I am about 1/2 way through the 788 pages. I have read hundreds of alt-history books and stories going back to 1963 when I read the famous Look Magazine alt-history articles in the 8th grade. House of the Proud is different (so far) because it more of a exciting novel set in a different timeline. If James Patterson would ever wright an alt-history novel it would read a lot like this, as opposed to total battle action like Turtledove to move the plot along or textbook style narratives. Character development is excellent, especially Judah Benjamin., the brains of the confederacy.