The good guys got played pretty well in this one - I liked this one and the prequel a lot, though they're very different stories - the River Kingdoms 'wildness' and the resulting batch of frontier heroes was done nicely. Their just isn't the economy to support a big magic item bin - though I always like Golarion's approach: magic's there, it's dangerous, there's a lot of kinds, and it cheats. :)
I liked Drelm's parts - he's not the smartest guy, and that comes through, but he's very, very forthright, and that's worth a lot too. Elyana was really wrong about Drelm in the first book, but at least she had the chance to realize it, and I like their relationship here.
The beast in question is just nasty, and the scheme it's part of I thought was well thought out.