While I enjoyed this book, I was oddly conflicted both while reading it, and now that I’ve finished it. There are certainly elements about the book (largely structural) that I could fault, and there were times when I felt quite annoyed with it. Yet the characters were interesting and the story engrossing for the most part. The time period was excellently portrayed, and I loved the use of H.G. Wells as a major player.
There were things going on in the storyline that I figured out very early, but I am not sure that that wasn’t the author’s intent. And there’s a very late introduction of a science-fictional element that left me thinking it was left *too* late–I sometimes had the feeling that the story had gotten out of the author’s control. And yet the storyline holds many complexities that argue for a book that absolutely had to be plotted out in detail beforehand. Like I said–I’m conflicted. I don’t know that there’s much more I can say without including spoilers. I should mention that my (very well-read) sister and brother-in-law both enjoyed the book hugely and were not bothered by the structural storytelling issues–so maybe it was just me.
My rating is probably more of a 3.5 for those bits that bothered me, but the very skillful writing rounds it up to a 4. :)