Monday, March 5, 2012

ARC Review: Fair Coin

Fair Coin (Coin, 1) by E.C. Myers, March 6, 2012. 290 pages. Published by PYR. Source: Publisher for review.
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. And 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 its power before his luck runs out.  
First Sentence (ARC):
Ephraim found his mother slumped over the kitchen table, her right hand curled around a half-empty bottle of vodka.

Even though I did end up enjoying Fair Coin, there were a couple of points that I did not the slow beginning. Fair Coin, I am finding id one hard book to review without giving away the entire book.

This was probably the most fascinating sci-fi book that I have read. I really liked how complex the story and the world of Fair Coin was, and was quite impressed with the way things were laid out in this book.
While the characters may not have been some of my favorites and the slow beginning, I would definitely recommend reading Fair Coin simply for the complex world that Mr. Myers built and the way that the story and world evolved throughout the book.

Even though the concept was definitely more unique this most books out there-a coin that could bring about changes to the characters lives-I felt that at times the flow of the story was kind of stilted and bogged down, as the story focused more on the consequences of using the coin and the affects that it had on the lives of the characters. In short, it felt like the main basis behind Fair coin was a cautionary tale on how one should not take for granted the things that they have-family, friends, and love-and that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Ephraim, was one character that I did not care too much for. While I could understand how he would want to change certain aspects of his life (wanting his mother to not drink and have a better job, the girl of his dreams liking him) with the coin. Even so, by the end of the book I found him to be a more tolerable character as he realized that no matter how bad things were, it was still better to have what was your life then someone Else's.
Nathan was insane. And that is pretty much all I can safely say about him.

So, what made me stick with Fair Coin, will that would have to be the concept. I thought that it was highly original and the way that the coin was not what it at first appeared to be. I would really like to go on and on about the true nature of the coin, but that would absolutely take away all the mystery of the book and y'all know how I hate to spoil a book. I'll just say this, it is way cooler, scarier then what you see mentioned about it in the synopsis.

While I found Fair Coin to be an interesting read I thought that it started out really, really slow. Not only did it have a bit of a slow start, Fair Coin was kind of confusing at first because things were not explained all that well in the beginning, but that might just have been so that the reader would learn about the coin at the same rate that the main character, Ephraim, did. Even though the slow and
confusing beginning nearly made me give up on this one I did end up enjoying this one.

Content (will contain spoilers; highlight to see):
There's actually quite a bit to cover this time around, so here we go.

Drinking, Ephraim's mom is an alcoholic, who on the very first page has tried to kill herself with booze and prescription drugs (because she thought that he was dead). Other instances of drinking: some underage drinking at a party by the characters (mentioned in passing).

Violence: let's see, Nathan kills whoever gets in his way, which happens to be quite a few people. While you do not see what happened, one of the character's parents were killed in a murder suicide (lots of blood).

Sexual content: There's mention of Ephraim's mom having slept with her boyfriend; that Ephraim was/did sleep with one of the girls in the book.

Final Verdict: Fair Coin, more complex then it looks at first.

Fair Coin earns 3.5. of of 5 pineapples.


  1. Great review! I just heard of this book and even though the story sounds okay, the concept seems interesting enough to sustain the readers. Thanks for sharing your review :)

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  2. I'm not sure about this one. The slow start will be torturous for me!


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