ARC REVIEW: THE KAIJU PRESERVATION SOCIETY BY JOHN SCALZI

Reading

John Scalzi isn’t just good, he’s deceptively good. Here’s what I mean. You pick up one of his novels and settle into your favorite reading chair, and maybe you mean to just read a chapter, but all of a sudden you look up, bleary-eyed, and three hours have gone by without you realizing it. He’s so damn readable that it’s easy to miss all the things he’s doing better than most folks writing science fiction today, from drum-tight plotting, to world-class world building, to believable characters, to solid, believable science. Scalzi pumps thrilling hard science fiction straight into your eyeballs, and makes it all look effortless.

Case in point: The Kaiju Preservation Society. Kaiju, the monolithic creatures (think Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, etc.) most often found stomping all over Tokyo, are real. They live on another Earth in an alternate dimension, and are sometimes able to cross over to ours when we explode nuclear bombs, which thin the barrier between worlds. I should probably mention that the kaiju have evolved to have internal, biological nuclear reactors. A small group of scientists, backed by our world’s governments, large corporations and billionaires, have established outposts on Kaiju Earth to study the beasts, to preserve them, and, perhaps most importantly, to keep them in their world and stop them from crossing into ours.

Scalzi takes this premise and has a rollicking good time. This is a thrilling, fast-paced adventure that had me flipping pages so fast I would have gotten paper cuts if I wasn’t reading on a Kindle. He’s worked out the flora and fauna of Kaiju Earth in exacting detail, so everything that happens, no matter how wild, feels utterly believable. Of course, when you mix giant creatures, their equally oversized and deadly parasites, snarky scientists, and nefarious billionaires, bad things are bound to happen, much to my delight. I can’t remember the last time I had this much pure fun reading a novel. Exactly what I needed to close out this dumpster fire of a year.

The Kaiju Preservation Society releases March 15, 2022. Preorder your copy today. If 2022 is anything like 2021, you’re going to need this.

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