Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Isle of the Lost, by Melissa de la Cruz {ends 6/7}

For her mother was the great Maleficent, Mistress of Darkness, the most powerful and wicked fairy in the world and the most fearsome villain in all the land.

Or at least, she had been.

Once upon a time, her mother's wrath had cursed a princess.

Once upon a time, her mother's wrath had brought a prince to his knees.

Once upon a time, her mother's wrath had put an entire kingdom to sleep.

Once upon a time, her mother had had all the forces of hell at her command.

And there was nothing Mal desired more in her heart than to grow up to be just like her.

While I was reading this novel, I didn't know that it is a prequel to Descendants, which is going to be a Disney Channel original movie starring Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent. I'm a huge fan of Melissa de la Cruz's work, and they definitely chose the right author to write Isle of the Lost, as it was a fun read.

Official synopsis:
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.




This book reminded me a lot of The School for Good and Evil, which I reviewed back in 2013 (plus its sequel), but it takes place on a "lost isle" instead of in a school. The four main characters in the book are "second generation villains," meaning that their mothers (Mal, Evie, Carlos) or father (Jay) are characters that you will undoubtedly recognize. The descriptions of some of the parents were quite funny, too; Jafar (from Aladdin), the father of Jay, is now a fat old man who likes to wear pajamas all day long; Cruella de Vil, though (mother of Carlos) hasn't changed a bit, and her furs are still her most prized possession.

The four kids want to find a way off the Isle of the Lost, and to bring magic back to the island. Mal finds out about the Dragon's Eye, which might be the answer, and the four of them - although not really friends, at least at first - set off together to find it.

I was wondering if this book would have a sequel or be a part of a trilogy, so imagine my surprise when I turned the last page and saw it's going to be a Disney Channel movie! I Googled the movie immediately and the cast looks great; it's scheduled to premiere sometime this summer. The book is actually a prequel to the movie - in the movie, the four kids are invited to attend Auradon Prep, Auradon being the "mainland," so to speak, and have to try to fit in among the "good" kids there.

The trailer, however, is already online, and the movie looks like it will be a lot of fun:



I'd recommend this book for anyone at least semi-familiar with Disney characters and/or fairytales, as it was interesting to see what the next generation of villians is up to nowadays.

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a hardcover copy of Isle of the Lost!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, June 7th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email and will have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

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