Self-publishing can work!
Now, on to what's on my mind. I just finished this book. Other reviewers have said it's like "Pirates of the Caribbean for grown-ups" and "Game of Thrones on the high seas." Both of these are on target. If you want to know what pirate life was really like, I bet this comes closer than any other treatment currently on the market. There's a lot of sailing and a lot of blood, enough pirate story cliches (woman taken hostage from another ship, buried treasure) to keep you anchored, plenty of characters that are easily distinguishable from each other, and very little romance.
When it comes to self-published novels, you pays your money and you takes your chances. There is a lot of mediocre work out there, and a lot that's just plain bad, and the result is that the few gems that are available don’t get the attention they deserve. I could go on and on about this. Somebody smack me. Anyway, The Devil’s Fire is one of those gems. This book is well plotted, beautifully written, nicely edited, and correctly formatted. As a self-published author myself, I know how difficult it is to get all of that right, and I appreciate it when someone does. The characters are well-drawn, and undergo believable changes as they progress through the story. The action sequences are nerve-wracking and sometimes gruesome, but come off as authentic. The plot unfolds organically, racing along as it switches back and forth between character arcs, and I have to admit that the ending took me completely by surprise. Matt Tomerlin’s meteoric rise to the top of the charts proves that the first step to success is to generate a quality product. I’m encouraged by it, and also insanely jealous.