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
About the Book
Secrets. Betrayal. Seduction.
Welcome to the Alexandrian Society.
When the world’s best magicians are offered an extraordinary opportunity, saying yes is easy. Each could join the secretive Alexandrian Society, whose custodians guard lost knowledge from ancient civilizations.
Their members enjoy a lifetime of power and prestige. Yet each decade, only six practitioners are invited – to fill five places.
Contenders Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona are inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds. Parisa Kamali is a telepath, who sees the mind’s deepest secrets. Reina Mori is a naturalist who can perceive and understand the flow of life itself. And Callum Nova is an empath, who can manipulate the desires of others. Finally there’s Tristan Caine, whose powers mystify even himself.
Following recruitment by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they travel to the Society’s London headquarters. Here, each must study and innovate within esoteric subject areas. And if they can prove themselves, over the course of a year, they’ll survive. Most of them.
About the Author
Olivie Blake, is a lover and writer of stories, and is the pen name of Alexene Farol Follmuth. Many of her stories involve the fantastic, the paranormal, or the supernatural, but not always. More often, her works revolve around the collective experience, what it means to be human (or not), and the endlessly interesting complexities of life and love.
Alexene tripped and fell into writing after abandoning her long-premeditated track for Optimum Life Achievement while attending law school, and now focuses primarily on the craft and occasional headache of creating fiction.
What I Thought
This book appears to be very much a marmite book but that’s often the case with books that have been hyped and when people go in with pre-conceptions about what it should be like.
I try and go into everything I read with an open mind and all I really knew about this one was that it was Dark Academia, which having loved Nevernight and A Deadly Education, I knew I was here for.
First up, it’s important to know that this is a multipoint of view book. All of the characters are so intriguing that I think it is necessary to get into each of their minds to unpick what is going on but I know that not everyone is a fan of switching heads so often. The cast of characters is diverse so there’s bound to be one who’s sections you want to skip forward to – but don’t.
Second, the book starts a little slowly. This is an adult title, and I’m currently doing a writing course for children and young people where the focus is very much on letting the reader know up front what is going on. Here we get introduced to each character in turn along with the mysterious Atlas but they, like us do not yet appreciate what we are getting in for.
I showed a friend the back of the book and they said the stakes weren’t high enough if five of the six get to walk away, but if you like more than one character the stakes even then are plenty high enough imho.
The magic in this is dynamic, and political and definitely has the potential to be manipulated.
In fact much manipulation and double crossing happens and who doesn’t love that in their fiction?
As you might expect with a story about knowledge it does get cerebral at times (and the tiny font in the ARC didn’t help my Long Covid brain). I love books that challenge me and make me think but the timing has to be right. That’s why I restarted this book a few times because I knew it was a story that would be more demanding for me as a reader, I was definitely intrigued from the first line’s of Libby’s section (just after the prologue). Demanding does not mean unenjoyable it just means be prepared to brain.
To help with some fun to get you in the mood here’s some artwork of our six.
Illustration by @LittleChmura
And a quiz to find out which character you are most like. Supposedly I’m Parisa!
The Atlas Six is out now and the sequel The Atlas Paradox is out in October 2022.
Use the hashtag to follow the blog tour and check out the tour events coming up in April too. Thanks to Jamie and Stephen at Black Crow and the publisher for the gifted ARC. All opinions are mine.
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