Sunday, May 18, 2014

The trench by Steve Alten

The trench is the sequel to Meg so this reviews contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read Meg.  While you can read The trench independently of reading Meg, if you like reading series in order then I suggest you read Meg first.

It has been years since the Meg rose from the Mariana Trench and terrorised the world with her monstrous size and even more monstrous appetite.  She may have been killed, but her legacy is now a massive killing machine entertaining the tourists in the Tanaka Lagoon - everyday Angel leaves the crowd in awe with her massive size and power.  She is a marvel of nature, grown to massive size and held captive by an "escape proof" lagoon, but they said the Titanic was unsinkable and we all know what happened there!  When she feels the urge to mate Angel begins to test the boundaries of her world and attacks the giant metal gate that keeps her prisoner, the gate that Jonas Taylor has asked to be sealed for years. 

When she has her first taste of human flesh and blood Angel ramps up her attempts to escape and succeeds, leaving the Tanaka Lagoon behind as she follows her instincts into the open ocean.  Her escape is big news, but Taylor and his team are confident they can track her because of the tracker they tagged her with.  But dealing with her mother should have taught them all that you can not assume anything about a prehistoric shark with the size and strength to tackle any creature on or under the sea.  As she travels up the coast of America Angel satisfies her taste for humans and sea creatures alike, leaving a trail of death and destruction as she follows her instincts.  Hot on her tail are Taylor and the team trying to recapture Angel, but they are not all after the same thing.

While Jonas Taylor tracks the mega shark along the coast of America, his wife Terry Taylor is facing challenges of her own.  Drawn into the depths of the Mariana Trench by the wealthy and eccentric Benedict Singer, Terry is in a battle of wits that she has to win if she wants to survive to return to the surface.  In the Mariana Trench lies the Benthos, a custom made submersible of immense size that provides a base of operations for Singer and his men to explore the Mariana Trench.  Singer is hunting for something in the depths of the trench, and he doesn't care how many men he loses in the process.  When the submersible Proteus is attacked and implodes, Singer has no hesitation calling in his other submersibles to carry on the work - but there is a pack of killers swirling around the Benthos and they are as patient as they are deadly.

The trench is a worthy sequel for Meg, a gripping adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you see the facts unfold before you in a story that splits into two strands before intertwining back into one story for a satisfying ending.  Terry and Jonas become equal players in this story, each of them fighting for their lives in their own way, trying to solve the mystery of what is happening around them before it is too late.  It has been some time since I read Meg, but a lot of the story was till swirling around in my mind and it didn't take long to get back into the story and I was a little surprised by how quickly I made my way through the 432 pages of the novel. 

My one real grumble with this story is the number of times Alten said very similar things about Angel and the way she sensed things or how she was able to detect things - it felt a little bit like he was trying to ram a biology lesson down my throat with the story and it got more than a little annoying towards the end.  I am keen to read the third book in the series but may have to wait as the local library no longer has a copy - not too surprising when you realise how long ago these books were first published - but they are still a good read and have the potential to make an amazing movie, or even a television mini-series.

If you like this then try:
  • Meg by Steve Alten
  • Ruins by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Jurassic park by Michael Crichton
  • Congo by Michael Crichton

Reviewed by Brilla

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