by Steve Alten
First sentence: “From the moment the early morning fog had begun to lift, the sensed they were being watched.”
Content: There’s a handful (a dozen or so) s-words, and damns, and some inferences to sex. It would be in the science fiction/fantasy section if we had it in the bookstore.
Jonas Taylor was a hot shot navy submarine pilot, until, down in the depths of the ocean, he encountered something rare and horrifying. It cost the lives of two men, and a dishonorable discharge for Jonas. But he was certain: he saw a Crcharodon megalodon, a prehistoric shark. He dedicated his life to researching the meg, as he calls it, to the exclusion of everything else. It cost him his marriage, it made him a joke, but he became the expert. And now, there’s another expedition into the depths, and he’s been called on board: there’s something odd down there and Jonas is called back into service. No, he wasn’t crazy: there was a megalodon down there, and it’s awake and terrorizing the waters.
This is definitely not my usual reading; I picked it up because I was asked to be on a review board for a challenge on this book. (It’s being challenged for the swearing and the inferences to sex.) I accepted before I knew what this book was, and I have to say, content-wise, it’s not that bad. (I suppose, if it was being read to 6th graders, I suppose I’d balk.) But, it’s not a great book. Sure it’s got action (the body count is way high), but it’s pulpy, and the writing pedantic. And maybe just prehistoric sharks aren’t my thing, but I never really liked it. I have issues with the way he treated women — there were two; one was a “bitch” and “deserved” to die, the other the love interest who was never given much of anything to do. And Jonas, I think was supposed to be “troubled” and edgy, but mostly came off as insecure and whiny. You know when you’re rooting for the shark that things are bad.
So, no, I don’t think it should have been challenged for content. But, there are definitely better books out there.