“No one anticipates surprises,” Kahurangi said. “That’s what makes them surprises.”
When Jamie Gray decides to swap his doctorate studies for a career at start-up food delivery app füdmüd, he never imagined that he’d end up actually delivering the food, much less have the ridiculous job title of Deliverator™ forced upon him. Fortunately, one of his customers is an acquaintance from university, who now works for a mysterious animal rights organisation. When Tom offers him a job, Jamie can’t turn the opportunity down – he just wasn’t expecting the animals to be quite so large. Or on a parallel Earth.
Having somehow never come across John Scalzi before, I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, but whatever it was, I got it in spades. The Kaiju Preservation Society is pure escapism; brilliantly written, and brimming with geeky madness, diverse and relatable characters, and utterly mahoosive monsters. Put simply, it provided an extremely welcome hiatus from the downward spiral that our own reality has been locked in for the past five or six years, and my only complaints are that the book appears to be a stand-alone, and The Self Preservation Society song from The Italian Job has been playing on my internal soundtrack ever since.
Jamie makes a sympathetic protagonist, and his complete innocence of the vastly different land and its inhabitants means that he acts as a proxy for the reader, and everything can be explained to him without the reader feeling overwhelmed by an information dump. Set in early 2021, the novel acknowledges the Covid pandemic without becoming bogged with it, and keeps itself grounded in reality sufficiently that, in combination with the ‘sounds plausible enough’ science behind the kaiju and their alternate world, allows the reader to relax into the story and get pulled along for a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
I received a free reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publication date: 17th March 2022