At sixteen, Ephraim Scott is used to taking care of himself because his single working mother frequently finds solace in a bottle. Still, Eph was shocked to discover his mother unconscious in the kitchen from a drug overdose brought on when she was given news that he was killed in an accident. Puzzled, Eph examined the belongings from the dead boy and among other things, found his missing library card and an unusual coin. A note shows up telling Eph to flip the coin while making a wish. To his astonishment, the coin actually does grant his wishes starting with a better home life and getting the beautiful and intelligent classmate Jena to like him. Excited about these wonderful changes, Eph can’t help but reveal the coin’s amazing properties to his best friend Nathan who, after a couple demonstrations, is convinced the coin really does have the power to change reality.
Before long, Eph begins seeing far reaching consequences as a result of his wishes, especially as Nathan becomes increasingly obsessed by the coin’s power and seeks to use it with dark purpose. Tired of always being an underdog, Nathan sees the coin as a way of becoming a force to be reckoned with and if that means killing, then so be it. Eph and Jena must work together and uncover the coin’s secrets while keeping it out of Nathan’s possession long enough for Eph to undo the damage and restore the world he knew.
This interesting young adult sci-fi starts out innocently enough before turning into a darker tale of greed, responsibility and choices. The pacing is uneven but easy to overlook given the original storyline that pits the fairy tale element of unlimited wishes against real world consequences. There is a bit of romance along with the typical teenage issues of peer pressure and fitting in to round out the three main characters. Enough questions regarding the coin’s origins, its power and whether Eph’s solution worked in the long run remain making a sequel probable.
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