- Interesting concept combined with pop culture references
- Engaging writing style and dialogue
- Contemporary setting gives story a sense of realism
- While premise is unique, the development and conflict feel a bit weak
- Pacing of the story is a little uneven with a slow pacing toward the main conflict and a comparatively quick resolution
- Not much information about alternate Earth
The Kaiju Preservation Society Review
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi is an interesting concept well executed by cultural references and an engaging writing style that is sure to entertain readers.
The Kaiju Preservation Society is a story doesn’t take itself too seriously, That’s evident in the sometimes puerile dialogue shared between Jamie Gray, the protagonist, his New York roommates, and even among his academic cohort.
While the light-hearted dialogue gives the book its feeling of fun, it does sometimes detract from the importance of the organization’s goals. That is, the jovial atmosphere and camaraderie makes the plot feel less significant even though the animals in question are of gigantic proportions. The difference between the tone of the story and its plot makes it a bit more difficult to take the story seriously.
What Scalzi does really well in the book is to include pop cultural references that gives readers the sense of being part of the “in” group of knowledgeable people, and the fact that the story is set in contemporary times—the pandemic—gives the story its sense of realism even if the more technical aspects, like the dimensional shifts, are glossed over.
The premise of the story—that the Kaiju animals such as Godzilla exist and are thriving in a parallel Earth—is in itself fascinating. This weaving of fictional ideas along with our reality makes the plot that much more believable and the story that much more engaging. Perhaps a brief discussion about the history of this alternate Earth would help with establishing the credibility of the setting, but that discussion doesn’t take place.
While the writing itself is fantastic and consistent with Scalzi’s other works like the Old Man’s War series, the pacing of the story is a little uneven. It takes awhile for book to get to its main conflict, giving readers a sense of indifference as to what’s going on. It’s not until the conflict is introduced perhaps half into the book that a feeling of purpose appears that goes beyond the extraordinary good luck of one college drop-out Jamie Gray who happens to stumble onto an exciting and unique job.
Once the conflict becomes apparent, the pacing of the story picks up dramatically, turning the story from Jamie Gray’s amazement and description of a new and dangerous world into a singular focus of preserving the Kaiju.
The conclusion of The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi wraps up the story nicely, and its feel-good, all-is-forgiven ending signals a sense of hope for the end of our own pandemic.
Read reviews of other great science fiction books below.