Saturday, December 19, 2015

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


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
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.

MY TAKE:
I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

In The Isle of the Lost, the villains, their minions and their offspring were banished to the Isle of the Lost, which is covered by a dome and wherein magic doesn't exist. There, Mal, the daughter of Maleficent rules the school. After a series of events, however, she is presented with the opportunity to retrieve her mother's most precious possession. Together with Jay, Evie and Carlos, can she succeed and make her mother proud?

I was on the fence about this at first, because while there are some villains I like, it was a little disconcerting to see the main characters actually try to be evil and do bad things and enjoy themselves while doing it. I think that's partly why though I liked Jay and Mal based on the movie trailer, I found myself liking Evie and Carlos more here. Thanks to her upbringing, Evie is very well-versed in all things beauty-related, which I couldn't relate to at all. However, I found her endearing and I felt protective towards her. As for Carlos, I loved that he was a nerd. He seems a little weak and beaten down at first, thanks to his mother, but I liked him, especially as the story progressed and he became more confident.

This was actually a nice story for me. I can see why there was a movie made around these characters. I understand that this is supposed to be a prequel to the movie. I certainly hope that this becomes the beginning of a series. If only so that we can see more of the Disney characters and villains that only got brief mentions in the book.

THE GOOD:

  1. The characters are interesting.
  2. You get to see some of your favorite Disney characters and villains again.
  3. It could be a promising series. 

THE BAD:

  1. There's not much action until near the end of the book. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You like Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil or Jafar.
  2. You wondered what ever happened to your favorite Disney characters.
  3. You tend to like villains more than heroes.  

RATING:
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