Tin Men: A Novel
by Christopher Golden
Cover Artist: Mike Bryan
Review by Mel Jacob
Ballantine Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345548856
Date: 23 June 2015 List Price $26.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In Christopher Golden's latest novel Tin Men, armored robots directed by human intelligence keeps the peace throughout the world. Then, an electromagnetic pulse disables world communications and all electrical systems, leaving the robots isolated. Someone is determined to return the world to the Stone Age and countless millions will die as supplies dwindle and all authority fails.
Golden extrapolates from current trends in this apocalyptic novel. The U.S. has taken over peacekeeping by going to the extreme of telling other sovereign nations how they should govern and enforcing those demands using robotic soldiers with human operating them. The dislike of the U.S. is at an all time high. However, the conspirators also seek to destroy all governments throughout the world beginning with the G20 leaders meeting in Athens.
Meanwhile, in Damascus, a group of jihadist seek to destroy all tin men there. Golden follows a group of embattled tin men trying to understand what has happened while fighting off the jihadists. Among these surviving tin men is Kate Wade, daughter of Felix Wade, an advisor to the U.S. President. The robot troop led by Kate decides to go to Athens, find the President, and take him to their base in Germany.
Meanwhile, jihadists and other are attacking the base in Germany with the help of a mole inside the base. The human bodies of the robots are waiting their return to base. The efficiency of the isolated tin men begins to diminish with time. To survive, they must rejoin their human bodies.
Golden provides a thriller with plenty of action and high tech weapons. However, some readers will question the ability to transfer human consciousness by any means to the tin men's brains. The distance from Damascus to Athens overland and then by sea to locate the President and then take him to the German base also demands a large suspension of disbelief. Nonetheless, the extrapolation of political aspects provides food for thought and a need for caution rather the war mongering so common in certain segments of American society.