Like many Sci-fi fan-boys out there, Kaiju movies and stories have a special place in my heart. Seeing Godzilla battle enemy monsters on Saturday morning was a quintessential childhood experience, and was hugely entertaining. Well into my adult life, I still contend that one of my most terrifying nightmares was a Godzilla dream, on which I was in an abandoned house, on a remote island, there was a terrible storm coming, and then it slowly dawned on me that it wasn’t a storm heading for me. I craned my head up to the sky and saw Godzilla’s head shrouded by the clouds, and I realized there was no point in running, there was nowhere to run to.
When I started reading Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales (Volume 1), I was immersed once again into those wonderful, thrilling, and frightening childhood memories. Every once in a while, you discover a hidden gem, that somehow got past everyone’s radar, and when you find them, it’s like showing a gold nugget to your friends and family, this book, and the entire series, is pure gold.
One of the ways that you can know whether or not a book is especially good or not, is if you find yourself thinking about the stories, even months after you have read it. One such story that did that for me, from Volume 1, was a FANTASTIC and intensely written story about a group of “extreme sports” types who find their thrills “running with the monsters”. Like pro-surfers they scan the news daily for any sign of Kaiju, and at the first rumblings they are on the most direct flight there. They are drawn like moths to a flame, to play this game of life-and-death parkour! Keeping pace with a monster while dodging falling building, exploding gas pipes, sizzling electrical cables, and of course, corpses.
The story center’s around a young man who was pulled into this insanity when his family was killed in a Kaiju attack, with him as the sole survivor, and when the leader of his Kaiju running group dies, he winds up being the new group leader. He is addicted, and does not seem to be able to escape this cycle or re-experiencing the most traumatic event of his life, and cannot shake the intense feeling of life that comes with each successful monster run, and the throbbing terror that comes from getting ever closer to an inescapable conclusion. I don’t want to tell you how the story ends, but if your curious, you should order this book immediately because there are half a dozen stories in Volume 1 that are just as amazing, and intense.
5 stars! This is an enormously satisfying read.