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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Second Coming by D. B. Borton is a slightly whimsical look at what might happen if a couple of spacemen arrived on Earth to warn us of our impending doom if we continue on the path we are on, i.e. deploying nuclear weapons in outer space. Larry and Elvis, our two intrepid aliens, have actually been here before, back in 1951. That didn’t end too well for them when Larry was shot by an angry father at a Little League game. When the Intergalactic Council decided to give Earth one more chance to change its ways, Larry was keen to have another go. Elvis, an android, is the spitting image of the young Elvis Presley and together they land their spacecraft in rural Indiana, where they befriend doctoral student Hank Jones. Together, they head for Washington and attempt to change people’s perceptions of who they are in the Universe and exactly how meaningless Earth is to the rest of the Universe. Can they convince the corrupt politicians it is time to change their ways and reconsider the deployment of nuclear weapons in space and gain the trust and friendship of everyday humans?
It is extremely difficult to write clever and funny comedy, but in Second Coming, author D. B. Borton has made a pretty good effort. This story may not have you rolling in the aisles and clutching your sides with laughter but it will have you chuckling and nodding your head in amusement on a regular basis. The extreme character of Elvis is undoubtedly the star of the story and the author has done a superb job of creating a character that is imbued with human feelings and reactions despite being an android. I particularly enjoyed the relationship that developed between the two aliens and Hank, especially with the addition of the now 60-odd-year-old aged hippy who was first friends with Elvis and Larry back in the 1950s. The author uses the narrative quite cleverly to question our consumer culture, our greed, and our seemingly hellbent desire to destroy the very planet we rely on for survival. Yes, this is a humorous and clever book but it has deeper undertones that make us question, and that is definitely to be applauded. If you want something a little different, with a huge dose of cynicism, then Second Coming will be an excellent fit for you.