Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-All the evil villains of Disney movie fame have been exiled to the Isle of the Lost. A huge dome covers the island, keeping them from using any magic. They are relegated to eating scraps and wearing castoffs of the good citizens of Auradon, ruled by King Beast and Queen Belle. The children of Maleficient, Jabar, Evil Queen, and Cruella De Vil (respectively Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos) don't know any other life away from the island. Every aspect of their existence is focused on becoming more evil, and finding nefarious ways to entertain themselves. When Carlos invents a device that is meant to provide them with more cable channels, he inadvertently opens a hole in the dome, allowing a tiny bit of magic to reactivate Maleficient's scepter, the Dragon's Eye. The four go off on a quest to find the staff, each for their own selfish reasons. All the while, though, the descendants of the most evil villains to ever walk the earth are starting to (gasp!) show signs of caring for each other. And over on Auradon, Prince Ben, son of Beast and Belle, is having visions of a beautiful blue-haired girl he's never met, even though he's betrothed to Princess Audrey, daughter of Aurora. Clichéd characters and a predictable plot probably won't deter young readers from finishing this fun little romp through practically every Disney movie ever made. VERDICT Billed as a prequel to a Disney Channel movie, there's a built-in fan base for this story. Disney lovers and fairy-tale fans alike will need to get their hands on this book.-Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Where do defeated villains go? To the Isle of the Lost, a tiny, magicless island off the coast of the kingdom of Auradon, where the heroes live, ruled by King Beast and Queen Belle. On the island, the children learn Advanced Evil Schemes and Vanities to better live up to their wicked parents' reputations. For Mal, daughter of Maleficent, nothing is more important than nastiness. Resentment runs deep among the villains, and a years-old grudge puts Mal at odds with Evie, daughter of Snow White's Evil Queen. But magic may be waking on the island, and Mal, Evie, and a few others must join forces to find it. Meanwhile, on the mainland, Prince Ben has plans for the children of villains. The concept is a bit odd this isn't a fairy-tale retelling; it's about the actual Disney characters and this novel acts as a prequel for the upcoming Disney Channel movie, out later this year. But stuffed full of cartoon nostalgia and reluctant friendships and backed by Disney's considerable weight this is sure to find an audience. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This paves the way for the Disney Channel movie, and both will benefit from the extensive cross-promotion.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay just want to please their parents--who are all notorious Disney villains. The kids go on a quest and, against their parents' wishes, help one another and even form friendships. There's not much that feels original in this prequel to a Disney Channel movie, but devoted Disney fans will enjoy how the movie stories mesh together into one universe. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
In a prequel to an upcoming Disney Channel film, the offspring of four familiar villains bond in an effort to impress their evil parents. Having grown to adolescence in exile beneath a magic-banishing dome on the titular island, Mal, Carlos, Jay, and Eviethe children of, respectively, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil, Jafar, and Snow White's Evil Queenset out to fetch Maleficent's staff from her Forbidden Fortress. Along with having to pass riddle and other tests clumsily designed to get them to admit the banality of their parents' values, the quest forces the young would-be baddies to cooperate and even to moderate their 'tudes. De la Cruz turns the quest and its interminable buildup into a wordy string of trite situations in which every character trait is carefully explained lest readers miss something: "Lonely, Mal thought. I was lonely. And so were they. Evie, with her beauty-obsessed mother; Carlos, with his screeching harpy of a parent; Jay, the happy-go-lucky thief with a quick wit and dashing smile, who could steal anything in the world except his father's heart." Meanwhile, over in the United States of Auradon, Prince Ben, son of King Beast and Queen Belle, chafes at his lack of life choices and with an impulsive but unspecified notion at the end serves up a teaser for the film. A paint-by-numbers effort to market a spinoff that's likely to be equally ephemeral. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.