Be prepared to slam head first into a Disney character set where all of the villains, heroes, and their new children run around on either the Isle of the Lost (for banished villains) or the Kingdom of Auradon (for those goody goodies). The plot focuses on 16-year-old Mal who is seeking revenge on Evie—daughter of the Evil Queen—for not inviting her to a childhood birthday party. Four unlikely characters come together in search of an evil, magical scepter, each representing their personal family histories. A parallel story follows Prince Ben who is trying to address very adult grievances in preparation for taking over his father’s kingdom. There are some cheesy adult-geared lines and jokes about how villains get their kicks in writing the wrong names on Starbuck cups and where in the much happier United States of Auradon (USA), the Department of Formerly Magical Vehicles (DFMV) has 5-minute wait times. A sweet story full of morals about good versus evil, bullying, and selflessness, this novel is designed for fourth to sixth graders. I find the characters’ ages only slightly problematic since they are teenagers but clearly their shenanigans and the vocabulary of the story are designed for younger children. I would prefer that the characters were ten or eleven. I read mixed reviews of this book, but at the library, The Isle of the Lost had been a hit with elementary-aged readers wanting a fantastical, Disney-fluff read. I am not inclined to read any further in the series, but I can see why younger readers would read more.
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz (Disney-Hyperion, 2015)