Reviews Published

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

My John Scalzi binge continues with his latest (post-Covid) stand-alone adventure, The Kaiju Preservation Society. As the author himself says, it's light and humorous and fun. Love his voice and ideas.


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 that's found its way to the alternate world. Others have, too--and their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.

The Lock In trilogy by John Scalzi

The Lock In trilogy by John Scalzi was written pre-Covid, however, its premise is a global pandemic. Some die, some recover, some get locked inside their bodies - paralysed but with their brains fully functioning. Scientists managed to connect the active brains to C-3PO-like robots, and the rest is this trilogy featuring a locked-in FBI agent Chris Shane, an ex-poster child for the disease survivors.

The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

The first few pages are slow but don't give up because the journey is worth it. The characters are awesome, the plot intricate, the sense of place enriching. I hope this is the beginning of a long series! Long live DC Morgan! 


On New Year's Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.

His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he's generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.

But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake...

Monday, April 04, 2022

Redshirts by John Scalzi

So now that I've run of Andy Weir books and short fiction, it was time to find a new science fiction author to be obsessed with. Success! Now I want to read every single Scalzi book there is.

On the surface, "Redshirts" is a satire of the "cowboys in space" genre. Dig deeper and it's about a writer's responsibility to create good fiction. What it's actually about? Nor wasting your life. Super fun. Super deep. Original format.


Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that:

(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces

(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations

(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

The Egg by Andy Weir

 (Right, so you may have noticed I'm on an Andy Weir binge.)

"The egg" is the shortest science fiction story I've ever read. It's probably also one of the deepest.


A short story about the universe and your place in it.

Randomize by Andy Weird

This is a short science fiction story. A good one. A real mathematician would tell you that's not really how randomisation works. Just as well I'm not a real mathematician. 


In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian. An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house—unless human ingenuity isn’t entirely a thing of the past.

Artemis by Andy Weir

A fun adventure, not as deep as "Project Hail Mary", but a real pleasure to read. Love the diversity as well as the personality of the characters.


Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.