Legacy—A World Apart
by Raymond L. Cox

"One thing I’d known since eighth grade when those dreams first started–the man in the mirrored armor in my dream was me."

Mike is a high schooler living in rural Iowa who describes himself as “pale and skinny with dense glasses and a poor fashion sense.” He is already a world apart from his peers as he harbors secret powers that make him godlike. Fascinated by these physical and mental powers, he struggles to understand his humanity coupled with his abnormal abilities. As he searches for answers, he is haunted by the “man in the mirrored armor” and the girl named Amy, who is the key to unlocking the mystery of his identity.

What follows is Mike’s journey of deep self-reflection and the emergence of dark desires, a subtle commentary by Cox on the raging hormones of teens. Intermittent pieces of memory come to Mike, and he discovers that he is Myzaar, an alien general sent back in time to destroy humans before they wreak havoc on the future. As he grapples with the monster inside of him, he wrestles with the equal ugliness and violence of humankind.

Cox’s time-bending tale is a novel that reads more like a literary thriller than traditional sci-fi. It follows Mike over the course of a decade, with key dates marking significant events between 2001 to 2010. Mike is an unreliable antihero: a broody teen who muses on love, the values of life, and the cognitive dissonances of humans. He is a cross between Clark Kent, Holden Caulfield, and Dexter Morgan. Through his fourteen-year-old narrator, Cox laments a species that is “noble in philosophy, deplorable in action.” There is plenty of political and social criticism in these pages as well as relatively mature themes and scenes. It is a chilling read that should appeal to a wide scope of readers beyond loyal sci-fi fans.

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