Long Live the Pumpkin Queen takes readers back to Halloween Town and sends Sally into Dream Town, where she must face the dreadful Sandman.
Long Live the Pumpkin Queen picks up shortly after Nightmare Before Christmas ends. Jack and Sally are getting married, and she is given the title of the Pumpkin Queen.
Except Sally does not feel suited for the title.
Long Live the Pumpkin Queen is a character-driven story following Sally as she struggles to fit into her new role. Her insecurities and fears of not being good enough keep her from reaching her full potential. This seems somewhat different than the Sally we know. Sally was brave, yet she didn’t dare to speak up about her reservations.
We’re seeing the more hesitant side of her come alive here, and it works for the narrative. All her life, she was trapped by Doctor Finkelstein, her overbearing “father.” Any fans remember how he treated her, keeping her locked up, but what he also did was keep her from discovering who she was.
Sally does not know who she is, which is the biggest struggle here because she must figure out who she is and if she is strong enough to save Halloween Town and all the holiday realms.
She is, by the way.
I loved that Long Live the Pumpkin Queen was a character-driven story about Sally coming to terms with who she is, accepting herself, and loving herself. Insecurities are a big part of who we are, but the key to living is not letting them control us. That made Sally incredibly relatable.
However, the story was not as flushed out as I would have liked. The pacing in some parts felt a little clunky and a little slow. There was some good momentum and a nice build, but I wanted more of Dream Town, and it felt like it was not explored enough. At times, it also felt reminiscent of the film Rise of the Guardians, which is not bad. Still, it did take away some of the originality that Earnshaw is so good at doing.
Earnshaw offered some exciting plot twists that kept the reader engaged. Watching Sally come into her own made the story worthwhile.
Overall, this was an excellent way to follow up The Nightmare Before Christmas. Within the pages of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, readers explore other realms and get a deeper look at Sally.
Like this review?
|Pub Date: August 2, 2022||Page Count: 320pp||Age Range: 12 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-3680-6960-1||Publisher: Disney Press||List Price: $18.99|