i wish i had read this 10 years ago, when being swept up in the pursuit of the action, the pull of the grand finale, the senseofwonder throughout, the breathless late nights of onemorechapter! was all it took to earn 5 stars from me. not that those things are easy to find or happen to me all the time... plot was superb, but i guess i'm jaded now, and i get disappointed when good things happen, not because they make sense, but to keep protagonists alive, or likewise if bad guys are bad for no real reason, and also this: there is not just a little suspension of disbelief required beyond the intial (totally underdeveloped) request for the reader to accept that "superrich capitalist pig who only wants more money" (oh what an original) happens to be the one person who now can timetravel. and he's selling tickets to his timetravel trip, but besides those initiated ticketbuyers nobody else knows, because that's just how people are with big earthshaking secrets (they never get out. cue dr. evil: riiiiight...). and then they just run around in 1800. from there it's a great story, but we are curiously not asked to experience the difficulties of modern day people in that time, because apparently beyond getting there being difficult, 1800 is not different or difficult to deal with at all. just plop joe schmoe into london, arm him with knowledge of period poetry and let him assume his position as master of that universe. the characters are walking across a stage, not a place or a city, and i was asked as a reader to not deal with that at all, with the result being that this felt like reading a really cool indiana jones story, where the swashbuckling "aw-shucks" hero recieves an extra foot of plank every time the author makes him walk it. with all that said, fun read, genre classic, great chops by author, cool timetravel ideas, 4 stars.