Set in 1887, the Empire is on the verge of war with the Kaiser Reich. Ian Rollins, a Commander in the Royal Navy, has a career that is about to fall apart after a disaster on the ship he served burned the ship and earned him the enmity of many of the officers. Instead, in a surprising twist of fate, Commander Ian finds himself working on a submersible stolen from Irish militants in the US with the help of the Pinkertons. Alongside Nicola Tesla and his cousin Danjella, Commander Ian and his new crew work to engineer a larger submersible while trying to find a saboteur that was responsible for the accident on his last ship as well as a number of "accidents" and attempts on Ian's life as he learns the ins and outs of submersible command.
I found this to be a great example of Steampunk genre fiction. I enjoyed the characters, and Ian's development from a drunk with some very staid views of a woman's place to a less uptight person by the end of this first book. The writing imparts a good sense of Victorian atmosphere, the world building and description are good, and the ending is such that you really do want to get that next book. I recommend it for Steampunk fans, of course, and especially for fans of Kady Cross and her Steampunk Chronicles.