Received to review via Netgalley
The Kaiju Preservation Society is a lot of fun. I expect it probably doesn’t hold together if you try to inquire too deeply into how the science works, but it’s perfectly fine for a bit of fun that’s much more interested in imagining what could be. How can we make kaiju work despite the square-cube law? Why might kaiju have appeared for real on our planet? What if, what if, what if…
It’s a romp, as most of Scalzi’s books are, and it’s pretty cheery about everything except death and billionaires. Imagine being a biologist who gets to go to another world and study kaiju; imagine if while you’re there, you live in basically a socialist utopia where everyone’s needs are met, and everyone is as keen as you on the work you need to do. Not everything is a joy (someone has to test the reeking kaiju pheromone spray), and it’s hard work, and it’s good, you know what you’re contributing to… It’s an appealing idea (and an escapist one), and the little group of newbies that join KPS alongside Jamie throw themselves into it much as I would.
You don’t get a ton of a sense of personality from the group, because the characters aren’t really the point — to my mind, that escapist fantasy is much more prominent… combined with, y’know, kaiju. (But really, for me, the socialist paradise part where each scientist gets to do real groundbreaking work? That’s the fantasy.)
I ripped through this book, giggling and going “Oh shit!” at all the right moments. It’s not incredibly surprising, but it’s a lot of fun.