31 Oct 2018

Book Review / Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel

Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest death-defying scheme.

Published:     10th July 2018
Publisher:  Disney
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


I had so much fun reading this.  Like many many others, this is one of my all time favourite Halloween movies, if not one of my favourite movies of all time.  When I heard that this had been transformed into a book and not just that, there was a sequel to the story, I knew that I had to read that as fast as I could.

I listened to the audio book of this one and, to be honest, it has its good points and its bad points.  Let's start with the bad points and then work our way to the better points.  As this is a massive movie, I would have expected the audio book to have that same charisma and portray the many many larger than life characters.  Now, I am not saying that the audio book speaker was not good because she was but I would have loved to have had a bit more dramatic flair and more emphasis on the individuality of each of the main characters in this story, especially the witches.  Another aspect that I wasn't fond of was the fact that in the movie it has very rememberable songs like I Put A Spell On You and the lullaby that one of the witches sings to lure the children to them.  In the book, these were merely spoken rather than sung or even used music.  With the sequel, although I did enjoy it I would have loved to have had a different storyline.   From my experience of listening to this story, apart from a few tweaks it seemed to follow a similar storyline to the original story but not much variation.   For a sequel to a very popular story, I would have expected a similar feel to the first book but a sequel that moves the story forward, adds more depth to the world etc.

Moving onto the good things.  I enjoyed revisiting this story so much.  I didn't get the chance to watch it last year and purposefully did not watch it this year as I didn't wait it to 'interfere' with my enjoyment of the book by comparing one to the other.   With the sequel, I found the whole aspect of being so many years later and the 'next generation' are learning about the witches and seeing what happens if you make the mistake of waking them up.  In this sequel, we also find out a little bit more history of the witches and their family, with a surprising twist nearer the end.