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 whose found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.
What a delightful read! A breath of fresh air and a gratifying interlude, that I immensely enjoyed!
As the author’s note say, this is “not a brooding symphony of a novel. It’s a pop song. It’s meant to be light and catchy, with three minutes of hooks and choruses for you to sing along with, and then you are done and you go along with your day , hopefully with a smile on your face” I’ve been a big fan of Scalzi having enjoyed his Old Man’s War and had high hopes for this and was duly not disappointed.
This was a book that spends most of it’s time on world building and what a world it was. Pays light hearted homage to Jurassic Park, but has influences from Godzilla and other similar types of movies and books blending all into one delightful novel. The prose is brilliant, giving you a want to desperately be there with the characters, yet also making you feel you are already there!
Set at 252 pages, this is a short novel or a big novella whatever you prefer. With such a short page count, there really isn’t too much time for in depth character development or epic plot progress, but the book doesn’t really suffer for it. We follow the adventures of the MC, Jamie Gray who goes from a budding corporate lackey to a delivering food to a part of inter dimensional adventure ending up as unlikely savior for both Kaiju and Humans. Despite the sweeping nature of the progression, it really is done very organically as I was taken on a tour through the current and alternate dimension. Quite immersive and impressive!
The book moves at great pace and plot begins from get go. The pace is steady and relentless as I got pulled in deeper into the plot and stakes got higher. The supporting cast is great. Each characters get to make a impression irrespective of their page time, which adds to the brilliance of the world building. It’s a book of the “now” as we mostly see characters reacting in real time rather than long term character development. This also makes you feel as if the action is happening in front of your eyes rather than being a reader of a told story.
My only gripe was the nature of the antagonist, which I felt was a bit predictable, which made me drop a point from my rating.
Despite that, it still was a pleasure to having gone on this adventure with Jamie and Scalzi!
Definitely a must read if you are looking for a light adventure novel or a palate cleanser from your otherwise heavy reads. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!