The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi 📚

This is a very quick read, especially when you are stuck on a cross-country plane trip. I also learned in the author’s afterword that it was written over a few weeks, which is not to say this is a bad thing, but the story is fast paced and doesn’t spend much time on self-reflection or character development; we just go straight to the concept, put everybody in terrible danger, and then wrap things up in the end.

The book can be accurately summarized simply as “what if Godzilla was real?” The author spends some exposition time providing highly implausible explanations for how this could happen, which is not all that different from the “dimensional rift” of Pacific Rim, but in this world there are only a few monster incursions before the human world creates a multinational bureaucracy to cover up and manage the problem, something which seems much more in humanity’s wheelhouse than giant robots. The story is presented as taking place in our current world, including the Covid pandemic a plot point; the reality of kaiju is a secret known to only a few, and most of the action takes place on the other side of the dimensional barrier.

And that action is pretty much the whole story; there isn’t really any time spent on relationships, most of the dialog is wisecracks, and there is very little backstory for any of the characters. It’s all in fun and escapist to the max.

Not sure I would recommend but it is a quick read, and a Hugo nominee this year.

Book cover for The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi, closeup of a plastic ID badge with the book title in large letters and tropical leaves in the background.