The Isle of the Lost – Book Review

Hi my friends!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer spring weather!

A couple weeks ago, Stuart and myself were asked if we would review a book for WDW FanZone that is a prequel for an upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie! I was excited to find out that it was for “The Descendants”, which is due out later this summer and is the story of the children of the Disney Villians!

Samples & prizing are provided by Disney Publishing.

 

IsleoftheLostCover

The Isle of the Lost By: Melissa De La Cruz

The book is geared towards ages 9-12; grade levels 3-7.

(However, I, as a 35 year old, found it just as enjoyable as a young reader would.)

Available in stores as of 5/5/2015 and on Amazon Kindle

Retail price of the book approximately $17.99 US/$18.99 Canada / $9.99 Kindle

 

There are 4 main characters of the story, each are 16 years old.

Mel – daughter of Maleficent – loves the color purple, as it is the color of mystery and magic; moody and dark. Her mother doesn’t really care about her, and compares her to her father as being worthless.

 Jay – son of Jafar – dark long haired, dark eyes, has biker look to him.

Carlos – son of Cruella DeVil – AP student (advanced penchant), loves technology.

 Evie – daughter of the Evil Queen – blue haire and very beautiful. Wants to make her mother happy with her beauty but believes there is more to life than beauty.

We also have another “main character” of the story:

Prince Ben (son of Belle and Beast) – 15 years old, handsome, but with Belle’s gentle eyes and intellect, and heir to the throne of Auradon.

There are also a number of secondary characters throughout the story:

Maleficent, Jafar, Cruella De Vil, Evil Queen, Princess Belle, Prince Beast, Princess Audrey-daughter of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip whom is Ben’s girlfriend, Grumpy, as well as numerous Goblins

Quite a few of our favorite villians have become teachers at the school on the Isle – Dragon Hall.

Dr. Facilier – Headmaster.

Lucifier- Dragon Hall’s mascot.

Mother Gothel- Professor of Selfishness 101 /“Selfies”.

Yen Sid-Professor of Weird Science-He was sent to teach the children how to live without magic and learn the magic of science instead.

Lady Tremaine-Professor of Advanced Evil Schemes and Nasty Tricks.

We also are briefly introduced to some classmates, whom are offspring of any villain you could think of: Claudine Frollo,  Harriet Hook, LeFou Deux, Gaston Jr, and Gaston 3,  Harry & Jace (sons of Horace and Jasper, Cruella’s minions) , Diego DeVil, Sammy Smee, and various others.

On Auradon, we meet the “Sidekicks United” – Dwarfs, Jaq, Gus, Mary, Flounder, Ariels’ sisters, Flora, Fauna, Merryweather, Genier, Pongo, and Perda.

Settings:

Isle of the Lost

“Every manner of Auradon trash was recycled andd repurposed on the island, from bathtubs to door handles, as well as from the villains own formerly magical accourtrements. A shop advertised USED BROOMS THAT DON’T FLY ANYMORE BUT SWEEP OK, and crystal balls that were only good as goldfish bowls these days”

Auradon

“A land of peace and enchantment, prosperity, and delight, which encompassed all the good kingdoms.”   20 years ago, King Beast united all the fairy tale lands into one under his crown, and for the past 20 years he has ruled over its good citizens with strong and fair judgement, and only occasionally a tiny but of his beastly temper. Magic was not allowed in Auradon, ad King Beast and Queen Belle stressed scholarship above enchantment.

Sea of Serenity

Seperates the Isle of the Lost from Auradon.

The Forbidden Fortess

Located on the edge of the island, thick with fog; this is Maleficent’s old palace.

Plot synopsis

As the story begins, we find out that all the villains from the fairy tales we all know were banished from the United Kingdom of Auradon, and imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost. They no longer had their powers and had to live on the scraps that were brought to the Isle from Auradon.

The whole island was invited to the 6th birthday of a princess, Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen, except for 1 child- Mal, daughter of Malefiecent. They were given “baddie bags” which held a variety of evil sidekicks to choose from –baby moray eels, hyenas, black kittens, and parrots.  Mal was upset at not being invited to the party, so Maleficent exclaimed that Evil Queen and her daughter should never show themselves to anyone on the Isle again. The party ended and Mal was happy that everyone else was sad.

10 years later, we are introduced to a teenaged Mal, and her life on the Isle of the Lost. We meet her “friend” Jay, who is the son of Jafar. Both are thieves and steal to survive and try to prove themselves to their parents.

The teenagers attend school at Dragon Hall, where the goal of every teacher at Dragon Hall is to train the new generation of villains not to make the same mistakes the previous villains did. “In evil we trust” is the school motto.

We then meet Carlos, son of Cruella DeVil, and learn that he is terrifed of dogs, as his mother has taught him that dogs were vicious pack animals. He is very tech based, and is always working on something electronic.

Evie is the daughter of the Evil Queen who joins the other teenagers at Dragon Hall, and whom Mel recognizes as the princess whose party she was not invited to 10 years prior. She decides not to be friends with her, but the two girls end up in various classes together. Mel decides to get some revenge on Evie by throwing a party and inviting her as a guest of honor. However, at the party, Mal and Jay shove her into a closet filled with Cruella DeVil’s furs, where then Carlos frees her and they head to his tree-house, where he shows her an electronic device he has been working on. It makes some noise and emits a beam into the sky, and seems to connect for a few minutes to Auradon and other television channels they have (with references to 2 popular Disney Channel shows on currently, one of which stars one of the main characters of the upcoming DCOM).

After this, Mal seems to be ‘connected’ to her mothers scepter – Dragon’s Eye, and is sent on a mission to recover it from her mothers’ old palace, The Forbidden Fortess, so she can regain her powers, and break the curse of the island.

The four teenagers together make their way to the palace, along the way facing challenges and riddles aimed at each individual, but by working together they end up finding the scepter and learning they can depend on each other.

Each child returns home to their parent, only to find out that the parent is not happy with them and they can never make them happy. The teenagers then gather later and roam through the streets of the Isle, not quite friends, but something close enough.

Meanwhile in Auradon, Prince Ben holds a meeting with the Sidekicks United to find out their concerns and worries,such as long work hours, and that living without magic makes it harder for them to perform duties. At a later meeting he comes to an agreement with Grumpy for the Sidekicks concerns. Prince Ben also struggles with finding out who he is and what kind of future ruler of Auradon he will be.

Mal and Prince Ben each had a dream throughout the book that seems to link the two together, and both long to meet the person of their dream. This seems to forshadow a meeting between the two later.

Prince Ben calls a meeting with his parents to tell them of a great idea he has, that would change the fates of both Auradon and the Isle of the Lost forver.  This then ends the story and leads into the plot line for the upcoming DCOM “Descendants”, coming out summer 2015.

 

I enjoyed this story, it was a very easy read, and I sat down one afternoon and read it in under 2 hours. The chapters are not very lengthy, and I would suggest a younger reader take one or two chapters a night to enjoy. I am going to start reading this with Princess Kayla in advance of the DCOM. It was very interesting to read the “other side” of a fairy tale, it reminded me of “Once Upon a Time”, where you can see how the characters live in “real life”. The four main characters are going through their teenage years, trying to find out who they are while trying to please their parents. They all seem to be loners, not really friends with each other during most of the story, but towards the end they seem to be along those lines.

I would strongly suggest that if you love Disney, the Villians, or a good story, to check out this book.  It really helps to set up the story for the upcoming DCOM. It is entertaining, and will have you laughing, excited, curious, and following along to the very end to find out what happens.

 

Special thanks to Disney Book Group, Disney Hyperion, Big Honcho Media , and Disney Publishing for the review copy of The Isle of the Lost for this WDW FanZone article.  All opinions expressed are those of the author of this article.

 

READ AN EXCERPT

http://movies.disney.com/descendants/the-isle-of-the-lost

“Evil tree. Bad Apple?

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost–a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.

Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon’s Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The 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 four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens and adults including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Witches of East End series, and The Ring and the Crown.

 

MEET THE DESCENDANTS prize pack

One (1) winner from WDW FanZone will receive:
1 copy of The Isle of the Lost; a branded tank top, water bottle and temporary tattoos, and a GadgetGrip smartphone home button sticker.

Giveaway open to US addresses only.

Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

DescendantsPrizePack

WDW FanZone The Isle of the Lost Giveaway

To enter the Isle of Lost Prize Pack Giveaway please email comments@wdwfanzone.com. Entries must be received on or before May 10, 2015. One person will be randomly chosen and the winner will be announced on the May 15th live broadcast of the WDW Fan Zone BlogCast on Blog Talk Radio at 11 PM EST.

OFFICIAL LINKS

Learn more at the DisneyDescendants.com

Visit Melissa de La Cruz at her Official Site

#DisneyDescendants #ad

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