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Saving Godzilla?

Cover of The Kaiju Preservation Soc
A review of The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

I've been waiting to tell you about John Scalzi's forthcoming title for a while now as it was just the antidote I needed for a reading slump. At the time most things I'd been reading were eliciting a tepid, 'ah it was fine' response. And then came the Kaiju. Not only were they a saving grace for me, but based on the author note included in the book, were one for Scalzi as well. He'd been struggling with another book as the pandemic worsened and just couldn't make progress when the idea for this story popped into his head. Thus a book described by one, admittedly not as thrilled, reader as a "Walking on Sunshine" kind of tale was born.

The book opens as Covid-19 is sweeping through New York, but fear not, this is not a Covid story. Jamie Gray has just lost his job at a tech firm and is working food delivery when an acquaintance offers him a chance at a better paying job. Sure the offer comes from someone he doesn't know well and he has no clue what he'll be doing, but anything has to be better than delivering food to his former jerk boss, right? Perhaps? Turns out the job is one in which he and a team of scientists work to keep the kaiju (in case you're wondering, Godzilla was a kaiju) safe from earth's inhabitants and keep earth safe from the kaiju. They're effectively "foreign legion for nerds". The challenge for the team has grown as there's always some people looking to exploit what they can to gain power or make a buck. When things go wrong, they can go explosively and conclusively wrong in world-ending ways. It will be up to Jamie and the rest of the team to save the day.

Scalzi is paying homage to the Japanese kaiju film genre and it's clear he had a blast doing so. This was a delightful read from start to finish with action and adventure and a lot of warm humor. I can't wait to hear what others think now they'll have a chance to read.

Oct 19, 2021