I devour just about any book I can get my hands on about pre-Dreadnought warships from the period 1860 to 1904. This book is nicely illustrated and the battle diagrams commissioned for the book make it worth the purchase price. However, it is not a very detailed history of this period of naval innovation.
The narrative comes off as a gloss of other recent works such as "Warrior to Dreadnought" by David Brown, "Ironclads at War" by Alessandro Massignani, "The Long Arm of Empire" by Richard Brooks, and "Field Gun Jack Versus the Boers" by Tony Brigland.
The book is written by a retired Rear Admiral of the Royal Navy and if you read quietly, you can faintly hear "Britannia Rules the Waves" playing while you turn the pages. While the RN dominated this period, the book suffers from being a bit too chauvinistic regarding British innovations and abilities versus the rest of the world.
There are a few incorrect dates and a couple of pictures which are not representative of the period under consideration - probably due to the book being part of a general series on the history of warfare rather than a specialist naval book.
Contemporary photos, prints, and artwork are found throughout the book and it is a visual pleasure. The campaign maps and 3-D battle diagrams including Kinburn, Sweaborg, Lissa, Angamos Point, the Yalu, and the Yellow Sea are outstanding.
With a focus on the Royal Navy, the book does give many pages over to the American Civil War and does a nice job of including the South American wars involving pre-Dreadnoughts as well as actions in the Far East.
I would buy this book over again, I just wish it were more substantial.