Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Adventure, Middle Grade read, Disney, Magic
Publishing Date: May 24, 2016
Format: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
You however, can purchase the book from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Return-Isle-Lost-Descendants-Novel/dp/1484750713/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464400999&sr=8-1&keywords=return+to+the+isle+of+the+lost
First of all, how awesome is this series? As you probably could tell by my review of the prequel (if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is: Isle of the Lost Review)
Summary from Amazon:
Mal's an expert at intimidating her enemies, but she's broken the habit since leaving her villainous roots behind. So when she and her friends Evie, Carlos, and Jay all receive threatening messages demanding they return home, Mal can't believe it. Sure, she's King Ben's girlfriend now, and she's usually nice to her classmates, but she still didn't think anyone would be silly enough to try to push her around.
The thing is, it kind of worked. Especially since she and her friends have a sneaking suspicion that their villainous parents are behind the messages. And when Evie looks into her Magic Mirror, what she sees only confirms their fears. Maleficent's just a tiny lizard after her run-in with Mal at Ben's Coronation, but she's the worst villain in the land for a reason. Could she have found a way to escape? Whatever's going on, Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay know they have to sneak back to the Isle and get to the bottom of it.
Without its infamous leader, the island's even worse than when they left it, but the comforts of home-even a home as gloomy as the Isle of the Lost-can be hard to resist for recently reformed villains. Will the kids be able to beat the evil bubbling at the Isle's wicked core, or will the plot to destroy Auradon succeed?
If you didn’t figure it out already, in this book, Mal and her friends (note, not enemies) go back to the Isle of the Lost. (lol, sorry for the sarcasm there :)) Also just a warning, I don’t talk too much about the actual events that happen in the book, to avoid giving away any spoilers.
So as far as character development goes, I really liked how we can see more character development for the other characters (Jay, Evie, and Carlos) in this book. I feel like we can connect more with them and really know more about their background because none of that was very clear in Isle of the Lost. We can also see more of their unique personalities. Their past personalities are still apparent within the text, making it interesting to read.
We also get to read more into Ben’s character, especially now that he is the king. It really is interesting to see how he handles problems, especially since he is also in school and trying to lead a somewhat normal teenage life. In addition to that, I also liked that we are introduced to more characters from Auradon like the kids of the other royal couples.
There are some characters who are jerks to Mal and the gang, simply because they are different and had other cultural upbringing than them. I don’t know if this was the intention but I feel like this represents today’s society and how people from other cultural backgrounds are sometimes seen as a lesser part in society.
In the first few chapters, a common item was the mysterious notes that the kids find hidden among their belongings. Instantly, they are reminded of their parents and the goals that their parents have and wanted them to do.
Although Maleficent was turned into the lizard at Ben’s coronation (which happened in the movie) the fear of her escaping hangs onto everyone’s mind; both of those in Auradon and on The Isle of the Lost. The other parents are also lurking in the back of the other’s minds. They were just so used to having their parents telling them what to do with their life and correcting them.
Ah, I just really liked the idea of this book. All the kids are now on Auradon, living peacefully (well,...almost) with the other kids and going to a regular high school (although I was really sad to not be able to read about the Dragon Hall and all the mischiefs that happened there) until the big problem suddenly hits.
Another thing that I love is that Mal and Evie are like, best friends. I absolutely adore Evie (maybe it’s just because I love Sofia Carson, the actress who plays Evie in Descendents on Disney) and everything that she stands for. There are also more modern technology like phones and even their own version of Instagram, Snapchat and Gmail in this book. I really likes how it turned out because in the other book, everything was banned so it’s fun to see these ‘villains’ use the technology that we are so used to these days.
Halfway through the book, I had that “oh my god, did this book just hit a dead end?” because of the turn of events. The ending wasn’t as big as I expected it to be but still answered a lot of the questions that I had.
The cover is definitely worth mentioning. It is similar to the cover of Isle of the Lost and a couple of times i thought that the cover for Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (a Alice retelling for Alice through the Looking Glass). But one thing that did stand out to me is that the foil on cover is slightly reflective which I’m going to interpret as the gang’s confusion on what to do and who they are throughout the book. Then again, I may just be over analyzing this. But regardless, I love the cover of this book.
Now before I end this review, I just wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from the book. Now there were a lot of really great quotes but on that stuck onto me was "Defeat only makes villains try harder" -Mal.
Overall this book is way better than the first one. I love how detailed it was and how much more we found out about the characters and their lives. There were real adventures and read threats, making for an amazing to follow story line. I give this book a 9/10 and I really recommend the book to anyone who loved the first book and.or the movie or just anyone who loves Disney.
Ok so I guess that’s it for this review. It was a fun read and I really can not wait for the second movie to come out (actually, I’m not sure it the production of the movie is finalized by Disney, but nonetheless, I can still hope right?) Tell me what you thought about the book and whether or not you liked it. As always, you can comment down below or find me on social media!
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.