Recent books: The Obelisk Gate, Kaiju Preservation Society, All Systems Red

AI-generated picture of a Kaiju and MechaI’ve done a terrible job keeping up with my reading over the past few years, but have been trying to remedy that recently with some success. In the past few weeks I’ve been getting back into science fiction and fantasy, with The Obelisk Gate, The Kaiju Preservation Society, and All Systems Red.

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin – A good friend gifted me with the Broken Earth Trilogy last year for Christmas, and The Obelisk Gate is part two of the trilogy (currently working on part three). I nearly bounced off the first novel because Jemisin does a fair amount of world building and it took a little bit for me to get into the groove with the book. Once I did, however, I was deeply engaged in the story and writing style.

The story takes place in a different world where some people (“Orogenes”) can manipulate the earth in various ways, and occasionally the world suffers a “fifth season” triggered by major earthquakes and ash blotting out the sun. The first novel sets, book two is like riding a rocket on rails. All the pieces (I think?) have been set up and once things start falling into place the it’s very satisfying on a story and character level. Also just enjoying the writing itself. Jemisin is a damn fine writer.

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi – My first post-COVID novel, in the sense that the book actually takes place on Earth after the beginning of the pandemic. As the name implies, though, this is about Kaiju. Our intrepid hero finds himself fired from a decent job and then trapped in the gig economy delivering food… until he stumbles on the mother of all career pivots.

If you enjoy a good sci-fi story, it’s hard to go wrong with Scalzi. Is the book profound or treading new ground? No. Is it good, solid fun? Absolutely.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells – A construct that’s part organic / humanoid and part robot with a fairly dark past (“Murderbot”), is tasked with working as a security unit. However, the SecUnit has overridden its own governor module, so it actually has independence.

More of a novella than novel, All Systems Red does a lot in a short page count. Part of a larger series (The Murderbot Diaries), I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the titles and also check out some of Wells’ other stories.

My stack of unread books is about as tall as I am (not exaggerating by much…), but if you have book suggestions feel free to leave me a comment.

Leave a Reply