Book Review: Fair Coin by E.C. Meyers

Ephraim Scott is having a challenging adolescence. The departure of his father has sent his mother spiraling into depression, dead-end jobs, and drunkenness. The girl of his dream, Jean, doesn’t seem to know he exists, and he and his best friend Nathan are regularly the target of abuse and bullying. So when, after tragic and mysterious circumstances, a seeming magical wish granting coin falls into possession, Ephraim thinks that all of his troubles have ended. However things aren’t what they seem and soon he’s running for his life with disaster spreading in his wake and lives of everyone he’s ever cared about hanging on his decisions.
Fair Coin is the debut YA novel from author E.C. Meyers, published by Pyr in hardcover it is an enjoyable fast paced adventure of a young man who learns that living is more about the challenges and the responsibilities than having the perfect life. Despite having that important theme, the book is not didactic but presents its themes through the natural development of its engaging characters and intriguing situations. The plot is well constructed, and things that are quite mysterious are properly explained by the story’s end. Fair Coin is the start of a series, but happily E.C. Meyers gives his reader a complete tale and not a partial that leaves people dangling with a cliff-hanger. (Oh, despise that. If’ I’ve paid good coin for a book, particularly a hardbound one, I expect a story with a beginning, middle, and an ending. Personally I blame the TV show Dallas for the modern incarnation and infatuation with the suspended ending.)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fair Coin, in fact I enjoyed it a little too much as it consumed my breaks and lunches during this week and severely impacted by own writing during those normally productive times. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone with an interest in science-fiction, though Clarke’s law is fully in effect here, and an interest in the YA market.