Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel Review

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha
Published on: July 10, 2018
Pages: 560
Check it out here! (this will take you to Fountain Bookstore's website, because I work for an indie bookstore)

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.

Midnight Thoughts

Amok, amok, amok!

Twist the bones and bend the back

Itch-it-a-cop-it-a-Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca

Trim him of his baby fat

Itch-it-a-cop-it-a-Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca

Give him fur black as black, just

Like

This!

You can best believe that I screamed with delight when I found the arc for this book on the bookstore's shelves!  Hocus Pocus is that movie that I can watch anytime it's on, the movie I've gleefully introduced to people, and when Spirit Halloween sold a bunch of merchandise based on the movie last year, I bought the majority of it. 

I'm a Basic Witch, ya'll. 

I know the page count my throw some of you for a loop, but there are 2 actual books here.  The first book is the story that we all know and love, a little more fleshed out (Max's crush on Allison is based more on who she is as a person and not just her yaboos), and we get a little more background for Binx and the Sandersons, which was nice.  

As someone who once happily devoured movie novelizations as a kid, this was right up my alley!  And it was everything I needed it to be. 

The second book takes place 25 years later.  Max and Allison are married and they have a daughter- 16 year old Poppy.  Poppy is best friends with Travis, and harbors a secret crush on new bestie, Isabella.  Poppy has grown up knowing about her parents and aunt's encounter with the Sanderson sisters, but she doesn't really believe them.  Travis knows about it too, but when mean girl Katie overhears them telling Isabella, all hell breaks loose... literally, because the Sandersons are back (turns out Poppy is as reckless as her dad when she has a crush).  

The sequel was good, and I think all the parents who grew up loving Hocus Pocus will be able to get their teens to read the sequel, which is much more inclusive and diverse than the first book.  Plus the ending leaves room for more!

It wasn't a perfect book- in particular there's a weird scene where Mary is singing a song (full song, not just a Come Little Children addition), which is a bit of a solo moment for her... and it sets it up for Mary to maybe step a bit outside of her sister's shadow... but then, nope.  I could have done without that, because it felt more like I was reading a screenplay. 

Overall, this was a wonderful trip down memory lane, and the sequel was fun.  I don't know why it's not coming out in September to capitalize on the Halloween season, but I will definitely be adding the finished copy to my bookshelves.


Midnight Rating