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?
*An ARC of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.*
Couldn't finish. This is a book about all of Disney's evil characters being banished to an island without magic, right? Only none of these "evil" people felt evil. They were all, "Let's do something really evil and watch 1st years slip on a banana peel." Diabolical. I'm shivering in fright over here.
And I get that the book is for kids and pre-teens. But it wasn't very good in general. The perspective kept changing and sometimes it felt like it jumped around in the middle of a section that was supposed to have been someone else's perspective. Thoughts were rehashed a lot. A whole lot. And it's a short book. And I didn't even read it all. And once again: No was very evil! If holding a grudge and eating stale food makes one worthy of evil-mastermind status, there'd be a whole lot more villains in the world. And all the kids on the Isle of the Lost (which is a great title, btw) go to school. The classes are taught by former seriously evil people like Cinderella's evil Stepmother and the Voodoo guy from The Princess and the Frog and other bad guys who did actual bad stuff (the Voodoo guy creeped me out like you would not believe and I was an adult when I saw that movie!). But, thing is, if I'm a bad guy trapped on a sucky island where I'm bound to be unhappy for the rest of my life, I'm not gonna spend my time being altruistic and teaching kids ANYTHING at all. I'm going to do whatever is it I want to do. No one will stop me. I will not have friends. And I will use anyone and everyone to reach my own ends. It's a good thing I'm not evil. But, seriously, I didn't buy into the bad guys being all teacherly; Teachers are way too selfless and bad guys are way too selfish.
None of the characters felt very defined, either. Total meh, all around. And, honestly, the writing was meh, too. I was skipping paragraphs after a while. When I started skipping pages I knew it was time to give up.
I get that this is written for a younger audience but it's still just not very good. If you're going to read a fairy-tale mash-up for pre-teens, there are so many options out there that I would just skip this one entirely. Go read Half Upon a Time or Ever After High or any number of highly entertaining, well-thought-out, well-written and just all-around great books.
Sexual Content: None
Violence: Mild (boys fighting)