The Isle of the Lost
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: The Descendants #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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.
First Sentence: Once upon a time, during a time after all the happily-ever-afters, and perhaps even after the ever-afters after that, all the evil villains of the world were banished from the United Kingdom of Auradon and imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Ever since I saw the words “Disney” and “told from the point of view of the villains,” I just knew I had to get my greedy hands on The Isle of the Lost. Add a premise of all the villains of the many Disney characters we know and love are trapped in an island without any magic of their own and I am sold. I was extremely lucky enough to get an early copy of The Isle of the Lost, which turned out to be a fun read, although it does have its faults.
“Who are you?” she demanded. “Are you some kind of prince or something?”
“You know who I am,” the boy said. “I’m your friend.”
Mal was instantly relieved. “Then this is a dream,” she said with a crafty smile. “Because I have no friends.” (ARC 16)
The Isle of the Lost features a variety of characters from different Disney movies we know and love, along with a few new characters: their kids. A minor problem I have with this is that The Isle of the Lost features Disney characters I don’t remember, and also mentions them quite often. I mean, as a kid, I wasn’t a fan of 101 Dalmatians, so I had absolutely no clue who Cruella De Vil was and honestly, who on Earth bothers to remember Cinderella’s stepmother’s name? I know I don’t. (Cinderella’s stepmother’s name is Lady Tremaine by the way.) Some of the characters are explained – like Cruella De Vil’s two henchmen – but some are not.
In the prologue of The Isle of the Lost, the main characters were age six and then was sixteen once the actual story began. My main problem with The Isle of the Lost is that the characters don’t act their age. Even though the characters were sixteen, they acted between the ages of twelve and thirteen, probably because the book is going to be made into a Disney movie, which is mainly for very young children to watch. Because of this, The Isle of the Lost felt more like a middle grade novel than a young adult novel.
“Excited to see me?” Mal asked with a smile.
He nodded yes. Except that Carlos wasn’t excited.
He was terrified.
Somewhere, deep down, he even wanted his mommy. (ARC 72)
I am disappointed with the way The Isle of the Lost ended. Overall, The Isle of the Lost felt like a filler book for the rest of the series and an introduction to the movie. Nothing much happens and nothing was resolved; The Isle of the Lost only gave us tempting hints of what was to come.
Despite these problems, The Isle of the Lost was a fun, quick read. I am curious how the book would look on the big screen with all the Disney characters we’ve seen in different movies all in one place and how it’ll portray the characters’ thoughts and feelings without it looking out of place.