Jurassic Park was one of the first films I really properly remember seeing in the cinema. Probably because we sat on the front row. I also really enjoyed reading Redshirts, John Scalzi’s homage to Star Trek so when Black Crow PR reached out about receiving an ARC of his new release The Kaiju Preservation Society I bit their arm off! Thanks Jamie and Stephen and Tor for the gifted copy.
About the Book
The Kaiju Preservation Society is a thrilling standalone adventure from bestselling author John Scalzi. With bucket loads of Scalzi traits – pacing, humour and tension – this is a light, uplifting escapist story in a Jurassic Park-like alternate world, perfect for fans of Adrian Tchaikovsky, Charles Stross, and epic monster movies.
In New York City, Jamie Gray is a driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls ‘an animal rights organization’. Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.
What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur- like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm and human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous animal and they’re in trouble. It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society whose found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.
“Scalzi’s latest is a wildly inventive take on the kaiju theme”
―Booklist, starred review
“Equally lighthearted and grounded―and sure to delight.”
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the Author
John Scalzi is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His debut, Old Man’s War, won him science fiction’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, The End of All Things and Redshirts, which won 2013’s Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog Whatever has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter @scalzi
What I Thought
In the author note at the end of the book I admired how open John was with us about the challenges he faced in writing in a pandemic – particularly as it sounds like he may have also being experiencing Long Covid at points.
He scrapped the idea he was working on and was supported in a deliverator delay (read the book – you’ll get the reference). And, KPS was the outcome of being allowed to put aside one project and being allowed to follow it with this soul cleanser. Something written for pure joy. A “pop song” amidst the “brooding symphonies” as he calls it.
I really enjoyed it. Fun, pacy, easy to read. Full of characters you want to root for and not see ripped limb to limb. COVID-19 does get a mention early on but then we get to go to a whole new world full of Godzilla type nuclear reactor ecosystems who are called things like Edward and Bella and who need help from the humans to ‘get it on’.
Despite the fun there is serious discussions to be had – if you want them. But you can also just simply read this for pure enjoyment – and isn’t that what we need right now. COVID-19 has been a terrible thing but the rays of light that have shone from the darkness are worth holding onto and this will be one of mine.
Main character Jamie has a serendipitous encounter that leads him on another adventure. Not one he thought he’d be on but one he is eminently suited to. Isn’t life funny that way?
Full of lots of pop, poop and Hamilton references it is very much a book for the now – although soon, the now will be history, and I think this will stand up for future sci-fi readers. It does also include a fair bit of science – so one for the biology, physics and chemistry nerds too – and there is power in being the one who lifts things – look at Luisa in Encanto and everyone who has kept society going through the pandemic.
And if that wasn’t all excellent enough then Wil Wheaton narrates the audiobook – so I’m going to get that for when I’m ready for a re-read.
Ps. He needs a part in the movie adaptation please.
Do check out the rest of the tour which you can follow along with on Twitter and Instagram and using #KaijuPreservationSociety. Opinions and geeking out are all mine.
@scalzi @UKTor @BlackCrow_PR #KaijuPreservationSociety
@Panmacmillan @jscalzi @BlackCrow_PR
Publishing tomorrow- 9th Dec 2021 is the concluding book in the Invisible Library series – The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman.
About the Book
In this thrilling historical fantasy, time-traveling Librarian spy Irene will need to delve deep into a tangled web of loyalty and power to keep her friends safe.
Irene is trying to learn the truth about Alberich-and the possibility that he’s her father. But when the Library orders her to kill him, and then Alberich himself offers to sign a truce, she has to discover why he originally betrayed the Library.
With her allies endangered and her strongest loyalties under threat, she’ll have to trace his past across multiple worlds and into the depths of mythology and folklore, to find the truth at the heart of the Library, and why the Library was first created.
About the Author
Genevieve Cogman got started on Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes at an early age, and has never looked back. But on a perhaps more prosaic note, she has an MSC in Statistics with Medical Applications and has wielded this in an assortment of jobs: clinical coder, data analyst and classifications specialist. Although The Invisible Library is her debut novel, she has also previously worked as a freelance roleplaying game writer. Genevieve Cogman’s hobbies include patchwork, beading, knitting and gaming, and she lives in the north of England
The Unread Story 🤦♀️
What happens if you mix a book blogger with ADHD, a TBR house, a penchant for stories about stories and a rapid response to a PR email?
You get me. Excited about the idea of The Untold Story. Recognising the author as the one that wrote The Invisible Library that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while. Requesting this one to read them together and realising that this is book 8 and the reason you didn’t read the first one was because you liked the Story but weren’t keen on the audio narrator. Sorry.
So, um. I appear to have unintentionally added an 8 book series to my to read list. 🤦♀️🤦♀️ The Blurb says that the book can be read as standalones or as a sequence but I personally can’t read out of order – it’s not the same. And someone on goodreads mentioned a cliffhanger in Book 7!
Another reason I can’t read it yet is because the blurb has echoes of a middle grade book I’m writing with a buddy so we want to finish our draft before we go reading other things that sound similar. We are halfway through so far. I suspect we mind have to add an intertextual nod in the rewrite.
The rest of this year is looking hectic for me so I’m going to host a readalong next year. One book a month – finishing on my birthday month of August. Who is in?
I will host it on booktok because why not. I want to move from just posting dog videos to talking about books and YouTube seems like far too much commitment. 3 min reviews sound ideal. So follow me there – I’m @kirstyes. I’ll post fuller details of the readalong at the weekend.
For fans of Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, All Souls trilogy, and Discworld. Lovers of dragons, skulduggery (not pleasant – although that would make an awesome cross over), faes and librarian spies and to top it all off, the foiling on the book a quote for N.K. Jemisin who says:
‘I absolutely loved this… flavoured with truly unique mythology and a dash of the eldritch. Such clever, creepy, elaborate worldbuilding and snarky, sexy-smart characters!’ Check out that exclamation mark.
So, if you’ve not read this series yet and you like the same kind of books I do this series really seems tailor written for us. Let’s start again right back at Book 1, Chapter 1 with
The Invisible Library
Synopsis – Book 1
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.
Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.
Huge thanks to @BlackCrow_PR, @UKTor/@Panmacmillan for the gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review which I promise will come next year. Hey. I bought 7 books because of the title and cover of the this one.
@GenevieveCogman – What kind of wild ride will I be going on in 2022? And who will be joining me?
Do check out the rest of the tour stops for bloggers who aren’t doofuses to see what they thought of the concluding chapter and to find out if they’ll be checking this series out again and joining our readalong in 2022 using #ReadInvisibleLibrary22
About the Book
This high-stakes space-based adventure will be perfect for those who loved Children of Time, also by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.
Praise for Adrian Tchaikovsky:
‘Brilliant science fiction’ – James McAvoy on Children of Time
‘Full of sparkling, speculative invention’ – Stephen Baxter on The Doors of Eden
Shards of Earth is the first thrilling instalment in the Final Architecture trilogy – by the Arthur C. Clarke award-winning novelist Adrian Tchaikovsky.
About the Author
Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series, from the first bbq volume, Empire In Black and Gold in 2008 to the final book, Seal of the Worm, in 2014, with a new series and a standalone science fiction novel scheduled for 2015. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award and a British Fantasy Society Award. In civilian life he is a lawyer, gamer and amateur entomologist.
What I Thought
This is the first book by this author I’ve read. When I read the synopsis one aspect of it put me in mind of Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward which I loved.
The cast of characters and interaction between them is the strength of this and I got Becky Chambers/Firefly/Six of Crows vibes with the ragtag crew. And please tell me I can’t have been the only one picturing King Rollo with the character Rollo!
The mix of human and alien characters working and living together was enjoyable and I love that we had non humanoid characters such as:
“Medvig didn’t dress up. They were a three-legged armless frame, with a head purely for the convenience of dealing with humans.”
There is quite a lot of world building information given up front and what I will say is that the book takes more concentration than I currently possess to get the most out of, so it’s definitely one I’m planning to re-read – I might even get the audiobook.
The language used is rich and detailed and I can see the line ‘a swarm of pinpricks’ as an new insult – a la Shakespeare.
As with all science fiction there is commentary and relevance to our current lives and this line in the Prologue felt very topical “ Useless, surely. Might as well rely on thoughts and prayers.”
I liked the back history between the warrior woman Solace and enhanced human Idris and the uncertainty of rekindling a past relationship.
It’s a pacy read, with a satisfying ending and a perfect set up for book two.
I’ll definitely be reading more by this author, so until the next book is released which of his other books do you recommend I start with.
Thank you to Dave at The Write Reads, Black Crow PR and Tor for the gifted e copy for the purposes of an honest review.