I kind of just happened upon Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Time by Emma Trevayne. I saw the cover on Goodreads and was intrigued. Intrigued enough to pick it up at my local library! It was definitely an odd read, to say the least.
Jack Foster is a ten year old in 19th century London. One day he follows a mysterious man through a doorway into an alternate, mechanical London called Londinium. The air is dark and smoky and almost everyone he meets has mechanical alterations. Jack befriends a wind-up fairy and her creator, before meeting the Lady. The Lady rules over all of Londinium and decides to adopt Jack as her own son. At first, the Lady spoils Jack and he is beyond happy, but it isn’t long before the Lady’s darker nature becomes apparent. How is Jack to save Londinium and his friends from the Lady’s wrath?!
This novel was so inventive and strangely dark for a middle-schooler novel. It reminds me of anything from Tim Burton… very Nightmare Before Christmas-esque. Magical and intriguing. Would definitely read from this author again.