Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Two Sides of a Coin
SERIES: Chronicles of an Earned Book 2
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
LENGTH: 349 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 29, 2016
Having never failed anyone’s expectations to him, Alex finds it difficult to deal with having lost a valuable artifact, lied to Pritchard, and falsified a report to Mr. Henry. A whole new life in the States lies ahead of him. But Alex doesn’t like changes. The only things that keep him somewhat grounded are the calloused hands of the sadist, Dominic, and the support of the young demigod, Kaleb.
He had never expected Pritchard to keep their secret, but he did, and the stay in Philadelphia turns out very different from what he expected. Learning more about Pritchard and his past tips Alex’s understanding of a man he has hated and feared more than anyone, but depended upon with his life.
But moving to another continent doesn’t mean they escape an adversary so invisible that not even the Earned see them coming.
I enjoyed this continuation of the story, characters and world that the author created in her first book in this series. Honestly, it had been a while since I read Anchored in Stone, so I re-read it before starting this one so that I would remember who everyone is. That said, I would highly recommend you read these books in order. Since the characters flow forward and it is a direct continuation, you would probably be lost without the background and world building done in book one.
So let’s talk about the story. Two Sides of a Coin continues to focus on Alex and Pritchard, and the rest of the characters that we met in book one. Alex, you might remember, was sold by his father when a pick pocketing went wrong. Alex ended up with a very rare and very expensive coin, which he gave to his dad, who promptly lost it in a poker game. The father, a deadbeat drunk, gladly gave the men who came looking for the coin his own son as compensation for the lost coin. In book one we heard how Alex became a master art thief, and working with his guard/keeper, a man named Pritchard, he continued to increase in the complexity of the thefts he was sent on. When he found a special stone in which an Earned (a Demigod) had been imprisoned, he learned that there was much more to the world than we common mortals see and know. The Earned, Kaleb, became tied to Alex and then trouble arose.
Alex and Pritchard have been disowned by the shadowy “Mr. Henry” who has basically owned both of them as a result of them each having stolen the mysterious coin at one point. He has supported them, educated them, and all they had to do in return was to “belong” to him. They both fear him for different reasons, but it comes down to power. Whoever this man really is, he is very powerful and holds in his hands the fate of not only the two men, but in the case of Pritchard, the fate of his family and friends as well. Mr. Henry is furious at the loss of the stone, but knows nothing about the Earned. Or at least we aren’t sure if he does or not.
He casts the two men out with no money and no home, but does secure a part time job at a museum in Philadelphia for Alex. That is more as a way of keeping track of Alex’s movements though. This book tells their story from that point forward, as they become more entangled in the world of the Earned. The world building in these books is extensive, and there are a large number of characters, many of them in the background. If I’m being honest, I have to tell you that a few times I lost track of who some of the Earned were in Kaleb’s family pack. There was also a troubled female character that Kaleb saved from being run down by a truck that then we never heard from again?
I highly recommend the two books in this series so far. While I really liked Two Sides of a Coin, honestly I really didn’t like the ending. I’m hoping though that it will seque directly over into book three, Marked by Shadow, which is coming out in a couple weeks. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next and I can’t wait to see what happens when Pritchard finds out about Dominic. And finally, I really need to know what will happen with Kaleb. The sign of a good author…she left me anxiously awaiting MORE!