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Ascender, Volume 4: Star Seed by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Bear Country by Doreen Cronin and Stephen Gilpin (Illustrations)
Body and Soul Food by Abby Collette and L. Malaika Cooper (Narrator)
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay and Allyson Ryan (Narrator)
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa and Louise Heal Kawai (translator)
Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (narrator)
Coached Red-Handed by Victoria Laurie and Rachel Dulude (Narrator)
COVID-19 in Three to Five Words by April Murphy
Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle
Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette
Digging Up Trouble by Kitt Crowe and Tina Wolstencroft (narrator)
A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert and Suzie Althens (Narrator)
Friends Forever by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)
Gone but Not Furgotten by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Guys and Dolls by Damon Runyon
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire and Emily Bauer (Narrator)
A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer and Emile Durante (Narrator)
A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 13 by Adachitoka
Okoye to the People by Ibi Zoboi
Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis and Gabra Zackman (Narrator)
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie, Volume 1 by Keigo Maki
Spy x Family, Volume 5 by Tatsuya Endo
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
The Trainbow by Nina Laden

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The Kaiju Preservation Society: 09/13/22

The Kaiju Preservation Society

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi (2022) is among my favorite reads so far for this year. If you like Godzilla films, this is the book for you. Set in the early months of the COVID lockdown, it follows a former start up worker who ends up being the guy who "lifts things" in a top secret location on an alternate Earth.

Jamie Gray goes into an a meeting as a marketing exec for Füdmüd and leaves with a demotion (if he choses to take it) as a food delivery guy. On a particular delivery he's offered a well paying job that's extremely off grid but would let him and his two ridiculous roommates keep their flat and weather the economic downturn brought on by COVID. He's told he'd "lift things" and be working for a "large animal preserve."

Work is done in such a remote location that it's on an alternate Earth. So take the Long Earth premise (Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, 2012) but apply the kaiju movie logic to the place instead. Giant animals, tropical setting (even in Newfoundland and Labrador), and nuclear powered lifeforms that are hosts to parasites that can and will eat you.

That's the set up. It's a ridiculous book in premise but is a fun page turner. It's got tons of geeky Easter eggs.

It also sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Jamie Gray and his PhD colleagues are privileged travelers (00) (as are the VIPs who sometimes visit). Their destination is utopia (FF), in that it's a place that can only be gotten to under special circumstances. Their route there is an offroad one (a plane there, a portal, and helicopters on the alternate Earth) (66).

Five stars

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