Sep 8, 2015

Review--The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent's daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon's eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen's daughter, Evie, doesn't know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she's a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal's little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he's not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon's eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil's son may not be bravest, but he's certainly clever. Carlos's inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon's eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon's 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 kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.

Melissa de la Cruz brings us a Disney lover's dream come true with The Isle of the Lost! Ever wonder what happened after Happily Ever After? Well, this is the book that tells us that story. Some 20 years after all these Disney movies have reached their happy ends, we see what happens to the villains of those stories.

Right away my question about this book is: how can these villains have kids when most of them died in their movie? Simple answer: magic brought them back, so they can basically be punished with imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. Every Disney villain ever is here, from the Evil Queen down to Mother Gothel from Tangled. We see so many familiar and unexpected faces, like Lucifer, and Clayton's son for goodness sake's! You remember Clayton from Tarzan right? It was awesome in that sense as I love my Disney. Though what aggravated me the most is that we never get to know who the "other" parents are. The villains are apparently single parents. And talking about "dad" or "mom" in Jay's case, just isn't done.

In this story we see Mal who strives to win her mother, Maleficent's approval as being the baddest of the bad. Her best "friend", as villains don't have friends, is Jay, Jafar's son, who's a natural born thief, who is looking for the ultimate steal to win his dad's approval. Basically, these teens strive to make their parents proud of their evil deeds.

Evie, the Evil Queen's daughter has always strived to be absolutely beautiful, to be the fairest. She's coming to school after a decade long exile that Maleficent enforced after Mal was shunned from six year old Evie's birthday party. Mal who still holds a grudge, naturally wants to pull the greatest evil scheme on Evie. Plus, the scheme is a homework assignment. Then there's Carol's, aka Cruelle de Vil's son. He's your typical genius, yet the poor kid barely makes his mother's notice. He's basically Cinderella-esque as he does all the housework and is kind of bullied as well. Carlos also is working on an experiment that could possibly bring more TV shows and possibly magic ti the dome/prison because these things have been banned since the beginning of it all.

The four end up joining together when something happens with Carlos' experiment that put a hole in the dome and allowed magic for a brief moment. Maleficent's raven, Diablo, is freed from his stone prison and Maleficent believes her scepter would be power ready too. And that's the quest the four teens find themselves on.

Auroradon is basically the hero's version of the US and it's where all our princes and princesses live, plus animal friends. King Beast and Queen Belle are ready to retire and their son, Ben will soon take the throne. Sadly, there's not much interaction between these two groups, but that's where the movie comes in. As this book is the prequel to the Disney Channel movie.

There's no romance in this one, but you can see something things being set up, likely for the movie. There were some things I didn't like that much about this one. One thing were the Disney movie inaccuracies. I felt like quite a few details were mixed up from the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale and the Disney movie. Such as Aurora's age being 18 when she fell into a cursed sleep versus 16. Maleficent also claims she cursed everyone to sleep when in the movie, that was really done by the three good fairies. Jafar apparently is no longer a genie. Add to that Iago is here, which can basically mean that Melissa ignored the sequel Aladdin movies. But Iago's apparent "love" of crackers was wrong because in the movie he hates them. I pretty much won the Disney Trivia game as a kid, every time! So I remember these details, because I am a Disney fanatic and proud! LOL!

The last thing that bugged me was King Beast! Yes, we never knew his true name in the movie and now there are claims his name is Adam. Regardless, here he is King Beast! And it bugged me because that doesn't sound like the name of a "hero"/prince/king. The other thing about King Beast that nagged at me was his complete disregard towards the villains. I get that the villains are evil. The adults are and we all know this. But Ben is starting to wonder why everyone must still be kept separate. I sympathized with him on that. King Beast obviously doesn't remember that he was basically a PRICK when he was human the first go around and hence he was cursed to be a beast. He needed to learn to CHANGE and be a better person and not "selfish and unkind". He changed, yet he believes everyone of the Isle of the Lost are incapable of change. Even the children and this bugged the hell out of me because he's being such a hypocrite! This from the "hero" of my favorite Disney movie! We'll have to see if he changes his tune in The Descendants movie.

Overall The Isle of the Lost was a cute read. Definitely another read that's for the younger YA crowd. The ones who are just starting YA after MG. It's a read that's also sure to delight Disney fanatics alike. Just be prepared to accept that our villains live again! They have kids with no significant other in sight. And finally, that not all children will take after their parents! :)

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


  1. Did you end up watching The Descendents? I thought there were a few things obviously that didn't fit with what we know about these characters, but it ended up being cute. So glad you read this one! I was interested in it after the press it got on the movie.

  2. I bought this book for my daughter recently and didn't even realize that there's a movie that goes along with it (we don't get The Disney Channel, but we can usually find the movies on Hulu, Netflix or some other way I think). Now I'm more excited to have her read it (and for me to read it too - I'm SUCH a Disney fan!).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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