Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rise of the Isle of the Lost

*I received an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.*

Are you a Disney fan? Were you bummed out when your little kids grew up and got "too old" for the Disney movies? That was me until we discovered the Disney Channel tween shows and of course, the Descendants. If you have a tween who was a Disney fan as a little kid, get them these books- they are SO GREAT.

Ride with the tide! 

Deep beneath the waves, King Triton’s powerful trident has passed through the magical barrier that surrounds the Isle of the Lost—keeping villains in and magic out. And when Mal’s longtime rival Uma, daughter of Ursula, gets wind of this, she can’t believe her luck. The tide has dragged in something good for a change, and Uma is determined to get her wicked hands on it. But first, she needs a pirate crew. 

A storm is brewing back in Auradon, and when Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay hear that the trident has been washed away, they realize they’ll have to find it before anyone from the Isle does. Luckily, they seem to have a talent for locating missing magical objects. 

As Uma readies for the high seas alongside Harry, son of Captain Hook, Gil, son of Gaston, and the toughest rogues on the Isle of the Lost, the reformed villains of Auradon devise their own master plan. And with King Ben away on royal business, they won’t have to play by all the rules. Using bad for good can’t be totally evil, right?

The thrilling, perilous race to the trident puts old friends—and current enemies—against each other with the future of Auradon on the line. Both teams might like to make waves, but only one will come out on top of this one.

I absolutely love the idea of iconic Disney characters having kids, and their kids being stars in their own right. I love every part of that and these books are so great. I can't say that enough. One of the favorite Disney movies in our house is The Little Mermaid (in fact my toddler now watches it all of the time and it just really holds up over time) so when this showed up in my mailbox, I was excited! I knew my oldest daughter Olivia (age 12) would love this book because she's a big fan of the Descendents movies and she read the other two books.

If you haven't read these or seen the movie musicals, you should know that long ago, all of the villains were banished to the Isle of the Lost. The island is in a dome so none of the villains can get out but they also can't access their power because that's locked outside of the dome. Make sense? But now it's twenty years later or so and all of the villains children are teenagers now. We know that teenagers are apt to forge their own way and find a way off the island. So we have the villains kids (Jay, Mal, Carlos, and Evie) and they aren't friends (because villains don't have friends, obviously) but they are forced to work together for the common goal.

Oh, but their answer is granted when they are allowed to go to Auradon (where all the nice characters live) and go to school with the heroes kids. Ben (who is the son of Belle and the Beast) is convinced if they were allowed to mingle with heroes they could be rehabilitated. (It's kind of a play on the nature versus nurture argument.) Book one and two of this series is these kids kind of learning the ropes of Auradon, struggling to decide if they are really evil or is it possible for them to be good after all? So cue to book three and we have King Triton's trident missing after one of his granddaughters "borrows" it for some innocent fun. Somehow the trident slips through and gets to the Isle of the Lost and all of the villains are frantically looking for it, knowing it's the key to getting out.

Uma (who is the daughter of Ursula, naturally) is desperate to find it. Enter Jay, Mal, Carlos and Evie again, who decide to find it first and save Auradon. Yes, they are trying to do good instead of evil!

I absolutely loved this book. The first two books were setting you up for the drama and this book IS the drama. I loved Uma because she feels like... a fun Ursula, if you can imagine it. I also really liked her posse- a bunch of rogue pirates,  and then Harry (Hook's son) and Gil (Gaston's son). We also get to see a little more of how Auradon operates under King Ben, too. Clearly, this is destined to turn into a movie as well and it should be. I really like how these books (and movies) feel like it's Disney's way to grow up with our kids. I am such a fan of Melissa de la Cruz and she does an amazing job making these stories engaging for all readers. Sure, the book is geared towards the middle grades but even the YA and grown up readers will enjoy them because they know these characters. Add to that, the movie musicals are really entertaining and a fun family program. I'm really anxious to see which characters the fourth book is going to center around.

If you don't have the first two books, pick those up too and the three book set would make a great gift for a Disney fan in your life! 

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