Monday, April 06, 2015

VOSTOK, by Steve Alten


I asked author Steve Alten on what makes the perfect monster—if there is such a thing—for a book? Is the creature created for its "terror factor" or its fearfulness? If the monster is in its natural habitat and humans disrupt its peace by inadvertently "invading" its space, is it fair to terminate the creature just because it is defending its space?

The perfect monster is one that the reader believes can exist. Without a good set-up, believability cannot be achieved. A few examples: VOSTOK is a real lake, located 2.5 miles beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. It’s 1,600 square miles, a thousand feet deep, and has remained untouched for 15 million years. 

Are there monsters down there? Who knows? What is important is that there could be. And the reader is looking for that.

In my series MEG, about the most fearsome predator in history, Megalodons are discovered in the unexplored depths of the Mariana Trench. By establishing the history of hydrothermal vents, related food chains, etc., the reader can now accept the sharks could be there and can enjoy the story.

I have not read Loch (the prequel to Vostok) and it took me a really long time to slog through Vostok. I really wished I could say nice things about this novel but I gave up. I find it difficult to relate to or like the characters (this is a rare one because I am usually very flexible) and the plot changes so many times, I was quite frankly, fed up with it.

I started reading the book with much eagerness because I was intrigued by the idea of this undiscovered world underneath the ice. I wish I could say that the many changes or plot twists "added to the suspense," but what they did instead, is making the story a big mess I could not comprehend. I was actually annoyed.

I have not read any of the MEG series and having barely be able to finish this one, so I do not think I will venture into the other books by this author. It is disappointing.

Book Synopses: East Antarctica: The coldest, most desolate location on Earth. Two-and-a-half miles below the ice cap is Vostok, a six thousand square mile liquid lake, over a thousand feet deep, left untouched for more than 15 million years. Now, marine biologist Zachary Wallace and two other scientists aboard a submersible tethered to a laser will journey 13,000 feet beneath the ice into this unexplored realm to discover Mesozoic life forms long believed extinct – and an object of immense power responsible for the evolution of modern man.

In this sequel to The Loch and prequel to the upcoming MEG 5: Nightstalkers, New York Times best-selling author Steve Alten offers readers a crossover novel that combines characters from two of his most popular series.


Steve Alten is the New York Times and International bestselling author of fourteen novels, including the MEG series about Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70-foot, 100,000 pound prehistoric cousin of the Great White shark and Domain trilogy, a series about the Mayan Calendar’s 2012 doomsday prophecy. His work has been published in over 30 countries and is being used in thousands of middle and high school curriculum as part of Adopt-An-Author, a free teen reading program, which he founded with teachers back in 1999.

Connect with Steve: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Many thanks to Laura Fabiani from iRead Book Tours for sending me a complimentary copy of this e-book.