Review: Fair Coin

Title: Fair Coin
Author: E. C. Myers
Rating: 9
Date of Release: March 27, 2012
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for  her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she'd identified Ephraim's body at the hospital that day.

Among his dead double's belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin--a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of  his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he's liked since second grade. But the coin doesn't always change things for the better. A bad flip can destroy other people's lives as easily as it rebuilds his own.
The coin could give Ephraim everything he's ever wanted--if he learns to control his power before his luck runs out.

I was intrigued by this story from the synopsis to the cover. I mean, this is a pretty epic cover. But the story was just as good, if not better, then the cover.

The story follows Ephraim as he tries to change his not-so-good present into the life he always dreamed of, with the 'magic' coin. I expected magic, some cheesy moments and an okay story. I wasn't expecting the head ride this book was. Ephraim soon [minor spoilers] realizes that the coin isn't magic at all, in fact it has a root in principles of alternate universes.[end spoilers]. The whole premise was very interesting. For some readers it might be too much theory and not enough clear-cut action, but I really enjoyed that whole aspect of the book.

Ephraim is a sympathetic character. I feel that I would have made the same blunders and done the same things he would have if I had a 'magic' coin. Sure, he didn't have a huge presence in this story, but because the plot was so cool I let that pass. He does his job in the story, but no more. The other characters were also good. Not great, but good. This book might dip into a bit of the classic cliches: the cute geeky girl, the mildly perverted sidekick, and the stupid bully jock, and that was one thing I didn't really like. Then again, there is a difference between archetypes and cliches, and the characters in Fair Coin toe that line.

Altogether, there isn't much I have against this. There were some pacing problems, a few points where I just wanted them to get on with it (especially about 4/5 the way through), but when the plot came back it came back with a vengeance. I will be looking out for Fair Coin's sequel, Quantum Coin, when it comes out in three days (Oct. 23)

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