Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device is an excellent introduction to the steampunk subgenre of scifi/fantasy. It's more alternative history than anything else, and the steampunky gadgets never take precedence over good storytelling. Jack White is a boy on his own, searching for his father in an alternative Victorian London. He doesn't stay there long, however, after he stumbles across the doomsday device, a mysterious box he's certain was made by his father. Stealing it seems the only way to find out what it does, and perhaps where it came from, but he ultimately winds up behind bars in a lonely outpost in Scotland. Only the surprising help of Prince Albert himself and an unlikely band of royal guards can help him from here on. From the first page to the last, this book is filled with swashbuckling adventure and surprises. A great introduction to what promises to be a richly developed series.