Deep under a smoggy, alternate-reality London, kidnapped children shovel coal in Battersea Power Station, working for the vicious Tabatha Margate. One of them is Luke, who longs to escape and find his family by earning one of the famous Amber Tickets to freedom.
But an encounter with a ghost, Alma, shows him that there is a lot more to the world – and the weather – than he realises. As a half-ghost, it is up to Luke to discover what is going on, and why ghosts as well as humans are being kidnapped for Margate’s cruel plans.
This inventive adventure swirls elements of steampunk into a unique world where ghosts bond with water to become clouds, lose themselves in rivers, and read your thoughts through rain. Luke is a gutsy hero, with friends including the delightful wannabe-plumber Jess and tough Ravi. It’s a satisfying and often surprising fantasy world that children will no doubt enjoy coming back to again and again.
There are some scary monsters in the story, but the underlying humour keeps it from becoming too dark.