Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

Overview
Image result for book cover return to the isle of the lost

Title: Return to the Isle of the Lost
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Descendants #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Villains
Dates read: 13th – 26th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Oh, and it’s always best to be home before midnight.’

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Synopsis

Mal’s an expert at intimidating her enemies, but she’s broken the habit since leaving her villainous roots behind. So when she and her friends Evie, Carlos and Jay all receive threatening messages demanding they return home, Mal can’t believe it. Sure, she’s King Ben’s girlfriend now, and she’s usually nice to her classmates, but she still didn’t think anyone would be silly enough to try to push her around.

The thing is, it kind of worked. Especially since she and her friends have a sneaking suspicion that their villainous parents are behind the messages. And when Evie looks into her Magic Mirror, what she sees only confirms their fears. Maleficent’s just a tiny lizard after her run-in with Mal at Ben’s Coronation, but she’s the worst villain in the land for a reason. Could she have found a way to escape? Whatever’s going on, Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay know they have to sneak back to the Isle and get to the bottom of it.

Without its infamous leader, the island’s even worse than when they left it, but the comforts of home – even a home as gloomy as the Isle of the Lost – can be hard to resist for recently reformed villains. Will the kids be able to beat the evil bubbling at the Isle’s wicked core, or will the plot to destroy Auradon succeed?

Thoughts

I absolutely loved The Isle of the Lost, but I did get a little confused at the beginning of this. I was expecting the story to pick up where the first one ended. But, I’m thinking that the movie is the middle story to the two stories. Since at the end of the first novel, the four are still on the Isle. And at the beginning of this, they’re in Auradon Prep, have boyfriends and girlfriends and a life of their own. I actually checked online multiple times to make sure I had the right book. It was. And once I got over my confusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

I can normally have a bit of a guess at the direction which a story that I’m reading is likely to take. Especially when it’s a young adult book. And one that is based on Disney (which I am stupidly obsessed with). Yet, this story wasn’t like that. I was constantly surprised at the direction which this took. Each moment I thought I had a handle on what was happening… the story changed direction. New characters with unexpected Disney parents would appear, change tactic. New challenges would arise. I loved it. Once I got over my initial confusion… I couldn’t put it down!

There is this idea in stories and the world that returning home and family is generally a good thing. I don’t find it to be that way. And this story seriously echoes that sentiment. For which I am grateful. I like that this is about not following in your parents footsteps. Or doing what they want and expect. That it’s about finding your own path, and realising that sometimes, you’re better off where you are, rather than returning to a past that wasn’t exactly healthy for you.

De la Cruz is very good at weaving Disney lore into the stories in a way that is incredibly surprising. The appearance of Mum for example was not one that I expected, but I love the mad witch, so it was also brilliant. Using this intricate knowledge to create the talismans and their powers was an unexpected choice. Yet, again, one that I absolutely adored. It was fun, engaging and makes me incredibly keen to pick up the third novel. I’m going to try and hold out for the new year though and finish the books that I’m currently reading.

 <- The Isle of the Lost ReviewRise of the Isle of the Lost Review ->

Image source: Amazon

Book Review

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