The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel - A Prequel to the Hit Disney Channel Movie
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel (The Descendants)
If you are a fan of Disney movies, you might be familiar with some of the most iconic villains, such as Maleficent, Jafar, Cruella De Vil, and Evil Queen. But have you ever wondered what happened to them after they were defeated by their heroic counterparts? And what about their children? Do they follow in their parents' footsteps or choose a different path?
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel (The Descendants)
In this article, we will explore a fascinating book that answers these questions and more. The book is called The Isle of the Lost, written by Melissa de la Cruz, a bestselling author of many young adult novels. It is the first book in a series called The Descendants, which is also a popular Disney Channel movie franchise.
The Plot of the Book
The story takes place twenty years after all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to a remote island called the Isle of the Lost. There, they live in total isolation, stripped of their magical powers, and surrounded by a force field that prevents them from escaping. Their children, however, have never seen anything else but this dark and dreary place.
The main characters are Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos, who are respectively the daughters and sons of Maleficent, Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella De Vil. They are not exactly friends, but they share a common bond: they are expected to be as evil as their parents. However, they also have their own dreams and desires that go beyond being villains.
One day, Mal learns from her mother that there is a way to break free from the island. It involves finding a powerful artifact called the Dragon's Eye, which is hidden inside Maleficent's scepter in a forbidden fortress. Mal decides to embark on a quest to retrieve it, hoping to prove herself to her mother and gain true darkness. She enlists the help of Evie, Jay, and Carlos, who have their own reasons to join her.
Along their journey, they encounter many obstacles, dangers, and surprises. They also discover secrets about themselves and their parents that challenge their beliefs and values. They realize that being good or evil is not as simple as it seems, and that they have more choices than they thought.
The Setting of the Book
The Isle of the Lost
The Isle of the Lost is a grim and gloomy place, where the villains and their minions live in poverty, squalor, and misery. The island is divided into different districts, each named after a villain's domain. For example, there is Dragon Hall, where Maleficent and her daughter Mal reside; Castle Across the Way, where Evil Queen and her daughter Evie live; Jafar's Junk Shop, where Jafar and his son Jay run a business; and Hell Hall, where Cruella De Vil and her son Carlos dwell.
The island is also full of hazards and threats, such as wild animals, traps, curses, and other villains. The only source of entertainment is a school called Dragon Hall Academy, where the children learn how to be evil from their teachers, who are also former villains. The school's motto is "Evil is the new black".
Auradon is the opposite of the Isle of the Lost. It is a bright and beautiful place, where the heroes and their descendants live in harmony, prosperity, and happiness. Auradon is composed of several kingdoms, each ruled by a different king or queen. For example, there is Camelot, where King Arthur and his son Prince Ben reign; Agrabah, where Aladdin and Jasmine and their daughter Princess Aziza rule; Arendelle, where Elsa and Anna and their son Prince Hansel govern; and so on.
Auradon is also full of wonders and magic, such as fairy tales, spells, enchanted objects, and mythical creatures. The main source of education is a school called Auradon Prep, where the children learn how to be good from their teachers, who are also former heroes. The school's motto is "Goodness prevails".
The Themes of the Book
Good vs. Evil
One of the main themes of the book is the contrast between good and evil, and how they are not always clear-cut or fixed. The book shows that good and evil are not inherent qualities, but rather choices that people make based on their circumstances, influences, and motivations. The book also shows that people can change over time, for better or worse.
For example, Mal initially believes that she has to be evil like her mother Maleficent, who is obsessed with revenge and power. However, as she interacts with other characters and experiences new things, she starts to question her mother's teachings and values. She realizes that she has a kind heart and a creative mind that can be used for good purposes. She also learns to appreciate friendship, love, and happiness.
On the other hand, Prince Ben initially believes that he has to be good like his father Beast, who is devoted to peace and justice. However, as he faces pressure from his parents and his kingdom to be a perfect leader, he starts to feel restless and curious about the other side of life. He wonders what it would be like to be bad for once. He also develops an interest in Mal and her friends, who represent a different perspective and challenge.
Family and Friendship
Another theme of the book is the importance of family and friendship in shaping one's identity and destiny. The book shows that family and friendship can be both positive and negative influences on one's character and actions. The book also shows that family and friendship can be found in unexpected places and forms.
For example, Evie initially believes that she has to be beautiful like her mother Evil Queen, who is vain and cruel. However, as she becomes friends with Mal and the others, she discovers that beauty is more than skin deep. She realizes that she has a smart brain and a loyal heart that can be valued for themselves. She also learns to stand up for herself and her friends against her mother's abuse.
On the other hand, Carlos initially believes that he has to be afraid of everything like his mother Cruella De Vil, who is paranoid and selfish. However, as he meets new people and animals on the island, he overcomes his fears and insecurities. He realizes that he has a brave spirit and a gentle soul that can be loved by others. He also learns to care for himself and his friends against his mother's neglect.
Magic and Power
The Reception of the Book
The Ratings and Reviews
The book has received mostly positive ratings and reviews from readers and critics alike. On Amazon, the book has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on over 3,500 customer reviews. On Google Books, the book has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on over 1,000 user ratings.
Some of the common praises for the book are its engaging plot, its creative setting, its relatable characters, its humorous tone, and its clever references to Disney movies. Some of the common criticisms for the book are its predictable ending, its shallow development, its stereotypical portrayal of villains, and its lack of originality.
Here are some examples of what readers and critics have said about the book:
"Disney make You do the Background Reading Now. Disney are good at making franchises. Descendants is the one that hit in October/November 2015, with a DCOM that featured the children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil and Jafar going to the same school as the children of the heroes we love from the movies. This novel serves as a prequel to the movie, while at the same time fleshing out the world and the characters further than the 90/100-odd minute time frame would allow." - Zara McAspurren, Amazon.co.uk
"In a prequel to an upcoming Disney Channel film, the offspring of four familiar villains bond in an effort to impress their evil parents. Having grown to adolescence in exile beneath a magic-banishing barrier along with other villains and their children, Mal (daughter of Maleficent), Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of Evil Queen) and Carlos (son of Cruella de Vil) are offered a chance to attend school in Auradon with children of Disney heroes. But first they must retrieve Maleficent's scepter from a forbidden fortress." - Kirkus Reviews
"Amazing as the movie so that's high!!! I loved this book so much it was amazing I loved how it was written and how it was set out I loved how it was like a prequel to descendants it was amazing I loved how it showed how they all became friends and how they all got along I loved how it showed their personalities and how they were different from their parents I loved how it showed their lives on the isle I loved everything about this book it was amazing." - Anonymous, Google Books
The Awards and Nominations
The book has also received some recognition and accolades from various organizations and publications. Here are some of the awards and nominations that the book received or was considered for:
The book was a New York Times bestseller for 13 weeks in 2015.
The book was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Middle Grade & Children's Book in 2015.
The book was selected as one of the Best Books for Kids by Parents Magazine in 2015.
The book was chosen as one of the Top Ten Books for Reluctant Readers by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) in 2016.
The book was included in the Texas Lone Star Reading List for Grades 6-8 by TLA (Texas Library Association) in 2016.
The Adaptations and Sequels
The book has also inspired several adaptations and sequels in different media formats. Here are some of them:
The book was adapted into a Disney Channel Original Movie called Descendants, which premiered on July 31, 2015. The movie starred Dove Cameron as Mal, Sofia Carson as Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Cameron Boyce as Carlos, Mitchell Hope as Prince Ben, and Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent.
The book was followed by three more books in The Descendants series: Return to the Isle of the Lost (2016), Rise of the Isle of the Lost (2017), and Escape from the Isle of the Lost (2019). The books continued the story of Mal and her friends as they faced new challenges and adventures in Auradon and the Isle of the Lost.
The book also spawned a spin-off series called The School of Secrets, which consisted of six books that focused on different characters and events in Auradon. The books were written by Jessica Brody and published between 2016 and 2018.
The book also led to a TV series called Descendants: Wicked World, which was an animated short-form series that aired on Disney Channel and YouTube from 2015 to 2017. The series featured the original cast of the movie, as well as new characters and songs.
The book also resulted in a musical called Descendants: The Musical, which was a stage adaptation of the movie and the book. The musical was produced by Music Theatre International and premiered in 2019.
The Pros and Cons
As with any book, there are pros and cons to reading The Isle of the Lost. Here are some of them:
- It is a fun and entertaining read that appeals to fans of Disney movies and fairy tales.
- It is a predictable and clichéd read that lacks originality and depth.
- It is a creative and imaginative read that explores a new perspective and setting.
- It is a confusing and inconsistent read that mixes different genres and styles.
- It is a relatable and inspiring read that features diverse and dynamic characters.
- It is a superficial and stereotypical read that portrays unrealistic and flat characters.
- It is a humorous and witty read that includes clever references and jokes.
- It is a cheesy and corny read that relies on cheap gags and puns.
- It is an engaging and exciting read that has a fast-paced plot and action.
- It is a boring and dull read that has a simple plot and filler.
The Target Audience
The book is suitable for readers who enjoy fantasy, adventure, comedy, romance, and drama. The book is also suitable for readers who are interested in Disney movies, fairy tales, villains, heroes, magic, power, family, friendship, good, evil, and choice. The book is especially suitable for readers who are between 9 to 12 years old, as it is written for a middle grade audience.
The Final Verdict
In my opinion, the book is worth reading if you are looking for a light-hearted and entertaining story that will make you laugh, cry, and think. The book is not worth reading if you are looking for a deep and meaningful story that will challenge you, surprise you, and teach you. The book is a fun and easy read that will keep you hooked until the end, but it is not a memorable or impactful read that will stay with you after you finish it.
I would rate the book 3.5 out of 5 stars. I liked the book, but I did not love it. I enjoyed the book, but I did not learn from it. I recommend the book, but I do not rave about it. I think the book is good, but not great.
FAQs After The Conclusion
Q: Who is the author of the book?
A: The author of the book is Melissa de la Cruz, a bestselling author of many young adult novels, such as The Blue Bloods series, The Witches of East End series, The Alex & Eliza Trilogy, The Queen's Assassin, and more.
Q: How many books are there in The Descendants series?
A: There are four books in The Descendants series: The Isle of the Lost, Return to the Isle of the Lost, Rise of the Isle of the Lost, and Escape from the Isle of the Lost.
Q: What are some other books similar to The Isle of the Lost?
Q: What are some other books similar to The Isle of the Lost?
A: Some other books similar to The Isle of the Lost are: - Descendants: Mal's Spell Book by Tina McLeef, which is a companion book that features Mal's spells, secrets, and notes. - The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, which is a fantasy series that follows two girls who are sent to a school where they learn to be either heroes or villains. - The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer, which is a fantasy series that follows two twins who enter a world of fairy tales and encounter various characters and adventures. - Ever After High by Shannon Hale, which is a fantasy series that follows the children of famous fairy tale characters who attend a boarding school and face their destinies.
Q: Where can I buy or borrow the book?
A: You can buy or borrow the book from various online and offline sources, such as: - Amazon, where you can purchase the book in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, or audiobook formats. - Google Books, where you can preview, buy, or read the book online or on your device. - Goodreads, where you can find more information, ratings, reviews, and recommendations for the book and other books. - Your local library, where you can check if the book is available and borrow it for free.
Q: How can I contact the author or publisher of the book?
A: You can contact the author or publisher of the book through various channels, such as: - The author's website, where you can find more information about her books, biography, events, and contact details. - The author's social media accounts, where you can follow her updates, posts, and messages on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. - The publisher's website, where you can find more information about their books, authors, services, and contact details. - The publisher's social media accounts, where you can follow their updates, posts, and messages on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Q: What is the movie adaptation of the book like?
A: The movie adaptation of the book is a musical comedy film that was released in 2015. It was directed by Kenny Ortega and starred Dove Cameron as Mal, Sofia Carson as Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Cameron Boyce as Carlos, Mitchell Hope as Prince Ben, and Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent. The movie follows the same plot as the book but with some changes and additions. The movie also features original songs and choreography that showcase the talents of the cast. The movie was a huge success and spawned two sequels in 2017 and 2019.
Q: What is the message or moral of the book?
A: The message or moral of the book is that people are not defined by their past or their parents but by their choices and actions. The book shows that people can change for the better or worse depending on their circumstances, influences, and motivations. The book also shows that people can find family and friendship in unexpected places and forms. The book encourages readers to be themselves and to be open-minded and compassionate towards others.