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Publisher's Summary

The Kaiju Preservation Society is John Scalzi's first stand-alone adventure since the conclusion of his New York Times best-selling Interdependency trilogy.

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end 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 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 panda, and they're in trouble.

It's not just the Kaiju Preservation Society who's found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die. 

©2022 John Scalzi (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Kaiju Preservation Society

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yes

This book combines the Covid pandemic, Kaiju, a parallel world, morally questionable rich people, food delivery service, and it all somehow works well and results in an easy good time. Somehow the concept is made to feel scientifically plausible and interesting without dragging you down with dry technical details. The dialogue made me laugh. Listening to certain things play out in the story was quite cathartic, although saying more than that would require getting into spoilers.
It's great to find something to like so much. Wil Wheaton does a great job with the voice acting.

The style of humour is fairly snarky/sarcastic so if that isn't what you like then this might not be a book for you. The humour comes across as "punching up" in my opinion but even so I get that isn't everyone's thing. It also may not be for you if you prefer a more dedicated hard science approach. A framework is built that makes the concept seem plausible to my uneducated ears, but if you know more about these things and would want more technical plausibility this might not work for you either.

Ultimately I liked it for the sake of it being about people surviving difficult times, having adventures, and trying to do the right thing by one another while maintaining a fairly light and easy to listen to quality.

1 person found this helpful

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Scalzi and Wheaton at their finest

I'm not always looking for something deep and meaningful. Sometimes fun and geeky are the order of the day, and this one fits the bill perfectly. So far, this is my favorite pandemic pick-me-up novel. Thanks for ride gents.

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Pulpy story and over-exuberant narration

this book had a neat concept, but didn't really have much depth to it. I didn't care about the characters, and the exhaustingly exuberant narration made it difficult to listen to at times. This was my first Scalzo novel, but the second time I've listened to Will Wheaton. I had expected better of the narrator.

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Listened on a long flight

I love a story that makes you forget you are sitting up ramrod straight in a confined space for hours. The story is fascinating with great dialog and a wonderful crazy plot that could be true.

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Every Character speaks with sarcasm

Every character speaks with sarcasm in this book. Together with the performer's voice it feels like you are listening to a conversation between a group of sarcastic snobby teenagers. That mildly irrates me. Not a bad story though.

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Strong Sunday School energy.

1-capitalists are evil
2-get vaccinated. wear a mask!
3-gender is not binary
4-Christians cannot be trusted.
5-monsters. (rawr)

there. I saved you a few hours.

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This was the read I needed...

Sometimes you need something relatable (Covid 2021 et al) to take you through the rough days. Something that takes your mind off the million things happening in this world that are just wrong. Something that just let's you follow the story and laugh occasionally, because that's what you needed. So thank you John for not finishing your great American novel and instead giving us KPS... An oddly satisfying way to smooth out the frayed nerves and soothe the overworked imagination in this time of world turmoil. That's some great writing if you ask me!

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Story much better than the narration.

I enjoyed Will Wheaton narrating the Martian since it was mostly just one character, his style of reading doesn't translate well into a larger group of characters.

Enjoyable story.

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Always a fun story with John Scalzi

An entertaining story made better by Will Wheaton's performance. bHad the main thing that pulls me into a story; I liked the characters.

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😆

Oh my! That was some delightful fun! Whether you take this novel in by Audible (Mr. Wheaton is a great performer!), in an e-format, or with hard copy (don’t you love the smell of a book?), you will have a fun ride. I snort laughed more than once and that is (weird, I know) a good sign.

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  • Jim
  • 2022-03-20

How does one make Kaiju unappealing?

Answer: A big old dose of reality and politics.

I pre-orderd this book the instant I saw it, then I patiently waited for the actual release.

I love Scalzi's other books. I love giant monsters. I want a good story that let's me escape from the crushing reality that is post 2020 life. This book seemed like the ticket.

Then I started listening. I got a bunch of talk about covid, identity politics, actual politics, vaccination, masks, judgment about vaccination and masks, elections, economic issues surrounding covid, and more covid. I've been living it. Now I'm paying to read about it happening to fictional characters.

Then, after doing his best to drain all the fun out of Kaiju by injecting it with miserable current events, the story was just ok. This isn't Red Shirts or Agent to the Stars. After you learn what the Kaiju are and how they operate there isn't much left which is particularly interesting or original. You've probably seen all the rest a thousand times.

You've lived most of it for two years.

It's a book about giant monsters, and we spend half of it complaining about pandemics, presidents, and how billionairs are crappy people. Even when I agree with the politics and judgments, it just reminds me of crappy things that I hate. And, most of the rest of the book is a bunch of generic characters bantering about not very much.

It is occasionally funny. Not funny enough to offset the rest of it, at least not for me.

Sorry Mr. Scalzi. This might be the last time I pay for one of your books.

Mr. Wheton does the same job he always does as narrator. If you like him, you'll like him in this.

113 people found this helpful

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  • BowTieIII
  • 2022-03-19

Far too much politics.

leave the politics out in the future I want to enjoy a scifi story from one of my favorite authors not listen to repeated political digs. When listening to a story that otherwise should be a fun trip to another world I was jarringly brought back to our own political devides of where the author clearly makes his own opinion clear and quit painfully it ends up feeling like pandering written to stroke one side repeatedly. At the end there is even a not to club you over the head if the besting in the story didnt quite get the point across. I liked to story but was unable to enjoy it from the contant pushing of politics, it was very unfortunate.

69 people found this helpful

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  • Lucy A. Pithecus
  • 2022-03-15

I'm listening with a permanent smile on my face

A fast-paced funny story with current reference and wild imagination, classic John.

Wil also brings his flavor and personality to the story.

For those who are new to John Scalzi or want to get more of him after the KPS book, here are my personal suggestions:

- Start with his "The Dispatcher", two free novellas for Audible members. They are science-fiction and detective stories that keep you in suspense, but with chuckles.

- If you like John's detective stories after the Dispatchers, try out his "Lock-In" Series. These two detective and science-fiction tales are full of surprises and rapport between characters. More thought-provoking but still humous. Also, the main character can be either male or female, depending on which narrator's version you choose (Wil Wheaton or Amber Benson).

- If you like imaginative stories, check out "Redshirts", his Hugo award-winning work in 2013. The story starts as a star-trek-style space science fiction and takes you through a captivating fun ride with unexpected turns. It's not your regular space adventure legend.

- If you are intrigued but still hesitant to spend the precious credits, his "The Human Division" book can be bought by chapter ($0.69 per chapter) - a low-cost-and-low-risk way to check his work out further. This book is part of a more extensive series but also a fantastic stand-alone story. I couldn't stop chasing the story about Wilson and Schmidt - just a tech guy and a low-ranked space diplomat trying to dodge what life (or space) throws at them. Their struggles are real and just as genuine as their optimism and ability to laugh at themselves and life's toughest challenges.

- If you are want to explore more, his "Old Man's War" series is a classic and Hugo nominee. It's a military science fiction series, of which "The Human Division" is right before the final book. Everyone in the series is competent and acts rationally. The rapport among characters and the character development is excellent. The story takes you through a fun and imaginative journey of being a soldier in space during "interesting" times, full of actions and sometimes with ridiculous solutions.

I hope you find this helpful, and you can find some laughs and ponders from John Scalzi's works.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Roswatheist
  • 2022-03-15

Fun, Hardcore Geekery

Disclaimer: I am incredibly biased and am sure that bias will be heavily reflected here.

Scalzi and Wheaton are always a pleasure for me, but this was the story I needed most in this horrendous time. Without spoiling anything, my imagination frequently heard a rusty, grumbly gate opening in the background of my mind while listening. The Kaiju Preservation Society is so much fun that anyone who grew up between the 70s and 90s can enjoy. Good-naturedly poking gentle fun at Millennials added some pleasant seasoning to the story; stir in a dash of telling a genuinely inconsiderate billionaire to his face exactly what he could do with himself and his money was like molten chocolate cake warming my gooey bits.

To paraphrase the author, this is the right novel for a really awful time. Please do yourself a favor and read/listen to it.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Ethan Kirkness
  • 2022-03-18

Great for Fans of Ready Player Two

I'm a giant Kaiju fan, but it was very difficult for me to finish this one. Between Wheaton's cringey narration and Scalzi's dialogue, I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Every character talks like what edgy teenagers wish they were like in their fantasies, and I could barely tell them apart. Scalzi also threw in a lot of heavy handed topical pop culture references, if that's your thing. For a book about giant monsters and transdimensional travel, it was surprisingly boring. I would skip this one.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Grace M-T
  • 2022-03-15

So so

If you really really really REALLY —and I do mean really—like Scalzi, then enjoy. But for me, either the charm has worn off or…

Returning for credit

34 people found this helpful

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  • Moshe F. Saraf
  • 2022-03-26

Scalzi's Worst Book

Characters:

All the characters read like a single character, an edgy, whiny teenager with zero motivation or personality.

Plot:

There is no plot


Politics:


it isn't even a proper propaganda, just random virtue signaling (Trump sons want to hunt a Kaiju, mask mandates are sacred, random pronouns). Politics are part of Scifi, but they have to be part of the story, Scalzi is just checking woke boxes


30 people found this helpful

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  • Tom D
  • 2022-03-18

Not his best work

Maybe it was his need to show all the other important people how Liberal he is but it didn’t work for me .. not horrible but definitely not great

30 people found this helpful

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  • Just an anonymous listener
  • 2022-03-20

Depending on your perspective, you may not like it

Typically, the combination of John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton has been a surefire success for me. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with this book, so much so that I returned it.

To be clear, Wheaton was not the issue for me on this book. His narration continues to remain solid, and his delivery did a good job of matching the story's narrative and dialog. While he doesn't deliver unique voices like many narrators (e.g., R.C. Bray or Ray Porter), Wheaton's narration is not monotone by any stretch, and it still keeps things lively and the reader engaged.

And, Scalzi's story was briskly paced, with an interesting take on Kaiju. The dialog was often witty, too. So, why couldn't I finish the book?

My primary issue was the regular presentation of characters, issues, and story beats from a decided "politically correct" vantage point. It was almost as if the story was written to be some sort of textbook example of how to include as many modern political and cultural issues as possible, but only from one perspective. Certainly, it's Scalzi's story, and he can include any or all of these things as he sees fit. However, I prefer a book that focuses on telling an engaging story having a true diversity of opinion woven into it, with characters with all kinds of viewpoints, flaws, motivations, and growth. Better yet, I prefer stories that don't at all need to be so pervasive with the "correct" political and cultural issues to prove some kind of point.

I'm sure this book will be well-received by many readers; however, if any of the above raises concerns for you, or you're tired of thinly-veiled political jabs, you may want to skip this book.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 2022-03-19

Indulgent, overdramatized, too much language

I love Scalzi, but this was annoying to listen to given the amount of language, the over the top performance by Wheaton and the feeling that this was written as a self-indulgence. I wish I hadn’t spent money on it.

25 people found this helpful