Monday, 19 June 2017

Book Review: Hotel Megalodon by Rick Chesler

An underwater luxury hotel on a gorgeous tropical island is set for an extravagant opening weekend with the world watching. The only thing standing in the way of a first-rate experience for the jet-setting VIPs is an unscrupulous businessman and sixty feet of prehistoric shark. As the underwater complex is besieged by a marauding behemoth, newly minted marine biologist Coco Keahi must face off against the ancient predator as it rises from the deep with a vengeance. Meanwhile, a human monster has decided he would be better off if Coco were one of the creature’s victims.

My Review: 
The Triton Undersea Resort is an exclusive new hotel complex built on a coral reef. The day before the guests arrive, Coco the marine biologist is test driving the small sub and has an encounter with a megalodon, something James White the resort manager does not want to believe. As the guests arrive, something has destroyed the air conditioning system and as the guests decide to go back to the surface, the shark decides to feed...

I'm a big fan of the films Jaws and Deep Blue Sea and I can never resist shark stuff so I just had to get my hands on this one. It is another of those plots that you can imagine on the SF channel but it is good b movie fun! Our main character is a stong woman called Coco who is an expert diver and the resort tour guide and marine biographer. She is sure that she saw a megalodon but convincing others of what she saw is more difficult, especially when her boss is obsessed with the upcoming opening. Her best friend/potential boyfriend Mick is the only one who seems willing to help her through the book. James White is the typical bad boss-obsessed with making money, willing to compromise safety to save some money and throws his weight around when he doesn't like what he hears. He finally realises that Coco was right when guests are already dying and his focus beomes covering up his mistakes.

The plot is interesting. A megalodon has been attracted to the new resort and we first see it when it hits Coco's sub and damages it. Coco reports the incident, and despite several dolphins also going missing, James is more concerned about the sub not being available for tourists to rent. The next day when the guests arrive, the shark has damaged the air conditioning unit, leaving it uncomfortably hot below the surface and guests are keen to get back up to a cooler climate. It is as the underground transport starts to go up the tunnel that the shark attacks, flooding the tunnel area with water, which is witnessed by Coco who rushes to help.

Things are going to get bad for everyone else in the hotel with their only exit flooded and damaged. James is already seeing his project falling apart and is trying to think of a way out of the mess, and with Coco knowing that he failed to react to her warnings, he is seeing her as a loose end that he wants to tie up. Coco is more focused on how to get herself and the guests out of the hotel. Several ideas are possible but the shark is continuing to attack the building, creating more flooding and destruction. There is always something happening in the plot and Coco seems to face one crisis after another. While some reviewers are not impressed by a lack of reality, I found it entertaining to read which is more important to me than reality.

We know that the shark is constantly lurking in the dark depths around the hotel, so there is plenty tension through the book as you wonder where it is going to pop up next. There are frequent shark attacks on the building which disrupts their plans and leads to the resort gradually becoming flooded. How are they going to get back up to the surface? Adding in the lengths James is willing to go to to silence Coco adds a different sub plot to enjoy. (pardon the pun)

If you enjoy a bit of mad monster mayhem, you might well enjoy this.
Read March 2017.
3.5 stars


  1. Sounds like fun to me. Have you read the MEG series by Steve Alten. I loved them and he has a movie coming out later this year.

    1. Meg has been on the tbr for a while but I haven't got around to it yet. Too many books to get to at the moment... My dad is a big Jason Statham fan and I just love sharks so we'll be watching the film.