Little details, like the act that the Americans win most skirmishes mostly due to sheer rate of fire, that 17th century men have bad teeth, and that visual details about a modern person would " read " differently to a 17th century person are just awesome.
For example, take this scene from the middle of the books in which the resident of Grantville have just made an alliance with the en of a nearby German town against the invading Catholic army, where Brad, a slightly overweight nerdy D& D enthusiast who is acting as a scout and messenger, is just leaving on his motorbike: " A moment later, eff was roaring off.
They get down to business, and follow their ( American) ideals, which include things like equality for women and freedom of religion.
For example, early in the book some men from the United Mine Workers of America ( the local union, AKA the UMWA) go off to investigate some smoke, before they really realize what has happened to their own, and run across some mercenaries having their way with a farmer and his stepfather.
The seventeenth century characters are awesome too.
There 's an educated " jewess " who is one of the fifth to be rescued ( and remains an awesome member of the American 's elected assembly), an unwilling camp follower who was rescued by the mericans and becomes almost a spy/agent for them as an ardent supporter of 21st century women 's rights, a young Scottish mercenary officer who visits a 21st century dentist before he starts wooing one of the Grantville cheerleaders because he feels self-conscious about his eeth, and, of course, there is King Gustavus Adolfus II, the Swedish King and head of the " ood " guys' army, who is blustery and at first disbelieving but awesome.
Amongst the 21st century characters are that cheerleader mentioned above who becomes a crack sharpshooter ( not as plausibl as it seems), and the school 's history teacher, a former Civil Rights activist who was only working in this tiny West Virginian town because she was too radical to be hired in the big city where she used to live ( although the townspeople did n't really learn this until they were writing up their new constitution.) Maybe I just like badass historians.