Being a hardcore Disney fan, I couldn’t help myself when I heard about The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz. If you haven’t heard of this book it is a prequel novel to the new Disney Channel movie The Descendants. When I heard the premise of this story I was so excited. Essentially the plot is about the children of all of the Disney villains as they go to a school to learn to be evil and go on quests – epic right?
I’m going to start this review off by saying that it is for a much younger age bracket than I would usually read. It is aimed towards ten to fourteen year olds. Bearing this in mind it was a fun read. In more detail the plot is that the villains have all been caught and punished by being sent to an island without magic which is called the Isle of the Lost. Years later the villains have given up on themselves and live in the ruins of their old glory. I loved seeing more of the villains and learning what had become of them and really enjoyed that there were many of the lesser-known villains in the plot. It was fun to see familiar things from the movies translated into a novel.
This book focuses on the children of the villains. I felt like these characters fell a little flat. They are very exaggerated in terms of their evil-ness. While I was expecting this – as it is a children’s book – it did feel a bit too over the top. I feel like there would have been a better attachment to the characters had they felt a little more real and not quite so stereotypical of the Disney Channel Characters.
I enjoyed seeing the Heros in this story. The Heros live on a different island entirely. They have the perfect lives that they have always dreamed of and King Beast and Queen Belle’s son is training to inherit the throne. However all is not well with the Heros. They are not as content as they would have hoped with their easy lives. I really enjoyed that they were shown as being irritatingly perfect. It was quite a humorous way to see them.
The pacing of this story line was a little slow to begin. The start of this book was very early teens trauma based and that made it difficult for me to really enjoy it. As the story progressed, the more adventurous elements became more prominent. Had the adventure been a bigger part of the story I definitely would have found it easier to read.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the story continues. I haven’t yet read a book where the sequel is a movie, so seeing the characters in a different context will be unusual. The Disney Channel Original Movie is due to be released at the end of July and I will be very interested in how the book compares to it as they are made to fit together.
Overall this was an enjoyable book for younger readers, particularly any Disney villain fans.