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Book Chat #75 – Books By John Scalzi, Jen Comfort, and Rachel Bach

I've gotten some reading done in the last six weeks! Time to share it all with you…

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

I pre-ordered this one because John Scalzi is an auto-buy for me, especially in audio with Wil Wheaton narrating. I was not sure what to expect and that made the whole story even more delightful. With Wil Wheaton's sarcastic delivery and all the fun shenanigans in an alternate timeline, I devoured this one during all of my walks with Lulu, and I even laughed out loud, no doubt making me look like a crazy person to my neighbors. I don't want to give any details, but it's basically an alternate universe story with giant godzilla-like animals and a mysterious counter element who gets in the way of the scientists doing the actual work.

The Astronaut and the Star by Jen Comfort

I got this one as a free Kindle First Reads book. I was worried that the author wouldn't know enough about actual astronauts to write this one. I've read SO MANY astronaut biographies at this point, it's a little sick. Though I eventually really warmed to the story, Reggie was probably too combative and hot-headed to be an actual astronaut. To be an astronaut, you have to be a zero. No ego, amigo. But really, that's the only fault I could find with this one. I put aside my ambivalence and really enjoyed it. The chemistry flew off the page. The dialogue was witty and fun and made me laugh in several place. Jon had real charm and I identified the ADHD in him quite early. The story raced by and I was bummed when it was over. All in all, a very fun and funny rom com.

Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

I read the majority of this book while standing in line for the Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run ride at Hollywood Studios while we were at Disney World. Lol. It was a long wait and my family members were all occupied, so why not read? I remember getting this book in a Bookbub deal and wondered who the author was. Turns out this is the pen name for an author I already know and admire, so it was fun seeing what she would do with science fiction. This was classic space opera romance. There are distant human relationships, fractured after they left Earth. There are some aliens. There's lots of action and adventure. The heroine, Devi, is extremely competent (I heard the term “Competence Porn” on a podcast and said YES, that's my favorite because I love it when a heroine is competent but stuff still happens) and ambitious. She knows what she wants and she's out to get it. She makes a few questionable decisions, but nothing outrageous. The story just seems to surround her. I loved it. This one kept me riveted. And yes, there's a small romance in here too that kept me turning the pages into the night. I purchased and am reading the second book right now. Highly recommend!

I also re-read The Rise of Shiroi Nami because I'm now working on the last Hikoboshi book. It sorta counts but doesn't. I'm sure you understand!

S. J. Pajonas