This is an exceptional good book. It is a little difficult to get into but once you've past the first few chapters it really picks up speed, once it happeend i couldn't put it down until i finished it. A little complicated, not to mention only giving you bits and pieces to go along with at first, the story comes together to a brilliant conclusion. Wouldn't be everyones cup of tea but i found it excellent. The period setting (19th century france) is well explored and the boois sort of a sequel to Christmas on a Rational Planet. A vey good book, well worth a try.