Ed is the "epitome of ordinariness". He never went to college, lied his way into a job as a taxi driver, spends most of his free time playing cards with his friends, and has no vision of making more of his life. When he becomes caught in the middle of a bank holdup and is dubbed a hero, subsequently receiving a mysterious Ace in the mail with messages to deliver to strangers in need, he takes the role. This story follows Ed through his receipt of all four Aces, and the delivery of the messages on each. Even when he doesn't understand exactly what he is doing or why, he knows he has a mission and his life will never be the same again.
I found this title's storyline to flow well throughout and found it a fairly easy read. Many readers will be touched by the relationships that Ed makes and the sense of purpose that he gains as we are shown that the smallest acts of kindness can make all the difference in the world. Humorous scenes are thrown into the mix of mystery and character-building.
I, personally, was unimpressed with many of Ed's messages-whether seemingly insignificant or morally questionable, and found it disconcerting how little he questioned "why?" while using violence and making decisions affecting others' lives. The delivery of many of the messages as well as the language were rough, and in my opinion, the tone was more depressing than hopeful and the main characters weren't terribly likable. It did make me think about ethics and may motivate teen readers to push for purposeful lives.
If you read this book, be ready to be thrown by the ending.
AR BL: 3.9 UG
Recommended for: older teens
*language, violent and sexual content