I found this book among my Dad's things. He always loved books by Pope and Reeman but they had never really interested me. For some reason this one caught my eye and I decided to give it a read. I was really thankful I came from a family with some naval and sea going background because a lot of nautical and sailing references are used. Once you get past that you find a mostly intriguing but sometimes boring tale of a young man's trip to Australia on a British warship. This really showed how long and awful those journey's were when all you had to rely on was a wind that sometimes stilled utterly. As I read this all in one volume I'm reviewing it as one but it really is three different books and each had it's merits with the first one “Rites of Passage” being the best. I found it had the best character development and the more interesting details of daily shipboard life. “Close Quarters” was almost as good as you began to see more of the turmoil between the crew and passengers by having to constantly be together but it started to drag a bit in spots. It was almost like the best characters are being wasted in “Fire Down Below” as it consisted mostly tedious detail interspersed a few moments of action.It's still a really good read if you have an interest in both sailing ships and that period in history. I've been told that the Masterpiece series is well worth a watch as well. If they were rated as separate books I'd give “Rites of Passage” 4 stars, “Close Quarters” 3 stars and “Fire Down Below” 2.5 stars. The set gets 3 stars as an average.