Set in the future in London, a band of young friends and their parents set out to upset the plans of the Mantle, a self-styled police force, to round out 'Unsustainables' – children with disabilities – and hand them over to Projack, a powerful and shady company, for experimentation.
The resulting upheavals involve the Hissy Boys (the Mantle's elite tracking clones), Greene King Keep, a hidden outpost of civilisation in the Norfolk Broads, and a struggle for power between Morgan Grey, the head of Projack, and the sinister Nicky, his second-in-command.
All of these events are watched over by the deceased Grandma Tookie who reads the Akashic Record, the starry writing that records the story of everyone's life on Earth. But it turns out that one of the children, Mistral – who is very much alive – can read it too, which leads to startling consequences.
Woven into this story is a puppet-show which the children are rehearsing, and in the last chapter reality and the story of the alchemist, philosopher and magician, Faust spectacularly collide.