Kaiju Preservation Society: A Book Review

A big thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for providing me with this copy to read and review. As always, I will share my full and honest thoughts.

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, 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 who have found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.

Well hello there beautiful people! I finally finished a book that I needed to review. I’m not gonna lie, this one took a minute to read, but that wasn’t because of the book, that was because I am in a reading slump. Bother. On to the book!

This isn’t my first John Scalzi book, having read Old Man’s War a couple of years ago. I liked that one, but I haven’t read any of the other books in the series. This book surprised me, as I didn’t think it would live up to the promise of Old Man’s War.

The characters in this book were great! Our main protagonist, Jamie, is just your average guy. He could be any one of us trying to make our way through the world during the pandemic. And that’s what makes this book so great. Jamie was on his way to a doctorate when he decided to drop out and live his life just like all of his friends, so he’s not a slowpoke in the brains department, but when he arrives at KPS, he’s nothing special. Just a guy.

And this everyman is very well written. He takes his responsibilities seriously, and given the circumstances, he has found himself in, that’s actually a good thing. He has a great sense of humor, a quick wit, but a realistic side to him that I can appreciate.

But Jamie doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into. In fact, none of his doctorate-holding companions do. They’ve all been left in the dark as to what exactly it is the KPS does.

Our side characters’ interactions with Jamie are great. They all have fun together and they have real and genuine friendships that help when the time to be heroes comes.

There is a lot of exposition in this book that comes from those side characters. At the beginning of the story you learn as they do, but later on, they are the ones explaining things. And they explain those things in a way that assumes the audience listening to them is smart. Which is always nice.

I found no issues with the pacing and the writing style kept me engaged the entire time I was reading. Just to give you an example, I was at 35% when I picked up the book today. I finished it once I actually sat down to read it. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times and when I told the Hubs one of the funny things, he laughed too, and he hasn’t even read the book.

One of the things I didn’t like was that I called the villain the second I met them. I hated being right, but, surprisingly, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story. I still wanted to know how everything played out.

I wasn’t expecting it, but I really loved this story. I happily give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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