What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most? When his father dies in a tragic climbing accident, Charlie discovers a well-hidden family secret which turns his life upside down and threatens to destroy his sense of self as well as his relationship with his girlfriend, Brooke. Although deep down Charlie always suspected his family wasn't what it seemed, the truth of his adoption compels him to search for his birth mother. In the quest to find her, he realizes traveling to the past for the truth he seeks will jeopardize his relationship with the person he cherishes most in the world. Brooke almost lost everything traveling back in time to save her brother. Will Charlie make the same mistake?
After losing his estranged father, Charlie Johnson’s life is further complicated when he learns he was adopted. Curious about his biological mother, he embarks on a quest to find her. With the help of his stalwart girlfriend Brooke and his government-sanctioned trip through time, Charlie soon learns that uncovering one secret can often has consequences he could never have seen coming.
What I loved:
Charlie was a strong lead character – maybe not as strong as Brooke from The Clay Lion, as he seemed much less conflicted on his journey – but enough to carry the story. The concept of time-travel, once again, is used to move the plot along but is kept simple enough so as to not bog the plot down in technobabble. Amalie Jahn’s writing style flows so wonderfully that I found myself flipping pages well past my bedtime.
What I didn’t love:
While I enjoyed how the story was resolved, something about it let me a teensy bit unfulfilled. The way in which a character gets his come-uppance felt a little too easy, but given the high level of drama involved in the whole of the story, dragging the end out might not have worked as well.
My Final Verdict:
Tin Men is a terrific follow up to The Clay Lion. If you like well-written YA dramas with a sci-fi twist and a sweet love story, then this series is one you should pick up.
What I Loved:
The premise of this series is fantastic. Jahn combines a contemporary romance feel with the classic sci-fi element of time travel, and the result is a story about humans and families and the choices we make.
The relationships and interactions in this book are mature and steady. Not too much angsty, random teenage arguments going on here. This story is about real people, and that's what it feels like. Looking into the very down-to-earth lives of people in a world only slightly different from ours.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Charlie's character is somewhat less relatable than Brooke's was. When she made her choices, even the bad ones, they were driven by a desperate concrete need and had a tangible desired outcome. Charlie's need is much less urgent to warrant risking everything he has.
Overall, I highly recommend this book and its predecessor to anyone who enjoys thinking about life, decisions, and the way the smallest, everyday choices can impact our entire lives.
I really enjoyed, ‘The Clay Lion’, and literally went right into ‘Tin Men’ as soon as I had finished the first one. I had to know how Brooke’s story continued.
Charlie was my favorite character from ‘The Clay Lion’ (and he is totally swoon-worthy), so I loved that this book took on his story. Jahn had me totally forgetting that government-sanctioned time-travel isn’t really a thing (yet). I had to keep reminding myself that this is really a science fiction story and not just a romantic contemporary.
I found I was more sympathetic to Charlie’s character in this story then I was to Brooke’s in the first book. Charlie’s intent throughout the story was to follow the rules and keep his head down and learn about his past. This made his story very compelling.
Charlie’s story helped me to really understand that any kind of time-travel would inherently have time continuum difficulties. Some of the situations such as the old self catching up with the current self in the timeline and what the person will remember from each timeline was absolutely mindboggling. I had to really think about what is happening in each timeline to understand. Also, highlighted in the story is the legal and moral complexities of that time-travel and what that could mean to everyone around the time traveler.
I am a huge fan of time-travel books and this series has quickly become one of my favorites. After finishing ‘Tin Men’ I jumped right into the next one in the series, ‘The Straw Man’. I am really becoming a fan of Amalie Jahn and totally understand how she had developed such a huge following.
Mind binding time travel.
In his attempts to discover more about himself, he finds the need to use the one trip back in time that everyone is allowed. The problem is that nothing can be changed, or else dire consequences will come into play. Guided by his sister's insistence and his own dogged determination to learn about his past, he goes against Brooke's wishes and not only goes back into the past, but finds himself making changes that he didn't even realize were happening. Of course this throws things off course in ways he could have never imagined, causing a cycle of events to transpire that turn his world even more upside down than he thought it already was.
A gripping story that will take readers on a trip into the past and make them question their own decisions and how life can seemingly turn out differently with one small change, 'Tin Men' is yet another wonderfully written story from Amalie Jahn. The first in this series, 'The Clay Lion,' sets the stage for 'Tin Men'. Both novels teach the ever-important lesson of learning to know one's limits. In 'Tin Men,' Charlie is so focused on how to make things better for himself that he doesn't always consider the consequences of his actions, which can sometimes have unnecessarily harsh consequences if one doesn't watch out. The story teaches how the power of truth-finding can sometimes weigh more on one's character than he intends, providing hope and love when only honesty was expected.
Secrets have surrounded Charlie’s upbringing, and he has always felt something isn’t quite right with his family. Through the years, snippets of overheard conversations have planted the seed of doubt in the back of his mind, making him insecure in some aspects of his life.
When his father dies unexpectedly, a quick survey of the dead man’s belongings, confirms Charlie’s suspicions. The life-altering revelation that he is adopted sends him on a quest to find out the details about his biological parents. However, the answers he discovers only serve to raise more questions, and the crucial revelation proves impossible to uncover. There is no one in the present willing to help him, so the past inevitably beckons him, becoming an itch he has to scratch, even when using his government-sanctioned time travel trip puts him at risk of inadvertently altering or possibly destroying his current life. But the obsession is momentous, and no risk seems big enough to someone who feels lost and without an identity. Charlie thinks he will never be whole unless he satisfies his craving for answers. Little does he know what he’s so stubbornly willing to risk is far more precious than his murky past.
Tin Men is another excellent book by talented author Amalie Jahn. She weaves an intricate story with well-rounded characters and compelling challenges to test them. As in book one, the time travel element is an important piece, but not the most important of all. Instead, Jahn gives us characters that feel real and we can root for. The premise adheres to the same conventions of book 1, although this one has an element of mystery as a bonus. Definitely worth reading.