Tin by Padraig Kenny

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Tin by Padraig Kenny

Kenny Tin.jpg
Buy Tin by Padraig Kenny at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A group of mechanical children go on a dangerous quest in search of their best friend, Christopher.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 352 Date: February 2018
Publisher: Chicken House
ISBN: 9781911077657

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Christopher can't remember much about his life before he came to live with Mr Absalom. Snatches of memories sometimes surface; images of his mother and father that appear suddenly before fading into the smoke, blackness and flames of the fire. He remembers the fire most of all; his last, most powerful memory of his old life that chokes out everything else. However, his present life working for the eccentric engineer isn't all bad. He has his mechanical friends to keep him company. They are his family now.

Tin is a science fiction fairytale set in an alternative version of our world where history appears to have diverged around the time of the Great War. This period saw the rise of the Mechanicals, robot helpers who could do a variety of useful services for humans. When an ambitious engineer saw the potential to use mechanicals in the war effort, subsequent tragic events created the need for strict laws controlling these artificial life forms. Only child-sized mechanicals were allowed, and the only people who could create these robots were registered and licensed engineers. Most importantly, it was strictly forbidden to put a soul inside a machine, a principle known as refined propulsion.

When Christopher goes missing, it is up to his loyal mechanical friends to try and save him so that they can be together once more. This is where the narrative becomes a Wizard of Oz type of quest and the glorious characters each come into their own. The author excels here; creating characters that we grow to love and care about. Christopher's mechanical friends are so all innocent, gentle and kind, yet each has their own distinct personality. I loved them all. Their childlike innocence contrasts starkly with the villain of the story, who is pure evil, and we start to worry how a ragtag bunch of mechanical children can ever really overcome such a powerful enemy.

The pace of the story was perfect, and there are plenty of twists and turns in the tale; from breathtaking action sequences to poignant and emotional moments of reflection. We become completely engrossed in the story as it transports us to a believable world filled with awe-inspiring sights and concepts.

Tin is an exciting roller-coaster ride of a story with a generous sprinkling of magic and wonder. I challenge anyone to get to the end of the book without needing a box of tissues! I'd love to see a movie adaptation in the future. Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.

For a much more adult (but equally engrossing) approach to artificial intelligence, try out the haunting Sea of Rust by C Robert Cargill, a post-apocalyptic tale of a robot fighting for survival in a hostile world.

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Buy Tin by Padraig Kenny at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tin by Padraig Kenny at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Tin by Padraig Kenny at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tin by Padraig Kenny at Amazon.com.

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