The Kaiju Preservation Society

264 pages

English language

Published April 5, 2022

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4 stars (6 reviews)

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls "an animal rights organization." Tom's team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.

What Tom doesn't tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm and human-free world. They're the universe's largest and most dangerous panda and they're in trouble.

It's not just the Kaiju Preservation Society that's found its way to the alternate world. Others have, too--and their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.

1 edition

The Kaiju Preservation Society

3 stars

For me, this is a classic Scalzi oneshot book. Fun premise, snappy dialogue, snarky characters. There's a good quote in the Author's Note at the end about the process of writing this book, that I think describes the book really well:

As a writer I feel grateful to this novel, because writing it was restorative. KPS is not, and I say this with absolutely no slight intended, a brooding symphony of a novel. It’s a pop song. It’s meant to be light and catchy, with three minutes of hooks and choruses for you to sing along with, and then you’re done and you go on with your day, hopefully with a smile on your face.

I think that's both its strength and its weaknesses. It's not mind-blowing or overly complex--it's a nice snack of a book that doesn't overstay its welcome. I'm not sure it's what I'd consider a "Hugo …

Mindless fun

5 stars

This is written and set in late 2020. Much like Netflix' Glass Onion, it uses COVID in the backdrop, and then gets onto its main bit. This is about as much COVID as I want in a book.

Equally you get the feeling that Scalzi has a lot to say about US politics and is resisting only dropping a few things before getting back to his main hobby of dropping his favourite nerds in as backing mentions (or ship names in Old Man's War).

This was exactly the right amount of silly for me, I didn't quite get into Redshirts. It gets a bit close when they discuss how kaiju are tropes but then follows with a Peter-Hamilton-level exposition dump about how the pretend science works.

Who cares, there are kaiju, and also a bunch of characters who respect others' chosen pronouns. It's like a much snarkier Becky Chambers book.

Review of 'The Kaiju Preservation Society' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

If snarky, self-aware dialog and giant alien monsters in alternate dimensions are your thing, this is your book. It's got humor (of course), adventure, and bad guys you really want to punch in the face.

It's nice to have some moral clarity in a story, and also giant monsters who breath nuclear fire.

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4 stars