A bloody good time, literally, The Meg by author Steve Alten is a thorougly enjoyable read. It is engaging and will keep you drawn from start to finish as you tear through the pages. The book is comparable to the Crichton classic, Jurassic Park but with sharks!
First published in 1997, the novel focuses on Professor and Ex-Navy deep sea diver Jonas Taylor, as he believes the Carcharodon Megalodon Shark, which would put Jaws to shame and swallow the modern day Great White, is still alive and thriving in the Mariana Trench.
Although this book might not have a deep, thought provoking message behind it, it does provide a fun adventure taking you from the dark depths of the Challenger Deep to Universities in California and every ocean inbetween.
The first chapter of The Meg is intense, and paints a vivid picture of just how deadly, and formidable the Carcharodon Megalodon shark is as an apex predator. The first few pages pits the shark against an unfortunate T-Rex, as if a jab at the Jurassic Park series, and compltely annihilates the poor dinosaur.
Although the premise may seem a bit far-fetched, Alten does a wonderful job at making the 60-foot, prehistoric shark seem plausible. The science sounds believable and he doesn’t try to make you feel dumb by bombarding you with technical terms left and right.
At the time the concept was fairly fresh and unique, but in the midst of sharknadoes and Jaws wannabes, The Meg still holds up very well today. It is a fast and easy guilty pleasure read.
The characters and subplots are just as interesting as the premise. You’ll find yourself growing attached to the other characters such as the hotheaded love-interest Terry Tanaka, and the badass James “Mac” Mackreides. Even the supporting cast go through their own development, fleshing them out as people throughout the novel.
The Meg might not give you a fresh new outlook on life, but you might atleast see sharks in a different perspective. It’s well worth the read, especially if you’re a huge fan of sharks and looking for a novel in the animal attack genre.
The only few criticisms I have for this text is that the ending felt abrupt. I think the book should have gone on for another page or two, but atleast there’s a few sequels if you’re left wanting more. Also, whilst the book is filled with some gruesome deaths, a few of the main characters feel like they are surrounded by a strong plot armour which can take away from some of the more tense scenes.
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