Narrator: Sophia Carson
Series: The Descendants #1
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: May 5th 2015
Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Gifted
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, 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.
The Isle of the Lost follows the children of Disney’s meanest villains. The villains and their children have been banished to an island and trapped under a dome so they can never leave. The “good” Disney characters like Belle, Beast, Sleep Beauty, and all their children live across the river in Auradon. The story follows Mal, Maleficent’s daughter, Jay, son of Jafar, Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil, and Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen. On the island these kids are learning to be just as bad as their parents.
The book is a really fun read especially for those who love fairy tales and shows like Once Upon a Time. This is a new take on the lives of our favorite villains, and even better we get to see what their children are like. The kids of the villains try their hardest to be just as wicked as their parents to make them proud. Just because these Disney villains have kids don’t think they’ve gone soft. They are just as bad as they were in their stories and are doing their best to make their kids just like them. Mal, Carlos, Jay, and Evie all have interesting dynamics with their parents. These villains aren’t exactly the warm and fuzzy types, and all of the kids are just dying for their parents’ approval.
I really enjoyed seeing the adventures and schemes that the kids got up to. They go through quite a change during the book and learn that they don’t always have to do everything on their own and they don’t have to be like their parents. They all start to become a little more comfortable in their own skin.
We also meet Ben, the son of Belle and Beast, the future king of Auradon. Ben is conflicted because he doesn’t know if he’ll be as good of a leader as his father. He starts to wonder about the way the kingdom is run, and questioning whether or not his father’s way is really the right way. I loved the glimpses into Auradon. All these characters are supposed to be living their “Happily Ever Afters” but nothing can ever be perfect. There are many citizens of Auradon who are not happy with the way things are.
When I finished the book I realized that it’s a prequel to a Disney Channel movie “The Descendants” since I liked the book so much I will probably check out the movie too. Just to see what Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos are up to.
Another note, if you get the chance to listen to the audiobook, do it! The narrator is great, she has that dramatic fairy tale voice that really draws you into the story.