Title: The Kaiju Preservation Society
Author: John Scalzi
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: 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 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. -Goodreads
This book was such a delight. When it first came across my radar, it seemed exactly the breath of fresh air I needed to recharge my reading routine. And it was.
I even loved reading the author’s comments at the back of the book detailing his writing journey through 2020. His story struck me as especially poignant, and these words describing the Kaiju Preservation Society endorsed his book perfectly:
KPS is not… 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.
And a smile on my face is absolutely where it left me. Which is the same for all the books I’ve read by him so far, actually. To that end, if you’ve ever read a Scalzi book then you are familiar with his cheeky writing style, fun plots, and quick-witted characters. Take all that you know about him and imagine what he would do within a Kaiju Preserve… Yeah, it was awesome and epic and an absolute riot!
The tone of the novel was definitely my favorite part. I love the dry humor and constant banter between characters. I also appreciated their sense of camaraderie. And the Kaiju!! Holy crap, the Kaiju. They were so cool to read about – it made me feel, for a small moment, like I was a Kaiju naturalist on this grand adventure myself, which was awesome.
The plot and the characters didn’t have a ton of depth, but that didn’t bother me – it wasn’t really needed for the type of story presented. It was, perhaps, too heavy on the back and forth dialogue explanations on occasion, but it more than made up for it with a plethora of heart-pounding action scenes. Overall, it was a perfect light read that came to me at precisely the right time. I love that I read it.
Recommendations: this is an absolute must for fans of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. If you’re in the mood for a fun, light-hearted reads with cheeky humor, plenty of action, and fun characters, this is an awesome pick.
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