This story and I did not start off on the best footing, although I tried not to let that affect my opinion of it. When I first purchased it, All Romance Ebooks listed its word count as 184,420. Although I had never read anything by Wyatt before and had no experience with Devine Destinies, the book's description made it sound like a fun, fast-paced adventure, and $3.99 seemed like a nice price to pay for something of that length. You can imagine my shock when I opened up the file on my Nook and saw that it was only 44 pages. I contacted ARe, which tried and failed to get in touch with Devine Destinies and finally just corrected the word count on their product page using the info from the Devine Destinies site.
Although the description had seemed fine for a 184,420 word book, it seemed too busy for something that was only 18,442 words long. Sadly, my concern turned out to be justified. This could have been a much better work had every last bit of it been fleshed out more. Most of the characters were little more than a name, a job title, and a “good” or “bad” designation. You could tell the “bad” characters by their willingness to profit from slavery and their tendency to threaten to rape anything female. The “good” characters were, of course, anti-slavery and loyal to Hartwell, whose one vice was his absinthe addiction.
The shallow characterization was part of what allowed the story to move at such a brisk pace. Unfortunately, that brisk pace did not translate into “fun” and “exciting.” Even the action scenes were weak and unexciting. It didn't help that I realized pretty quickly that the publisher's description had basically told me the whole story. There were no surprises, other than the specific abilities Hartwell and his crew members gained. The story's structure left me feeling like I'd just read either an in-depth outline or the introduction to a longer work.
There were so many problems with this story.
This story maybe had potential, but it needed a lot more work before publication. I don't know what Devine Destinies does for their authors, but clearly editing isn't part of the package. While I don't remember seeing any typos, every other aspect of the story needed improvement. Even the formatting was shoddy.
Lady Mechatronic and the Steampunked Pirates appears to be the first story in a series of at least four works. I have absolutely no plans to read the rest of the series and will do my best to avoid any other works published by Devine Destinies.
(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)