Tin Men by Christopher Golden - author of Snowblind - is a must-read for fans of Dean Koontz, Peter Straub and Joe Hill thanks to its high concept and jaw-dropping thrills.
Economies are collapsing, environmental disasters are widespread and war the backdrop to life.
And so the military has developed a force of elite soldiers to keep the peace. A force like nothing seen before ... codenamed Tin Man, soldiers are virtually transported to inhabit robot frames in war-torn countries.
When PFC Danny Kelso starts his day shift in Syria, an eerie silence welcomes him and a patrol confirms the area is totally deserted. But when a rogue electromagnetic pulse throws everything into darkness, Danny's conscious mind is trapped within his robot body.
The attack turns out to have been global - the world is facing a return to the dark ages with no electricity, no technology ... no safe zones. And the Tin Men face a race against time to save not only themselves but society as we know it.
Golden (Snowblind) spikes this superior near-future shoot-'em-up with hints of deeper concerns. The U.S. uses the "Tin Men" of its Remote Infantry Corps virtually indestructible robots controlled at long distance by American soldiers to enforce its will on the rest of the world. One platoon patrolling Damascus, however, is attacked by anarchists who have new bot-killing weapons, just as a worldwide electromagnetic pulse fries all electrical circuits and seals the soldiers' minds inside the metal bodies. The isolated Tin Men must get to Athens, where a global anarchist group is targeting a conference of world leaders. Meanwhile, a saboteur is at work back in the robot operators' underground headquarters in Germany. The characters sometimes note that bullying by world powers inevitably produces hostility among the people who are being pushed around; immediately, however, this is drowned out by the clamor of dying anarchists and exploding robots. Within its chosen limits, this is a wonderfully effective SF thriller.