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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Isle of the Lost Book Review

This review is of the prequel book to the highly anticipated Disney TV movie "The Descendants", "The Isle of the Lost."

Main Characters: Mal (daughter of Malificent), Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen), and Carlos (son of Cruella DeVil)

Length: 331 pages

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Summary (contains spoilers): Many years ago King Beast (from Beauty and the Beast) banished all the villains and their families from the kingdom of Auradon to an isolated island. The island ruled by Malificent is protect by a special barrier that prevents magic. The inhabitants of this island live off of the hand me downs, left overs and scraps from Auradon. 
Mal and Jay are "not" the best of friends, villains do not have friends. They enjoy stealing and tormenting classmates and fellow townspeople together. When word gets out that a princess will be attending Dragon Hall with them they immediately begin scheming up ways to steal from and torment her.
Evie is excited about going to school with the other teenagers after being cooped up at home for ten years. Unfortunately she accidentally sits in the desk of the most feared student in school, Mal. Mal has never forgiven Evie for not inviting her to her sixth birthday party and vows that the girl will be punished.
Mal convinces Carlos to host a party for her at his house while his mother is out of town. Mal invites Evie as part of a plan to punish her and locks her in a closet full of animal traps Cruella uses as a security system to protect her fur coats. Evie however manages to get out of the closet unscathed with a little help from Carlos. Carlos and Evie go to Carlos's science lab where he has been working on a device to access radio waves in order to pick up different television stations. When they test the device it emits a blast of light that appears to burn through the magic barrier surrounding the island.
When Mal returns home from the party she finds her mom talking to her pet crow Diablo. Diablo had been frozen in stone when the villains were transported to the island. Diablo had told Malificent that her Dragon Eye scepter had received its magic powers back. Malificent wants Mal to fetch it for her in order to prove her worth, but whoever touches it will fall asleep for a thousand years.
Mal tells Jay of her plan to go fetch the Dragon's Eye and he decides to join her on her quest in order to steal the Dragon's Eye from her. Mal convinces Evie to join them on their quest, her plan is to have Evie touch the scepter and receive the curse. Evie tells Mal and Jay that Carlos is the one responsible for the possibility that magic entered through the barrier. Carlos refuses to give Mal his invention, so he is forced to tag along and use it as a compass leading to the Dragon's Eye.
Malificent's castle is hidden behind intense fog on another island under the magic prohibiting barrier. The route to the castle is very dangerous causing the teens at one point to hold hands to keep from falling over a cliff. As they approached the crumpled castle bridge they are confront by gargoyles. If Carlos can answer the questions correctly the bridge will form and they will be allowed across into the castle. 
As they enter the castle Mal has a feeling that they are being followed, but no one is there. They walk through a door that looks like a mouth and the room begins to fill with sand, in order to get the sand to stop you have to answer the question that was asked by the cave. Evie gets stuck and is unable to go to higher grounds and gets covered by sand. Jay sees Evie go under the sand and answers the question in order to stop the sand and save everyone. The teens encounter many more obstacles before finally reaching the Throne Room of the castle. Mal studies her mom's room and finds the Dragon's Eye. As Evie reaches out to touch the sceptor Mal pulls it out of her reach. Mal sees her mother in a room with a King, Queen, baby and three fairies. Her mother is upset that no one invited her to the "party" for the princess. When Mal comes out of her flashback she is laying on the floor and the Dragon's Eye is no where to be found. She accuses Jay of stealing it and he said there was a flash of light and it was gone before he got the chance. Evie then asks Mal why she touched the sceptor, she knew the only reason Mal invited her was to have her cursed. Mal states the sceptor was hers and the curse doesn't work on her because she is part dragon like her mom. As they make there way back to the island they have to work together again in order to make it back. This cooperation is witnesses by some ogres who help them get home. 
Once home Mal finds Malificent with the Dragon's Eye that Diablo had stolen during the burst of light. Malificent tells Mal that she didn't trust her to succeed so she sent Diablo after it, and that it isn't magical anymore. The teens parents say they heard rumors that the children helped each other and that behavior is completely unacceptable, especially Mal not allowing Evie to be cursed. The four teens then meet up and go terrorizing the shops together. 
In Auradon Prince Ben is getting ready to take over as King because King Beast is retiring. He had dreamed about a girl with purple hair and he keeps wondering who she could be. He is looking out one of the castle windows at the Isle of the Lost and wondering how the inhabitants there survive. He remembers that some of the villains have children that are his age and he is curious if the girl with the purple hair lives on the island. He feels like she does and is struck by an idea and ventures off to find his parents.

Final Thoughts: Even though this is a prequel to an upcoming movie, for the most part this book stands on its own. I found the characters to be really enjoyable and to have a great dynamic. I enjoyed the brother/sister dynamic that Carlos and Evie were starting to develop and can't wait to see that play out. The question of since the parents are evil does that make their children evil is interesting and I'm sure will be further explored in the movie. I really enjoyed this book and it gives me very high expectations of the movie. I hope to see this continue as a book series because it was a very enjoyable read with interesting characters and relationships. If you plan on watching the movie or not I recommend this book.

If you have read "Isle of the Lost" share your thoughts with us in the comments section. If you haven't read "Isle of the List" tell us what you expect from the movie.