Book Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

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.

The premise of this book grabbed me straight away, as a fan of both the Jurrasic Park book and movie this sounded right up my street (yes I know they are Kaiju not dinosaurs but there’s a really similar vibe there). What I didn’t expect was that this book was going to be so much fun!

Despite the sometimes serious scenarios at play, this book just feels light and happy. There is a seem on banter that runs between the characters while never feeling shoe-horned in which takes real writing skill to get right.

The Kaiju were amazing and I found the descriptions of the and their biology fascinating, it struck just the right note between building a picture and not overwhelming the reader with too much description.

Jamie was our main character and our way into the Kaiju Preservation Society and while perhaps stretching the limit of realistic on his recruitment it still felt like something that could have actually happened – especially against the backdrop of COVID which made this feel all the more plausible.

A super light read packed with action (and some more serious bits) I devoured this book in a couple of days flat. It was a perfect escape and I loved it. This was the first John Scalzi I’ve read and I’ll definitely be looking at his back catalogue to see what I’ve missed!

With thanks to Black Crow PR and Tor for a copy in exchange for honest review.

The Kaiju Preservation Society is out now.

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