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

July 14, 2015 Book, Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review: The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la CruzThe Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Friendship, Humor, Paranormal, Retelling, Young Adult
Series: The Descendants #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 5th 2015
Source: Own
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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.

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz isn’t just any book fanfic style about what happens after some of our most beloved Disney movies ended. At first it seemed like that until I saw the depth of what this story wanted to bring forth that I had to stop and say “woah” a few times.

Auradon is the Kingdom ruled by King Beast and Queen Belle where everyone has their happily ever after, except nothing is as happy as it seems to everyone. If you ever wondered what happened after The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, The Beauty and The Beast, and many other stories, this goes very into detail as how not even fairy tales are perfect for everyone. The sidekicks i.e. Flounder, the mice, the three fairies, etc., are unhappy with all the work and little benefits, princesses that have no brains at all, a King who looks a bit arrogant to my eyes, not even the perfect island for goodie-two-shoes is perfect.

Then we have The Isle of the Lost, a dump where all the bad guys live and we see the lives of our main characters, Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos, as they go on a search for Maleficent’s Dragon’s Eye, which may be the only remaining source of magic on the island they were sent to by King Beast.

This book goes into political arguments about hard labor, benefits to workers, the responsibilities of a king, and how what might look perfect on the outside can be wretched on the inside. I mean, come on, just because you abandoned all the villains in an island it doesn’t mean there can’t be any bad in Auradon, and the same with good in The Isle. Which is just perfect because I think that’s what the book was aiming at.

“Why us? How did we luck into this life? How is that fair? To be born into a life without a choice in the matter, without the freedom to be anyone else?”

Each character faces an ugly reality as they have to live to their parents expectations about being extremely evil (Mal), provide them with the luxurious life they once had (Jay), be their slaves (Carlos), magnificent beauty unprecedented (Evie), and be a rightful king like this father (Prince Ben). Through these characters we are faced with an old dilemma all teenagers face about identity. Everyone tells you to be something that you’re not once in a while, and you have to do things you don’t want to. But we have the choice to decide who we truly are and how we want to be, regardless of our parentage or previous life choices.

This was a really great read I deeply enjoyed. It was seeing fairy tale twists like never before. I fangirled so hard whenever a famous character was mentioned, like Dr. Facilier, Maleficent, Belle, Flounder, and many more. I can honestly say that I am even more excited to what awaits these characters in the Disney Channel movie The Descendants.

Rating Report
Overall: 4


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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything 🙂
  • Uh hello?! Why don’t I know anything about this book?! This sounds awesome!!!

  • Karen

    I keep trying books by this author and they never seem to work for me but this sounds awesome! Maybe it will be the right fit!

    Karen @For What It’s Worth