Our Child of Two Worlds
By Stephen Cox
- Our Child of Two Worlds
Author: Stephen Cox
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
- ISBN: 9781787471634
- Published: April 2022
- Pages: 472
- Format reviewed: Paperback
- Review date: 31/03/2022
- Language: English
Having a family is a beautiful thing, but they can also be a pain. They do not listen and when they do, they get it wrong. Days are made up of petty squabbles that have lived below the surface for decades, but the foundation is all built on love. Writing a flawed, realistic family is not easy, but Stephen Cox captured it in Our Child of the Stars, the stakes are even higher in that book’s follow up, Our Child of Two Worlds. Can the Myers family survive as one unit when more aliens arrive?
Cody, the alien child of Molly and Gene Myers is now known across the globe, and he is a phenomenon. Some people idolise him, while others fear him. The Myers just want to continue their quiet life and with the aid of Cody’s sentient spaceship this has been made possible by a forcefield that surrounds their sleepy town. All is at a sort of equilibrium until the Snakes arrive, a race of intelligent machines that destroy all in front of them. Can Cody’s people arrive in time to save Earth, and when they land will they want to save such a savage people as us?
The heart of Two Worlds is the same as in the first outing, family. However, like many a blended family, things become more complex over time. No longer is it just the three of them but is also a new baby. Throw in Cody’s father travelling across the stars and a young girl that needs a family’s protection and the dynamics shift greatly. Cox has a wonderful way of painting a complex family that feels genuine. Both Molly and Gene can be fiery, and Cody can even harm people with his feelings. The relationship they have is not an easy one, but the foundation is super solid and based in a strong love for one another.
This is a book about hope. Hope that things can get better, that they will work out, but to get to that point Cox puts the reader though a lot of anguish. The threat this time is intergalactic in the form of a feelingless race of machines. Earth could be destroyed. On a more micro level, people are still after Cody to use his skills as a weapon. Old enemies return, but they are no threat when compared with the snakes.
I enjoyed Cox’s willingness to offer redemption to even the worst characters. The US President becomes an ally working with Cody and even the Russians to tackle a mutual threat. Dr Pfeiffer also returns and is as deluded as before, but he is offered a crumb of hope too. This is a misguided man who believes that he is doing what is best.
Two Worlds is a more uplifting form of dystopian science fiction as it shows that there is a way out. Like in The Day the Earth Stood Still, humans are still given the chance to save themselves if they can learn humility and co-operation. The setting of the early 70s is perfect as the characters reflect the clash between the peaceful New Age movement and Conservatives. We are asked to believe more in the characters who see the best in people, but Cox does not forget to give the book tension and threat. There is a lot of menace and fear that must be gone through until you are rewarded with the light.
Written on 31st March 2022 by Sam Tyler .