Series: The Descendants #1
Published by: Disney Hyperion on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Retellings, Young Adult
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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.
I received this book for free from YABC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Line: I loved every minute of this adorable and fun book!
What I Loved: The characters were easily the best part of this book. It was so much fun seeing all of our favorite Disney villains, their children, and even some of our favorite Disney heroes/heroines. These poor kids have to live in the infamous shadow of their parents and they have to deal with their craziness. I could totally see each villain behaving like they did in this book if they had children. Mal, Jay, Carlos, and Evie were excellent characters that I can see young readers connecting to. It was interesting seeing them being raised to be evil and like their parents, yet having them feel like that may not be who they’re meant to be. You also get to see a lot of the “sidekicks” in this book, like the dwarfs, goblins, Flounder, Cinderella’s mice, etc. They’ve got problems of their own, too, you know.
What Didn’t Work for Me: The only thing that really bugged me was that the whole “adventure” aspect wasn’t as strong as I was hoping. I thought it would be the main focus of the book, but it focuses more on introducing readers to the characters, seeing them come together, and helping readers visualize this island where these villains have lived on over the years. Not that there was anything necessarily wrong with that, because I loved seeing all the characters and how Melissa pictured them nowadays, but the synopsis had me thinking the book would have more action and adventure.
Recommended for fans of: Any Disney movie/story, really. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll love this book!
Final Verdict: I would definitely recommend this book to any and all Disney fans and fans of retellings. I can tell this is going to be an amazing series and I love that it was also made into a Disney Channel Original Movie, with some of my favorite Disney Channel actors. Yes, I watch Disney Channel shows/movies with my kids (and even without them sometimes) and I’m not ashamed to admit that I like them. The Descendants was such a cute and fun read. I really loved it!
*This review of Isle of the Lost was first published on YABC.*