Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten

Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten

This is a review of the Kindle version.

Sharks have evolved over millions of years and have evoked both fear and fascination in man since time immemorial. While man has visited outer space and scaled the tallest mountain peaks, our knowledge of the underwater life is extremely limited. It is estimated that we have only explored about 5% of the underwater world. It does not help that sharks (especially Great Whites) have quite a menacing physical appearance.

Steve has tapped into this widespread fascination and fear that sharks (extinct or otherwise) generally incite in us. Peter Benchley started it all in 1974 with his bestseller Jaws. Steven Spielberg created the concept of “Summer Blockbuster” with the immensely successful movie adaptation of the book.

Click on the link below to buy the book:

In Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, Steve wastes no time in establishing the physical supremacy of the Megalodon by having the shark munch on the King of All Land Predators, the T-Rex! This interesting encounter between the 2 predators happens in some prehistoric time and sets the tone for the rest of the book.

The story then shifts to the present and we meet the protagonist, US Navy deep sea diver turned Paleontologist Jonas Taylor. Jonas is in depression, after unintentionally causing the deaths of his two teammates in a deep underwater submarine operation. He is soon contacted by an old friend, Tanaka to investigate the presence of Megalodons in Mariana Trench. Tanaka owns a big aquarium and is keen on adding these prehistoric giants (should they exist) for the public display.

Steve Alten, author of Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror
Steve Alten, the author

Reluctantly, Jonas joins the team comprising among others Tanaka’s son, DJ. DJ is killed by a Megalodon. Tanaka’s daughter, Terry wants revenge and soon it is man vs shark even as the Megalodon sets out on a killing spree targeting everything from whales to humans foolish enough to cross its path. Then there is Jonas's estranged wife (and news reporter), Maggie who wants to film the Megalodon and strike gold in her career.

The plot is indeed as silly as it sounds (!). It is by no stretch of imagination either high literature or even scientifically accurate, it does qualify as popcorn entertainment. I saw the movie Jaws long time back and have been quite fascinated with sharks ever since.

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Image Sources: ScreenrantThe Authors Speak 

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