Stefan's initial unwillingness to continue working with his father is an interesting start to the story, since he proceeds to try very hard to find his father. The descriptions of automata will be interesting to readers of Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Pullman's Clockwork, and the machinations of the mice will keep readers turning the pages to see if Stefan will be able to save not only his father but himself.
This is an adventure set in the Napoleonic Era, which is slightly before the Regency era. Lots of interesting period details about Nuremberg, apprentices, and clockworks. Steampunk aficionados might find enough inventions in this one to keep them happy. Also, even though the talking mice are sort of on the side of evil, Redwall fans might like this as well.