Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Book Review: Meg by Steve Alten


On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean's deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he's sure he saw but still can't prove exists - Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds. 

Taylor spends years theorizing, lecturing, and writing about the possibility that Meg still feeds at the deepest levels of the sea. But it takes an old friend in need to get him to return to the water, and a hotshot female submarine pilot to dare him back into a high-tech miniature sub. Diving deeper than he ever has before, Taylor will face terror like he's never imagined. MEG is about to surface. When she does, nothing and no one is going to be safe, and Jonas must face his greatest fear once again.

My Review: 
I had really high hopes for this book but found it a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting a fast action book with lots of shark attacks throughout but the first part of the book was a bit of a let down, focusing on Jonas being married to a bitch from hell who was cheating on him and trying to destroy him so she could run off with her rich boyfriend, as well as having everyone thinking that Jonas was crazy for thinking megalodons exist.

Jonas was on a previous trench dive in a sub years before when the sight of a magalodon scared him. He brought the sub up too fast and the other men were killed. Nobody believed what he saw and even he now doubts it happened, carrying guilt around with him. He is asked to assist with a new expedition into the trench and replacrs Terry as pilot in one of the subs, hoping that he will see something to prove that he was wrong about the massive shark.

The plot is so very slow. In the first 95 pages, we get Jonas and his guilt, Jonas and his decaying marriage, Maggie's plan to leak details on Jonas and his accident, Maggie looking for attention, Terry being an immature shit, the others in the project ridiculing Jonas for his previous issues, his fear in the water and the megalodon theories. Finally at this point, Jonas and DJ start the deep dive which leads to another megalodon attack. Even after the attack we go back to being pretty slow, following the opinions of everyone who was there at the attack, and more about Maggie's evil plans. Oh and more Terry Tantrums!

Things finally start moving in a shark direction as Jonas and his friends start to track the shark as it chases whale pods. It is only when boats start getting attacked that the book finally kicks into gear. The irony here is that when it finally gets into all of the shark attacks, it is actually pretty well written. The attacks on the boats are entertaining as is the finale with a whole pile of people on boats in mortal danger. You do have to suspend your disbelief when Jonas goes one on one with the shark though as it seemed a bit beyond belief to me.

I wasn't a fan of a lot of the characters. Maggie was an utter bitch who was self obsessed with her new television career. She is a bottom feeder who latched on to Jonas when his star was rising but started looking for a way out after the accident that destroyed him. She of course picks the mega rich best friend of Jonas to bed and use. The fact that she sends a reporter after Jonas to spy on him and try to discredit him at the lectures he is doing shows what kind of asshat she is. All through the book we get Maggie spying on Jonas and trying to gatecrash what is happening for personal gain. I hated every time she was mentioned. Then we have the obligatory love interest that was Terry. She was an arrogant spoiled little cow who has tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. For example, Jonas is flying out to meet her father as his guest and consultant and he mentions that her desire to be a sub pilot means going into danger. She sulks and turns the plane uposide down until he vomits. She has the maturity of a toddler and throws strops constantly but then decides she wants to bed Jonas. Ugh. Heller was a tosser, Bud was a pointless waste of space. In fact Terry's father and Mac the pilot were the only ones I liked!

Overall I was disappointed. The first half of the book is fairly dull with very annoying sub plots that added nothing to the story and slowed it to a crawl. The second half improves gradually and the big action scenes are actually pretty good. But it just isn't worth wading through all the mind numbing stuff to get to the good bits. The second book in the series seems to have an evil woman just like Maggie, Jonas feeling sorry for himself and having marriage issues with Terry, and an incest storyline. Oh wonderful. I'll be giving that a big miss... 

Read July 2017
2.5 stars.

8 comments:

  1. Why would there be an incest storyline in a shark book? Huh? I still may read this in the future but now am not in the biggest hurry. Plus I really need to read Jaws first!

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    1. Yeah you wonder don't you. Like a big scary ass shark eating people isn't enough so we have to add dumb romances and stupid crap to 'spice things up'. Ugh! Just give us the shark! I'll stick with things like Hotel Megalodon!

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  2. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I agree it's a bit slow in the beginning. But, I do love the meg once she gets going.

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    1. The ironic thing is the guy is a good horror author when he writes the shark attacks-those bits are great. I just wish he'd miss out all this marriage stuff and under things and get to the point! I expect the film to be good though!

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  3. Sorry to hear it was such a disappointment. I've only read the latest Meg book, but I'd still love to one day get the full story and start from the beginning with this, despite its flaws.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. The action scenes are very good when the sharks are on the rampage. Just a pity about the guff before we get there!

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  4. Aw sorry to hear this was disappointing! A book like this should NOT be slow in getting to the action lol. Especially with a T rex getting wiped out on the cover art! And an incest storyline in book 2? *sputter* what??

    "spoiled little cow" lol. I love reading these reviews. :)

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    1. Yeah in book 2 the bad guy's daughter is his lover, according to various reviews. Why do we need that kind of rubbish??? Ah the T Rex bit is pretty good for a prologue!

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