Tonight marks the beginning of Shark week, a week dedicated to the most misunderstood creatures in the sea. To be honest, I had a different review lined up for this evening but I started writing it last night and just was not enthused by it. Maybe you’ll see that review go up tomorrow but I think to mark the beginning of Shark week, I should review one of my guilty pleasure books; MEG by Steve Alten.
So I recently admitted to one of my close friends that one of my guilty pleasures is reading fictional books about gigantic sharks – the trashier the better. One book that was recommended to me earlier in the year by my dad was MEG by Steve Alten and I definitely lapped it up.
First released in 2005, I believe Alten’s MEG is one of those glanced-over novels that people seem to think nothing of – it could possibly be a cover issue or the plot may sound too silly for some but this is a pure treasure if you are wanting something easy, fast-paced, slightly hilarious but equally as tense all in a book.
A quick summary for you:
Jonas Taylor is haunted; haunted by a secret mission which only he survived. The thing that haunts him is the Carcharodon Megladon – a massive ancestor of the great white shark, which is ferocious and deadly. Taylor becomes obsessed with Meg, making a career out of his research and theories, and when an old friend coaxes him to return to the water, Taylor is about to come face to face with the most terrifying creature to ever live.
Sounds pretty cheesy, right? Oh, you are right – this is pretty cheesy in places. One example is when Meg grabs a bloody helicopter from the sky… I had to put the book down for a solid few minutes, trying hard not to laugh but if you can forgive some of these minor cringes then it truly is a gem. I know I am not the only one whose guilty pleasure is big monster novels and that’s why I am writing about this book.
I am not going to lie, the way this novel is written is in no way artistic or beautiful or even entirely skilled. Some of it is quite rushed or just scrappy. However, what do you expect from a novel about a gigantic prehistoric shark? I did not start reading this novel with the idea that this was going to be the most beautifully written book I have ever read. Instead, I went in wanting a gory, tense monster novel and that is what you are given.
In relation to the characters, there is not much to say about them. A few chapters focus on different characters rather than just Jonas. This actually makes the book interesting as some of the characters are journalists, marine biologists, etc, and you get to see what would happen if a megladon really did surface. I actually quite liked the journalists and their news stories but I will just say this, do not get attached to anyone fast as not many people in this novel last past two chapters. I suppose that always keeps you on your toes – I love Game of Thrones so I am well used to a lot of death in my books so this didn’t bother me. I know some people do not like a heap of the core cast being killed off in any novel or series.
Oh yes I forgot – another note, this actually is a series. I think there are five books (I should have done some research about how many there are before writing this) but I have the second one all set to read. I was not going to read another one because of how cringy it can be but these books are quite addictive. PLUS the first one ends on a cliffhanger so you cannot exactly get away from wondering what happens next!
MEG is a perfect guilty pleasure book. You can easily take it on holiday and look like you’re reading something quite intelligent and you can go to the beach and terrify everyone with the idea of a giant shark in the waters!
I have given this book 3 stars. The reason behind me not giving it more is that I like to reserve 4 star and 5 star ratings for exceptional books that I would pick up again. I would not re-read MEG but I would highly recommend it to other people to read! So for this Shark Week, how about you pick up this horror/thriller?