This time travel novella has a refreshingly different destination (the Barbary Wars) and scope (only twelve people). While it follows the convention of having one science fiction reader along to be the first person to accept what's happened, the book does NOT give anybody exceptional abilities or skills, or a coincidental fascination with the period that led to years of study, or even fluency in arabic. You simply have a very small modern anti-piracy boat, with a short range and a handful of relatively light weapons, suddenly find itself at the capture of the Philadelphia in 1803.
The book departs heavily from books like A Connecticut Yankee, Lest Darkness Fall, or Island in the Sea of Time in that the characters decide NOT to try to change history. They don't even spend much time agonizing over it. Their only goal is to get back with as little disruption as possible. Unfortunately for them, by the time they figure out what's happening, several crew members have been captured. This forces them to interact with 1803 enough for a few other major obstacles to come up, which I will refrain from spoiling. Let's just say that they are not powerful enough to be able to impose their will on the 1803 characters....
The characters are reasonably distinguishable from each other, and even some of the pirates are fleshed out as characters and given arcs.
The book is one of the better time travel stories I've read lately, but it has one major shortcoming: the characters barely interact with the societies of the past. The time travelers' CO is black, and the third-in-command is a woman, and the crew names suggest a reasonably diverse group, so I fully expected the same sorts of culture shock as in John Birmingham's Weapons of Choice series. But it just doesn't come up. At its best, time travel stories use the past as a lens to see the present from a different perspective, and we just don't get that here. This is an adventure story, not an exploration of society. If there's a sequel, I hope the author branches out a bit more.
Another reviewer complained about the naval and military terminology. This person does not seem to read much military fiction.