Title: Coins Not Accepted
Author: Chris Quinton
Publisher: Manifold Press
Length: 185 Pages
At a Glance: A fairly unique story with intriguing world building and an interesting plot.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: “Bring me the contents of the security box from the bank, and make sure you’re not followed.” Miles Carter carries out his grandfather’s instructions, and finds himself caught up in a dangerous tangle of family mysteries – and the unexpected return of Allan Warwick, his childhood friend. Add to that a parallel world and a plot to overthrow its government, both of which seem to involve his grandfather and Allan. Miles’ life will be changed irrevocably, but only if he and Allan can stay together and survive the coup.
Review: Coins Not Accepted is definitely one of those surprise books for me. The first few times I scrolled on by it because the cover really didn’t grab my attention or make me want to check out what the story could be about at all. When I finally decided to take a look at the blurb, I realized it sounded right up my alley. I’m glad I decided to give it a shot, and now the cover makes a ton more sense to me—I can see how it fits.
So, we have Miles. Miles’ mom and his grandfather had something happen years ago, and now they are estranged. Miles and his little sister and brother were taken away, and never were told what happened, except that his Grandfather is known to be a bit of an odd duck and paranoid as all get out. But unbeknownst to his family, Miles has maintained contact, if only from a distance. Flash forward to a random e-mail received from his cray-cray Grandad one day, and Miles learns maybe he isn’t as crazy and paranoid as everyone seems to have thought.
This story has really interesting world building. It was a bit rough at times for me. The parallel world relies significantly on England’s history and landscape as references, and for me it was a wee bit perplexing. That isn’t a knock on the book, though; it’s because I suck at history and geography. I am straight-up clueless, other than classes I took in high school which conveniently decided not to come out and play while I read this story. So, yes, I was confused in some ways, but I liked the references because I found myself googling after I finished up a chapter or when there was something I wanted to understand a little more. It made the reading portion slower going for me, in the long run, but I learned things so that was pretty cool.
The characters are well developed, and I felt for Miles as he was hurdled into a situation full-speed that just kept getting more and more complicated. Political machinations mixed with an unfamiliar world to learn, one filled with a deeper level of bigotry and hate than Miles had ever personally experienced, made for an interesting plot. Allan (Lan) had me intrigued. I. Can’t. Even on how he was continually treated in his world, and how he was resigned in ways. It was heartbreaking to read about the terms they used, and how, as soon as his name was spoken, the change in people’s demeanors occurred. He was such a wonderful character because despite all of the crap he had to take, he embraced who we was and even used it to his advantage, making his own way.
This is not the story for you if you are looking for lots of on page hot times. Though it is clear Miles and Lan get romantically involved, and there are kisses and sweet moments, you get fade to black scenes before the plot picks back up and takes off again. Though I do enjoy on page scenes, I am also good with the choice to not explore it on page and focus elsewhere, as long as the rest of the story is interesting and I can become invested. The choice in this case worked well, and I don’t feel I missed out on anything significant, as the dialogue, with just enough intimacy and physical touches, created the connection between the two.
I quite enjoyed this fairly unique story with its intriguing world building and interesting plot, even if I had to spend some time on the internet to figure out some of the historical and geographical references.
You can buy Coins Not Accepted here: