Review: Due East, Beasts & Campfire Feasts by Erin Johnson

Posted March 11, 2019 by Lola in Fantasy, Mystery, Review / 6 Comments

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Due East, Beasts & Campfire FeastsDue East, Beasts & Campfire Feasts (Spells & Caramels #7)
by Erin Johnson

My Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

A hostile town. A mountaintop mission. Will their magic save the day or spoil the pudding?

Imogen thought escaping the king’s wrath would give her everything she wanted. But her relationship with Prince Hank is tougher than an overcooked flan and the welcome they get on Badlands Island is far less than friendly. Accused of kidnapping, Imogen proposes they prove their worth by traveling through a deadly forest to retrieve a magical herb at the top of a mountain…

Forced to take her baking skills on the road, Imogen and her friends must navigate monsters, secrets, and a possible traitor. And the little matter of the impending typhoon is seriously compressing their timeline…

With the storm and creatures closing in, can Imogen complete the quest or will her next meal be her last?

Due East, Beasts & Campfire Feasts in the seventh book in the Spells & Caramels series of paranormal cozy mysteries. If you like amateur witch sleuths, unbreakable friendships, and fascinating magical creatures, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s page-turning adventure.

My Review

After the way book 6 ended with a big reveal and twist I was excited to see how this book would handle things. While I love this series, sadly this book feel a bit flat for me. There is a lot of walking, not talking, no magic and the mystery wasn’t engaging either. I was curious to learn more about the badlands and while partly we got that, it wasn’t as much as I had hoped.

Due East, Beasts and Campfire Feasts starts off right after book 6, but instead of dealing with the fallout of the ending of book 6 we’re thrown into a new mystery. Imogen and her friends are strangers on this island and immediately suspected of having something to do with the disappearance of the captain of the guard (which seemed like a bit of a leap to me, but hey). To prove themselves they have to go on a dangerous quest. Which involved danger, monsters, and lots of walking. And little sleeping. I almost got tired just from reading this book.

While it has all the ingredients these books normally have, something about this book failed to fully pull me in. This probably also has something to do with my weird mood lately. I just thought this book was less fun than the previous books and the reason I picked this up was because I wanted something fun.

The character don’t have their magic for a big part of the book, which limits the paranormal part and it just felt a bit weird and overpowered how these people had a potion to take their magic away. And it lasts a long time too. The character interactions are less fun and less common due to the way the story is set up and the mystery didn’t capture my attention. My wrong expectations probably also had something to do with this, I had expected the plot to more focus and continue the storylines from the previous books. There is almost nothing about Horace and his army even tough it takes place at the Badlands.

I liked how we finally get to see and learn more about the monsters and the badlands and what is actually going on there. Although it still felt a bit limited, I wanted this place to come alive more and see how these people lived and dealt with the monsters. And why do the monsters stay here? It was great to see more of the variety of monsters and get a better feel of what the monsters really are and aren’t.

The author set this book in Japan, I think. It’s never explicitly mentioned, but all the descriptions about clothes, culture and such made me come to that conclusion. I liked how the author tried to give it a bit of a Japanese culture feel, but as I’ve read books that did that better it’s hard not to compare the two. It’s fun how each place they visit and each kingdom has a different vibe.

There are some new side characters in this book which were interesting enough to read about and it’s always fun to see more of the world and new locations. I also enjoyed Iggy as usual, although I would’ve liked to see more fun Iggy moments. There are some romantic troubles between Imogen and Hank too, which I didn’t really care for, although at the end I could understand it. I just think I didn’t like how Hank handled it. The scene at the end between them was great and have me hope that the next book will be better again for the romance.

To summarize: this book just didn’t fully work for me. Partly due to my weird mood, wrong expectations and this book being less fun in my opinion. Instead of continuing some plot lines where book 6 ended with some big reveals, this story mostly follow a new plot lines. It does tie in the rest of the plot, but doesn’t focus on it as much as I had hoped. It’s a new setting with a new mystery and some new side characters. There is a lot of walking, them not having their magic and less time for fun character interactions. It just didn’t feel as fun to me as the previous books. Iggy was great again and I did like learning more about the monsters and this place. All in all this book was a bit of a miss for me, but the series as a whole is great.

3 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Tell me about a book you didn’t enjoy as much in a series you like?

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6 responses to “Review: Due East, Beasts & Campfire Feasts by Erin Johnson

  1. Sometimes even a favorite series produces a dud. If it ignored what came with the big reveal and dove into a tedious hike up the mountain for a crime that didn’t work with them as the culprit, then that would be enough flatten out the story. Oh well, maybe the next one would be better.
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