Nov 2, 2021

Review--Escape from the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz


Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos may have once been the baddest of the bad, but their wicked ways are (mostly) behind them-and now graduation is almost here! But before the seniors can don their custom-designed caps and gowns, courtesy of Evie, they've got an epic plan to put into action. There are tons of villain kids on the Isle of the Lost who are eager for their chance to come to Auradon Prep-even Celia, Dr. Facilier's trickster daughter, wants in on the deal!-and Mal's crew is using their upcoming visit to the Isle to help make it happen. But Auradon's biggest threat is still at large?

Trapped on the other side of the barrier, Uma is more desperate than ever to get her long-awaited revenge against Mal. When she discovers an underground lair belonging to Hades, god of the underworld, Uma realizes she's found the perfect partner in crime. Together, they can defeat Mal, bring down the barrier, and escape the Isle for good.

Mal and Uma have a score to settle, and they'll come face to face in an explosive underwater battle that could determine the fates of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost once and for all.


Escape from the Isle of the Lost brings an end to the Descendant book series by Melissa de la Cruz, but it's not the actual end, as that was what the movie was for. I was not aware how integral the movies would be for the plot and storylines of these books. In book 2, we had a recap of the movie events so you could easily dive into the book story, but that recap never came back for these next two installments which left me a bit lost.

So apparently big things happened in the second movie that led to the entire setup for this book. Since I didn't read it, I really had no clue what was going on with Uma and Hades, and the rest of the villains on the Isle of the Lost. Honestly, when I read that second book things were a breeze because there was that little recap. Now, it was a bit challenging.

Uma is planning her revenge once again for whatever Mal did to her in the movie. From what I gathered, Uma tried to steal Ben with magic, but it didn't end well, naturally. Now Uma has lost everything and she is gunning for revenge even more than before! She ends up teaming up with Hades in her plan to take down the barrier that keeps everyone a prisoner on the island.

Meanwhile, Mal, Evie, and Jay are all preparing for graduation, while Carlos still has another year to go. Mal and Ben come up with the idea that more villains' kids should be allowed to attend the school and be "reformed" like they were. In order to get applicants for this new project, Mal and her friends return to the island to do some recruiting. But what they don't know is that Uma is lurking in the waters nearby, just waiting for her shot a revenge.

Again, this book really had me at a loss what with not seeing the movie and not knowing what had happened or what Uma was capable of now in her new situation. She seems to have taken on some of her mother's abilities or at least form, or something like that since she seems to be confined to the ocean. Then of course, you add in Hades and I'm really thrown through the loop, because where did he come from all of a sudden?

While I felt like this series started out really strong, it sort of fell apart for me since I never made it past the first movie. This apparently was a series meant to be read along with the movies and if you decide to skip the latter, well, the books won't make much sense.

I did find myself skimming most of the pages for this one as my heart just didn't seem to be in it anymore once I caught onto the need to watch the movies in order to enjoy this one. I also didn't seem to understand why Mal's beloved Ben wasn't in the story as much either. My only assumption is that the books were meant to just focus on the villains' kids and not the newfound hero friends.

While this book did end mostly happily, there were still things being set into motion and enough cliffhangers to make one anticipate the next and final movie of the series, but again, I didn't really get into the movies. The first one was cute, but it wasn't enough to hold my attention fully, so I skipped out on the rest of the series. I had thought the books would work with the movies somehow and incorporate a bit of the movie storyline in with the book one, but I had that all wrong apparently! So perhaps that's why my enjoyment of the series started to dwindle after the second book.

While this series ended up not being one for me, I would still highly recommend it for the younger crowd or those who had enjoyed the movies! I do like the idea of having a book series work in and around a movie series, but if you never watched the movies, this series will be a bit hard to get through.

Overall Rating 2/5 stars

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