This book looks initially like a diver's memoir, like a couple of others I've read recently, covering various hstorical shipwrecks a diver has explored. Not so. While the author has dived on one or two of the listed wrecks, the book is really just a series of chapters - in generally chronological order - describing great underwater archaeological sites. It's irritating to me to read about these places without pictures, maps and diagrams to help me see in my mind's eye what's going on. And while the chapters are quite good in isolation, I was still disappointed in the book as a good read. It's a good short guide to various sites, but it doesn't tell - and really, you can't expect it to - an overall story. And perhaps the real problem for me is that it fits each story into a neat chapter when I previously had seen book, documentary and even movie-length treatment of the subjects. For example, the Titanic as a chapter? I have a solid shelf of Titanic material. So that was a bit jarring.
There was one nice surprises, though. Chapter six on ancient shipwrecks was boring as usual (that's just not my field of interest) as it talked about Mediterranean shipwrecks. But then when Jamie and I were walking through the "Underwater Maritime Museum" in the old crusaders' castle in Bodrum, Turkey, we came face to face with the actual artifacts from the shipwreck the book had been telling me about. There was a large recreation of the ship salvaged in part by a professor from Texas A&M University with its hold full of copper ingots in the shape of ox hides and I was thinking "wait a minute, I know what these are..." The book didn't bother to tell me that all these treasures were preserved in Bodrum, which by coincidence I'd be seeing a few weeks after reading the chapter. So I was getting this weird sense of deja vu, thanks to this book. So that was pretty neat.
Overall, a good introduction to the field, but the thing sure needs more and better pictures. I would enjoy it far more as a documentary, with lots of pictures, particularly of the Scapa Flow wrecks and their salvage, which was fascinating to read about.