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Review: Tinman – C.J. Dragon

Tinman - C.J. Dragon

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Lucy

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About The Book

Looking for a haven, Astin Langlee went to the moon to escape the unforgiving rigors of poverty on Earth. Signing on for seven years of contract labor, he planned to work hard and make a place for himself. Called “Tinman’ for his lack of observable emotion, he does just that, finding solace only in his conversations with Eddie, a sentient AI.
Finding love never crossed his mind.

Meeting his co-worker, Davis, Astin discovers that he cares more than his nickname suggests. Opening to the joy Davis brings in his wake, Tinman allows love to overcome his fear.

When the moon station is shut down by the uncaring LunaCorp, they head for Mars, only to find that home threatened by the same corporation.

Can Astin save his new home and those he loves, or will he lose all while taking a gamble none could envision?

The Review

After nearly starving to death on Earth, Astin Langlee takes a position at LunaCorp’s moon station. He’s underpaid, overworked, and not very social. He suspects that his nickname of ‘Tinman’ comes from his tendency toward keeping his emotions, and pretty much everything he’s thinking, to himself. Then he befriends Davis, and discovers the joys of having someone to connect with. 

Astin thought he was beyond love and mostly kept to himself. He is typically a quiet man who has had a lot of emotional upheaval in his life. As a computer tech and programmer, Astin found the calm and quiet he seeks amongst the technology he works with. What he doesn’t recognize in himself is his rock-steady personality and calm demeanor, which helps to guide his friends and coworkers through the uncertainties of what comes after the closure of their moon station.

This story has its roots in traditional sci-fi with the moon setting, folks who are facing life and death situations in space, and a colony on Mars waiting in the periphery. The premise for this story isn’t new: a greedy corporation creates a station on the moon and puts their overworked, underpaid employees at risk all for the sake of a higher profit. But CJ Dragon gives the familiar plot points some excellent twists and flares to create a unique take on a classic sci-fi trope, and gives us a lovely romance along the way.

In Tinman, Dragon creates a stark, bleak station on the moon, where survival is at the whims of a greedy corporation that places only monetary value on its employees’ lives. The storytelling is immersive, making the reader feel as if they’re right on the moon with the LunaCorp employees. The story flows so well that it will be hard to find a place to put it down. It’s definitely a ‘just one more page’ book, where you know you should be doing something else, but you just can’t walk away yet. 

From start to finish, Tinman is a fabulous story. I grabbed this book because I’d enjoyed my first CJ Dragon novel, and I wasn’t disappointed by the second. Similar to the first, it was a beautifully written story with fabulous characters. The quality of the writing, the excellent story, and the well-developed characters will have me returning for more.

The Reviewer

I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.

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