MEG by Steve Alten ReviewBantam Books, June 1998.
Paperback, 337 pages.
Jonas Taylor, a paleontologist, an experienced deep-sea pilot and expert of deep ocean caverns is still tramautized by his last underwater journey -- a secret exploratory dive headed by the U.S. Navy -- which killed his two crew mates. Jonas Taylor remembers seeing a giant shark coming towards him, which caused him to propel his ship upwards to the surface -- killing the other two members of the crew. The Navy disbelived Taylor and blamed him for the deaths tarnishing his record and his self-confidence. Since then he has become a fanatic of studying the prehistoric Cacharodon Megadalon, a sixty foot shark that was nature's most vicious killer during prehistoric times. Jonas can't figure out whether he is trying to convince himself or others that the Meg could still exist -- or does exist and it is what he saw that terrible night. Taylor gets the chance to find out when an old friend Masao Tanaka, who is developing the largest whaling sanctuary ever, asks for his help in a dive into the deepest abyss on the planet -- the Challenger Deep.
Not only does Jonas find the prehistoric killer, but it follows them up to the surface where it begins to prey on whatever it can find in this century's waters -- including humans. Taylor and company are forced to try and track the terrorizing Megaladon which begans feasting on everything in sight, including boat crews, surfers and whales.
This excellent debut from novelist Steve Alten is more than just a Jaws remake. While it will certainly please lovers of Jaws-type novels - it is also appealing because of its details on underwater exploration and the high-tech equipment involved. MEG is an exciting oceanic thriller about a vicious prehistoric killer that can sense one part of blood in a billion parts of water, smell its prey miles away and leap high enough out of the water to reach helicopters.