Twelve-year-old author-in-training and gadget-making enthusiast, Issy Garcia, dreams of bringing her steampunk inventions to life. If only she could convince her scientist parents to share space with her in their backyard barn lab. But they won't let Issy near their precious "real science" experiments. That is until they end up stuck in one.
When a mysterious storm hovers over her family's new home in Cornville, Arizona, and rogue lightning streaks through the house, Issy's parents go missing. In the hunt for answers, she discovers Mam and Pap stuck inside her latest story's world and the truth of their experiments - tachyons and time study. Clues and ingenuity lead to her parents' trail landing Issy in an alternate 1886 New York City filled with bizarre costumes, steam-powered machines, and automatons.
Convinced her writing created this mess, Issy is determined to rescue her parents and shut down the time loop. Not an easy task with Time Pirates hunting her for unknown reasons. She must navigate the streets of New York with clever street orphan Mekasha and calculate a way to get everyone back home. Or be lost to her family forever, trapped in a world of steam and odd tech.