Saturday, December 31, 2022

Audiobook Review: The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

The Kaiju Preservation Society

John Scalzi
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Publication: Tor Books/Audible Studios (March 15, 2022)
Length: 268 p.; 8 hours and 2 minutes

Description: The Kaiju Preservation Society is John Scalzi's first standalone adventure since the conclusion of his New York Times bestselling Interdependency trilogy.

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.

My Thoughts: This was a light and entertaining science fiction story. Jamie Gray is fired from his job at a startup and finds himself working as a food delivery guy in the middle of the Covid pandemic.  When me makes a few deliveries to an old acquaintance, he is offered a job at an "animal rights organization." 

Jamie jumps at the chance and is even more excited when he learns that he will be traveling to an alternate Earth inhabited by kaiju - huge nuclear-powered dragon-like creatures. This is perfect for a guy whose doctoral thesis was going to be about science fiction. But all is not well for the kaiju since someone is trying to steal one to bring to our Earth to learn about the way they create nuclear power.

I loved the science fiction and pop culture in-jokes. And I love Jamie who was hired because "he can lift things." There was an intriguing cast of characters of multiple ethnicities and genders. There was also a daring rescue to plan and execute if the kaiju were to be safe.

The author's note at the end of the story tells how this story came to be written rather than the book Scalzi was planning to write. I found that note a wonderful look into an author's mind and gave me even more respect for John Scalzi.

This story was narrated by Wil Wheaton who did a good job with the voices and pacing of the story. 

Favorite Quote:
"The only real question is, who are the monsters>"

"They ask that question in every monster movie, you know. It's an actual trope."

"I know," Tom said. "What does it say about us that it's relevant every single time they ask it?"
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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