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While entertaining, I found myself thinking that the way the KPS managed their hiring, field practice and training, It’s a wonder that the life expectancy of any of their employees last a week rather than the usual six month tour of duty. You have to suspend your disbelief and set it on fire.
I thoroughly enjoyed KPS, it is not heavy or dark or complicated, it is fun, just what we need at the moment. The interaction and dialogue between the characters is funny, biting and believable. The action is quick, no tedious descriptions of travel, the characters are just suddenly there and away we go. Glad you made it Mr Scalzi and glad you got through the darkness. Thank you.
An impulse buy, for me, when needing a new book to read on my Kindle. Kaiju Preservation Society is a quick, easy to read sci-fi novel by John Scalzi. I'd agree with his post-script, that it's the literary equivalent of a pop song.
It currently feels extra relevant, kicking off at the start of the Covid pandemic, in New York. Our protagonist's working for an UberEats competitor, seeing an up-tick in demand. And there's an explicit reference to the opening of the genre cult classic "Snow Crash". Which comes up again as a bit of a running joke. So too, a couple more pop sci-fi references.
The story soon escapes miserable reality. I thought, at first, that we were going to taken on an interesting deconstruction of monster movie tropes. Focusing on more realist management banalities and such. But it only goes half way…
On one hand: the crew studying (and aiming to protect) the giant monsters are, realistically, almost all scientists with a complementary array of doctorates. They run through why such massive animals are physically impossible. Then proffer some bio-eco-physio-logical embellishments that might help realise this trope.
On the other hand: the author couldn't resist throwing our protagonist straight into an unreasonable amount of close-call monster action. With excessive reliance on wizz-shwoop-nee-ooow-ca-boom helicopter antics.
Our protagonist appears to be a blatant foil for the target reader demographic: male millennial sci-fi nerd. He's apparently done his English masters dissertation on the topic. So it's a little conspicuous that he gets crowbarred into this situation. More so that he has as much influence as he does.
The main antagonist is a fairly standard super-rich sociopath. Kind of too conveniently behaved, in a way. But with with some insightful characterises that ring true, also. While the Scooby gang are ethnically and gender diverse. All good and fine.
So, overall, this book is an adequate diversion from reality, with a few laughs and chuckles.
The author's note does say it's popcorn (more or less). Fine with that. But the salt this batch needed to make it nice would've approached a fatal dose.
I bought this book accidentally, not realising it was another by the author of collapsing empire which I disliked intensely. I was pleased to discover this was a lot better. But not 'better enough' for me to enjoy.
That said, it was a double-first for me. Firstly, the FIRST first, I've never read a book that's well narrated and paced but falls flat on the entertainment score regardless. It was down to the endless inane slapstick dialogue, I think. The gags weren't that funny to start with. But their endless repetition, well.. Does it still count as cruelty if the horse is already dead? A predictable plot is also fine but to work, you at least need the suspense of not knowing quite how it when it will all come together. This book offered both but only in homeopathic doses, insufficient to remedy its chronic signposting.
On to the second first. From reading the author's note about his time during COVID etc, I think I ended up liking him (or empathising with him as a distant colleague?) more than his books. Something in his note struck a chord with me somehow, I guess. Usually they're only of passing interest.
Which all makes me feel mean giving this one a lousy rating. But, well, I paid hard-earned cash-money for the download, and, all said and done, didn't like what I got. So gotta be honest I'm afraid.
A standalone that's under 300 pages and written by John Scalzi? Oh and it has Godzilla like creatures?! You bet I pre-ordered this as soon as I heard the details! Mr. Scalzi says he had fun writing this. Well I had an absolute blast of a time reading it. This story was hysterically funny and I loved evey moment of it.
It had an abundance of that irreverent humour and banter I associate with the author's writing style. The characters were great. Jamie, the MC was a sweetheart, and Niamh, one of the scientists was an absolute scream. They all were really! A night on the town with them would be a hilariously good time.
I really enjoyed following Jamie and the crew as they adjust to their new jobs and learn how to care for the Kaiju as well as adjust to their new surroundings on an alternate Earth. The banter and dialogue were hilariously entertaining, the science was interesting and the book moved along at a nice pace.
I really needed a fun, lighter story like this. It's the equivalent of a good popcorn flick. Highly entertaining, with just enough plot to keep you entertained without taxing the brain. It made me laugh and really lifted my mood. I already know this is going to be one of my comfort reads and I can see myself re-reading this multiple times in the future.
I love Scalzi’s writing. Usually. But this felt less like a novel that has been built up in layers and more like a storyline for a TV mini series. It is very dialogue based. The structure feels like episodes not chapters. It has a shallow and linear single person perspective. It feels edited- as though richness and background have been removed to squeeze events into a 50 minute runtime. Plus a ‘cast’ of characters who basically make up almost every scene.
I read it. Witty in parts. Lot of undeveloped potential in the concept. But if I had stopped reading half way through, I don’t think I would have felt that I had missed anything.
Jamie Gray loses his job and is thrown into a role of delivering food to people’s doors. Until one day, he serves an old friend who invites him on a journey, one that will change him forever.
The story is fairly short and I managed to finish this within an hour or two. KPS doesn’t break down any new doors and it isn’t very deep, however it was fun at times. I couldn’t get used to the humour, it felt like a cheesy sit com and I wanted to roll my eyes one quite a few occasions. I really can’t see anyone living with their sense of humour, it felt like you were waiting on the fake audience laughter.
This was maybe not my type of book, it had big potential and it could have been something special but fell flat.
If you're looking for an interesting, quirky and well-thought-out release from your mundane and often pointless life experience, you can do worse than to pick up a Scalzi epic to see what really bad life choices look like, good ones and even those that apply to the endlessly pointless occupation of your part of the planet. Mr Scalzi not only dreams up an iteration of a classic through the handy tying-in of history as it's currently known and to wind in the 2020's moronic habit of being down with every conspiracy theory that exists, even when it's true. Scalzi has a way of making the nuttiest nutter have an actual point because, as we know, we don't know.