Although a good look at the Royal Navy in the latter part of the 19th Century, this book mainly is a covert operation on shore by a Royal Navy Lt. There is some back story to the character, but not much and you are left wondering how the protaganist got to where he is and faces the problems he does in the Navy. Also, this book has clear bloodlines in the early 20th century works of "boys adventure" stories that were written to show young males how to act in different situations, acceptably that is. The story does have some good points, but little in the way of historical relevance and information. Lots of information is missing to understand the motivations of each of the parties in the book. But, there is action involved and some of the naval information is good to know, especially the new times of steam ships in the Royal Navy. I hope the rest of the books in the series are better now that the intoductions, although short and incomplete, are out of the way.