The Isle of the Lost - Melissa  de la Cruz

I had no knowledge of this book or series prior to reading this story. In fact, I distinctly remember marking it for my library hold list based purely on the pretty cover art. I am so shallow. -hangs head in shame-

 

Anyway, this is a fast read purely because it doesn't take much brain power to understand. It was listed in the regular fiction section of the online library catalog, but it is actually meant for the children's/young adult demographic. I don't mean to degrade children's ability in reading comprehension; rather, every detail of the (weak) plot and character development is spoonfed to the reader. I actually find it a bit insulting that they (the author? Disney? the subsidiary publishing company?) don't think young readers can understand implication and context.

 

I don't hate the story, but it reads very much like fanfiction to me. The main characters are all the children of villains from Disney movies, their names are kitschy derivatives of their parent's; all of them seem to come from single parent homes and their other parent is never mentioned (I honestly can't think of any Disney villain who ends up as part of a couple pairing, that is usually reserved for the hero/heroine characters); and, while some bits are amusing - like Ursula runs a fish and chips shop - and even clever, it is pretty poor world-building besides "they are evil so they live here and they are good so they live there." I had to give credit, however, to the fact that the author seems to poke fun at that a little by having the sidekicks in the Happily Ever After-land (called the United States of Auradon, for crying out loud!) protesting their menial jobs without pay working for the protagonists of Disney fairy tales, in addition to other metafictional commentary.

 

Overall, an okay-ish story.