Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi (author), Wil Wheaton (narrator)

Audible Studios, March 2022

When covid hits New York City, and the rest of the country, Jamie Gray is stuck in a dead-end job, as a driver for food delivery apps. Barely scrapping by, Jamie is bearing most of the cost of an apartment shared with three roommates. The struggle to keep things together is about to fall apart, when an old classmate, now most regular customer, suggests that Jamie apply for a job at KJS, his own employer. He knows there's an opening, and Jamie can do the job.

I'm going to stop right here and say that Jamie's gender is never identified. This can slip right by the
 reader or listener at first, because the story is told in first person, but Jamie's gender is never identified.

Jamie goes through a grueling screening process, which certainly makes it clear the job is in a remote location, in the tropics, requiring an improbably large number of vaccinations, and cut off from any contact with civilization.

And it pays, really, really well. Jamie won't have to abandon the roommates depending on Jamie to cover the rent. Even the promised dangerous and endangered animals don't seem a reason to refuse.

You can imagine Jamie's shock when it's revealed that they're headed for the artic.

And it really is cold when they arrive at their first stop.

The second stop is in a neighboring universe. One where it's tropical in the far north, and which is inhabited by what look like reptilian animals, but aren't. Every so often, one of them will break through into our universe, on our Earth, at the sites of nuclear explosions. The first breakthrough is in Japan, giving rise to the story of Godzilla.

Jamie's employer is, literally, the Kaiju Preservation Society. It's part of their mission to prevent kaiju breakthroughs into our world, but even more importantly, keep the general public and major industries from figuring out that kaiju are real, and might be a source of all sorts of new resources, technological breakthroughs, and energy.

Jamie's official job is to lift and carry stuff, and there's a lot of that to do. But Jamie also has, from an advanced degree program not completed, and the work experience immediately preceding the food app delivery job (yes, in context it makes sense), a knowledge of programming, business, and one business person in particular, that proves vital as the base finds itself cut off, and discovers unwanted visitors. It's a dangerous situation for the base and the kaiju, and Jamie is level-headed person who, together with their team members, saves the day.

This isn't a deep book. It's light, exciting, and fun.


I bought this audiobook.

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