Reviews

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

nikkit_nzl's review against another edition

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4.0

That was a good fun story! Will Wheaton reading it was spot on too.

testaroscia's review against another edition

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5.0

This is five star popcorn. Pure frivolity written by a master of conversational prose. If there is a thing that is a downer is that it is very short. Just when other novels would only just be setting the tone and elaborating the premise we are already at the denouement. Get the audible version read by Wil Wheaton. He makes everything even better

melanie_page's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

erinalbion's review against another edition

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4.0

So much fun! Thanks, John Scalzi. I needed this fun novel. This was my first book by him, but it won't be my last.

trin's review against another edition

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3.0

John Scalzi calls this book a pop song, and that's accurate: it's deliberately light action-adventure fluff (with giant inter-dimensional monsters). I like a lot of the things Scalzi does and/or tries to do with this narrative, including a bunch of unremarked diversity and a protagonist who is never gendered, as well as the theme of smart people forming community based around mutual support for smartness and ~SCIENCE~; there are no real bad guys except billionaires, which, duh. However, there are no real characters either: protagonist Jamie has faint Sokka vibes, but only by imposing another richly drawn character onto Jamie was I able to sense any real personality there, and that applies to the whole cast. I appreciate a pop song that knows it's a pop song, but this isn't one whose chorus I'm going to be humming hours later, let alone months or years.

scytmo's review against another edition

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4.0

Jamie Gray gets fired and, out of desperation, gets recruited to 'an animal rights organisation.' This turns out to be the Kaiju Preservation Society (KPS), working with massive, dinosaur-like creatures on an alternate Earth in a parallel dimension, where everything wants to eat everything else.

This is an enjoyable, lightweight, fish-out-of-water tale, with likeable characters, an engaging plot, and massive monsters. In the Author’s Note at the back of the book, John Scalzi says:
"KPS is not, and I say this with absolutely no slight intended, a brooding symphony of a novel. It’s a pop song. It’s meant to be light and catchy, with three minutes of hooks and choruses for you to sing along with, and then you’re done and you go on with your day, hopefully with a smile on your face."

And that’s exactly what it is. And it does it very well.

This is quite a short book, but there’s a lot of world building to do in order to set up everything you need before the jeopardy kicks in. This world building is achieved through the experience of our main character and three other new recruits - so the explanations of the alternate Earth, the kaiju, and the KPS itself, come naturally out of the characters having to learn or be taught.

The need for this amount of world building in a short book means that things only start to get ‘interesting’ (a.k.a. actual jeopardy) about 70% of the way through the book. Up to that point, while I was enjoying the characters and finding out about the alternate Earth, I was wondering what was going to actually happen. I was also wondering what a gang of 4 newcomers could do in the face of jeopardy involving massive monsters that could wreak havoc on a global scale. But the book really starts to deliver at this 70% point, with a pay-off for all the world building, and a scope of ‘peril’ that fits perfectly with the characters.

The characters are all likeable, albeit quite similar to each other: they’re all bright, quick-witted, and slightly sarcastic, and the dialogue between consists largely of banter. They’re people I’d probably enjoy hanging out with. This made the story accessible and an easy read, but with very little depth of character, and no real emotional inner life for any of them. But for a plot-driven book of this length, that was fine.

Perfect length chapters, too. Is that a strange thing to include in a review? It has such an impact on my progress through a book… that “just one more chapter” feeling when the clock is ticking towards 1:00am.

Anyway… very enjoyable.

bridgettmorigna's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted

5.0

stephaniesteen73's review against another edition

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5.0

I don't like sci-fi. I don't like Godzilla, dinosaurs and similar things. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
I could not put this one down. In the author's note at the end, he compared this to a pop song - something light and frothy and totally catchy - something we all need after the past two years. I think he does himself a disservice, however, because while compulsively readable, this book had substance and is going to stick with me for a long time. Perfect book to pick up if you are in a reading slump.

janie_cloud's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.0

razikale's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25