4 out of 5 stars
I would like to thank the author Erin Johnson for approaching me to review a free copy of this book. As I don’t agree to review all items or books I am approached about, I can assure you this is my open and honest review and not something I’ve been paid (or bartered a book) to say.
We good? 😉
Okay, now where to start? ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’? Well, it is book one in potentially a really good series. I know! How brash of me to say when I’ve only read the first book. I am usually not so cavalier with such statements on first books am I?
But I will put my neck on the line and say POTENTIALLY great series as I really loved this book. I mean, yes, I’ve not given it the full 5 out of 5 star score, but that’s down to a personal issue I have with some of the styles of magic used in ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’ . Hear me out! Being a Pagan and a cook I am all for infusing foods with intentions and emotions… I loved to see that in books, as that side of “witchcraft” is rarely shown. But it was the Harry Potter style magic of “things just appearing” or “things floating about magically” that made me unable to give the full score. Yes, I am one of the 0.5% of the English speaking world who doesn’t actually like Harry Potter. *gasp*
Magic has weights and balances, causes and effects. Magic isn’t just that sparkling, wonderful, no payback needed fairy floss style shown in Harry Potter and very, very minimally in ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’. Thankfully, that style of magic wasn’t used enough to put me off the book or the series to come. Let’s hope it stays that way as I acquire the next four books. 😉
But, besides that minor quibble, ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’ was an engrossing, compelling read. The sort of writing style that grabs you within the first few pages and races off with you before you can even realise it. One of those books where you KNOW it’s almost 1am and you need to get up in 5 hours and function as an adult and get the kids to school on time… but there’s only a few more chapters to go!!!!
And then you not only wake tired, but with a book hangover where no other story looks appealing and a new book cannot console you for the loss you are feeling over having finished it. So, as you can tell – my quibble over some of the magic used was so minor it didn’t put me off being absorbed into this tale.
What else can I gush compliments about with ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’? The characters are well described and engaging – even the minor ones. The writing style draws you into liking Imogen from the get go and empathising with her from the start.
I did find it odd there were so many Scottish sounding people in a remote part of France… Highlands or Shetlands in Scotland, yes… France? Well…. Artistic license!
And the threads that wove this story so well weren’t knotted up at all in a tangled, confusing mess. Nor left hanging and ignored. They were either tied up nicely, or left artistically dangling in preparation for the next book. Oh, and it is easily a standalone read, but I WANT MORE!!!! 😉
Would I recommend book to others?
Yes I would. There is an almost YA/NA feel to the tone of ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’ and I would mention this… but would still recommend it all the same. I happen to LIKE YA/NA and whether it was intentional or not with this book – it doesn’t matter. Still a fab book!
Would I buy this book for myself?
Yes I would. I am currently fighting the pull to go and at least buy the second book in this series from Amazon and jump back into the adventure! Sadly I can’t, as I have too many other books I’ve said I would read and review… but I so WANT TO!!! 😉
In summary: A great first book to a potentially fantastic new series.