- File Size: 179 KB
- Print Length: 26 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: MWS Media; 1 edition (November 18, 2008)
- Publication Date: November 18, 2008
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001LF4CS4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,947,847 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf (Daikaiju Universe Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 26 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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If you want a story that's just giant monsters beating the crap out of each other, that's out there. And that's fine. If you want a story that gives you some sense of the people that live in that world and love and screw up and nearly die? Here is the story for you. Listen to it. Then listen to it again. I know I did.
Nominally a tale of giant monsters, this story is really more about the romantic entanglements of the people facing them down. And while I often complain that sci-fi stories aren't showing enough of the characters, this suffers from showing too much. We have a brief glimpse of kaiju, and spend the rest of the time listening to the humans work out their problems. Where are the big battles and terrifying moments? Perhaps if I read more of this series, I'd get that, but I have no interest whatsoever in doing so.
If you want to read this, it's available as a free audio production from Escape Pod.
In the story, the world is apparently under constant attack by giant monsters, or kaiju ... a Japanese term for "strange beast," or "monster." In fact, so much these attacks are so frequent, special teams have been developed in order to handle such incidents. With this premise in mind, the reader follows a brief adventure with Reggie and Ben, two members of such a team dispatched to investigate a kaiju attack on Reggie's hometown. When he arrives, he is quickly reunited with his ex-girlfriend, Gwen, and her fiance, Paul. Without giving too much away, it's this relationship between Reggie and Gwen that becomes the crux of the story.
Selznick's writing is serviceable, if not a little bland. The last three pages are fairly action-heavy, which the author pulls off with some gusto. This is a very character-focused story, which creates the tale's greatest weakness: The characters just aren't that interesting. It's difficult to create unique, empathetic characters in such a short amount of space while still trying to convey a sense of plot. So, the failing isn't so much a representation of Selznick's writing as it is a demonstration of how challenging the short story format can be, especially when crafting a new world, as Selznick has done here.
That said, the story's setting greatly overshadows its characters. Selznick has created a unique and interesting world and, as mentioned previously, drops the reader straight into it. I like the idea that, in this world, monster attacks are not only frequent, but have patterns. The author describes these common attacks with entertaining details, as illustrated in the following passage, which is probably my favorite:
"A kaiju might appear ponderous and slow on the evening news, but their ridiculous size meant they covered a lot of ground in a very short time. They also didn't tend to dawdle. With occasional exceptions, they made a bee-line for whatever drew them out, destroyed it, then either turned back the way they came or kept going until they inexplicably disappeared."
Good stuff. It sets up the story premise nicely and characterizes the titular kaiju in an interesting way, playing off of the behavior of giant monsters in myriad daikaiju films. I loved it.
Selznick should also be commended for writing a unique and unexpected ending, even if the climax did play out a little too quickly for my tastes. All said and done, however, his story is certainly worth the $0.99 asking price, which fans of the genre should happily pay just to support the further creation of short stories like this one.
The story doesn't explain itself, it throws you right into the world without little explanation of how things work. While some readers don't enjoy being tossed right into the mix, I felt it worked very will in the story. You learn what you need to know and in a manner than makes sense in the context on the story and viewpoint. With a story this size, explaining too much would detract from the story, so I feel the information provided is the right amount.
It is perfect for a subway ride, a short plane flight, or if you just want something to read that isn't novel sized. I hope I see more stories set in this believable world of giant monsters, and how the myriad of possibilities might play out.