Author: A.W. Jantha
Released: July 10th 2018
I’m a huge fan of Hocus Pocus. I watch it every year around Halloween, and sometimes when it isn’t even remotely that time of the year. What can I say, it’s a good movie! When I heard that they were making a sequel to the movie, in novel form, I knew that I was going to have to read it.
This novel includes a novelization form of Hocus Pocus, as well as a sequel. I’m not sure if the sequel actually received a formal name or if it’s just the Hocus Pocus Sequel. So about half of this book is something any fan will know nearly by heart, and the other half will be all new.
Okay, so you know how I said I’m a huge fan of Hocus Pocus? I’m shocked to say that I didn’t love this novel nearly as much as I had been anticipating. Maybe if my expectations hadn’t been so high, I would have loved it more? I’m not sure.
The first half of the novel is Hocus Pocus. It’s almost verbatim for the entire movie, which was fine by me. They changed a couple relatively minor things in order to set up for the sequel, but otherwise, it was the movie I’ve come to love. Oddly enough though, reading it didn’t make me crave watching the movie. Maybe because every line was included, and I could basically hear the actors reading them out in my head?
As for the sequel…it isn’t exactly what I had been hoping for. If it had been up to me, I would have moved on from the Sanderson sisters (they’re awesome and cannot be topped, not even by themselves), but instead would have gone for something totally different. I won’t bother going into specifics for my idea since it didn’t and won’t happen.
I think my biggest complaint about the sequel is it felt like they had a list of items that they needed to check off as they went. It felt like every single element that had any significance in the movie was put into the sequel – even if it didn’t really make sense. Sometimes it came off as charming – a nice little hat tip to the movie, but other times it felt like they were shoehorning it in. I would have been fine with keeping the parts that felt more organic.
All my complaints aside, I do want to give the novel credit for a few things. The relatively subtle changes made during Hocus Pocus to set up for a sequel were a good call. They still fit in with the plot, while still being obvious that these elements would be important later. Likewise, the conclusion of the sequel sets up for another book. I’m significantly more interested in that potential sequel than the one I was given. It’s different and has a lot of potential. Though they need to explain a few things in order to keep it from breaking some of the rules they already established.
On the whole, I’m glad I took the time to read Hocus Pocus and the sequel. While it wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be, it was still interesting. I think that should another book make an appearance that I would probably give it a try as well.