Medical student Felicia Sanchez is only trying to help an injured man when she slips through a time rip and into 19th century New Orleans, one very different than the one she knows from history books.
The only person who can get her home is Professor Seamus Connor, a former convict seeking a quiet life of obscurity. But even the “mad Irishman” knows that recreating a freak accident is next to impossible.
With the help of a local street urchin, they discover that their problems run deeper than solely getting Felicia back to her own time. The three of them must unravel the secrets of a steam engine that operates upon a scientific impossibility and the mysteries of a grand cathedral at the center of town, where clockwork automatons perform for rapt audiences.
But can a convict, a guttersnipe, and an accidental time traveler prevent the destruction of a city and the death of thousands? Others are watching, and Felicia may not be the only time traveler in New Orleans.