposed’ to be disliked, because of their natural behavior and the fact that they are villains, (duh?) but I felt myself really liking Mal and Jay and Carlos and Evie. As villains, they aren’t supposed to have friends or feel compassion for anyone, but by the end, despite whatever their parents think, they find companions in each other. Prince Ben also proposes an interesting idea to his parents which is the segway into the movie.
The school that the villains also go to is very interesting. It is all taught by reject villains and the kids have to make a master villainous plan to regain their fame.
Personally, I think that this book is targeted for teens and not younger kids in elementary school (like it is listed for). I feel like the vocabulary and the plot was a little more intricate for elementary schoolers.
This book kind of disappointed me, after all the hype the movie stirred up. (Actually, I didn’t actually realize that this was a prequel to the book until well after the movie came out.)
The book was well written but I feel like the plot could have been developed further. I know that the book is only the prequel to the movie but somethings were just not set up very well. The book sets up some storylines that I know will be continued throughout the movie and the next book, Return to the Isle of the Lost.
I also found some of the attempts to make everything ‘bad’ to be annoying at times. It just seemed like the author tried just a little bit ~too~ hard to make everything bad. I can see the appeal in it but eventually just got a little rhetoric.
I still have pretty high hopes in that the sequel will be better and continue the story. I love Mal and I know that she will provide very interesting adventures in the future. The adventure aspect in this book wasn’t great but that was expected because it is setting up the scene for the movie and I fully expect more crazy things to happen then.
I really wish that the readers can find out more about the children of all the princes and princesses and their adventures because I feel like they may have their own stories to tell.
Overall I give the book 8 out of 10 stars. I recommend the book to anyone who has seen Descendents and wants to know more about the characters. This was the first book by Melissa that I have read and I’m excited to read more books by here.
Also (!!) Return to the Isle of the Lost drops tomorrow so all of you should go and pick up a copy. (You can purchase it from Amazon). I will read it and review it by this Thursday. Keep your eyes peeled for that and you can follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin’ to be the first to find out when the post comes out!
So what did you guys think? Pitch in your thoughts in the comments or find me on social media. As always, I’ll see you later!
Brooke's a high schooler who loves to read all sorts of books. She's happy to be able to share all the books she's reading with all of y'all.