Rosca's sharp-edged style perfectly matches her sharp-tongued lead character's personality. Sally Peppers is the highly-curious, ambitious niece of steambot magnate Erasmus Croach, who has supplied Britain's factories with an apparently endless supply of near-perfect robot employees, displacing flesh-and-blood humans. Unemployed people have begun to demonstrate in the streets of London and more than one near-riot has been put down by Croach's latest and greatest invention, the steambot police-boy, Sky. Sky is troubled by dreams where he, like Pinocchio, has become a "real boy." Then he meets Sally, who has run away from home, and begins to learn of the poverty and hardships faced by these workers. Together, Sally and Sky venture into the tunnels beneath London in search of a missing child. Sally has always been a bit of a tinkerer and quickly figures out the terrifying truth about her uncle's magnificent steambot factory. But it might be too late-Erasmus Croach has new steambots ready to deploy-and they are bigger and stronger than the heroic Sky. Can Sally's wits and Sky's pure heart save the day?