Tin takes the reader on a journey through a reimagined 1930s England, an England full of mechanicals. Kenny recreates this historical period convincingly, and the mechanical elements of society are worked into the storyline seamlessly. Christopher, the protagonist, shares the limelight with several other characters – Jack, Rob, Estelle and Cormier – creating a journey full of collaboration. When a terrible accident occurs, the world is turned upside down for Christopher, and Estelle and the mechanicals must work together to save him.
Kenny has created a book full of action, adventure and friendship. Characters with depth and true personalities endow the story with a believable sense of camaraderie. Readers will love getting lost in this world, and may even forget the majority of the characters are animated mechanicals. Kenny explores issues such as artificial intelligence and the very existence of the soul. These ideas are simply written into the narrative, which mirrors some of the concerns facing society today. There are no clear ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’ within this story. Kenny develops characters who have clear motivations and this psychological depth makes it difficult to choose sides as far as the reader is concerned. The story contains some fight scenes which younger readers may find upsetting. One disappointing feature of this novel is its clear ending but this is, hopefully, not the first and last contact with the mechanicals of Tin.