I was very impressed with this debut from author E. C. Myers. Before I had the chance to actually sit down and read it, I saw some articles on the Internet that said the book had been nominated for some prestigious awards. After reading the articles and knowing that it was in my ‘to read’ stack, I decided to put it at the top of the pile. So glad that I did.
It’s a young adult book, but I truly believe people of any age would enjoy it. The main protagonist, Ephraim Scott, comes home from school to find his mother unconscious clutching a bottle of pills. It’s the reason she’s clutching the pills though that’s disturbing. Earlier that day, she had identified his body at the hospital. Knowing he was still alive, of course, he decides to investigate his dead double and finds a coin among the double’s belongings. When he flips it, it grants wishes, some of which make his life better while others don’t. Figuring out what the coin is all about takes up the rest of the book, and it was a rollicking adventure that I couldn’t put down.
What I enjoyed most in this book were the realism of the main characters. Ephraim and his friends are all typical teenagers and are solving the mystery along with the reader. I also liked how Myers went from universe to universe portraying the subtle changes in each one well. He builds a complex world that works for the story he is telling, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.