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Vostok by Steve Alten


by Steve Alten

Series: The Loch (2)

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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.

My Thoughts:

This started out to be a 5 star read. I was excited to get into it since I loved The Loch which easily ranks among my all time favorite books and which this is a sequel to. This however went from excellent to barely tolerated very quickly. What was found in Lake Vostok, what they encounter...fast action, suspense...I couldn’t put it down. The time spent in Lake Vostok was by far the best part of the entire book. Unfortunately, after the suspense and action, I found myself lost. I had a really hard time with a lot of the technical language being used. A little would have been okay but on top of that it went off in a far fetched direction. I am not sure if I would categorize this as science based beliefs or spiritual based beliefs or both, but I felt that I had a good understanding of what was happening but was having a difficult time putting it into any kind of conceivable theory. All in all, if you can get passed the scientific terminology and the slowness of the beginning and about three quarters of the way through – it was a good read. 3 stars and I sure hope the third book that is currently planned is less of a disappointment. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Vostok by Steve Alten is a recommended thriller that brings back The Loch's popular marine biologist Zachary Wallace. Times are tough for Zachary. After Nessie was found, there have been some economic trials and now his marriage is struggling. When Zachary is recruited to head down to Antarctica and explore Lake Vostok, which is located underneath miles of ice, he hesitates at first, but then agrees.

Predictably (and honestly, what we all wanted to read about), Zachary encounters some Miocene monsters in the deep as well as some monsters of the human variety. Then the novel takes an odd turn that I could go with, as long as there would be more creature action. Well, the creature action diminishes and the story becomes a sort of UFO encounter of the higher consciousness. Then the story morphs into a tirade against big oil set in Washington DC and conspiracy theories. Next it... Well, that will give you enough of an idea of the directions the plot takes.

Honestly, I was looking forward to the escapism of an action/adventure thriller. I thought that was what I was getting. Come on, look at the cover! At page 143 my eyes widened, I grinned, and said "Now that's what I'm talking about!" Then things changed, but I could go with the new twist. It is different, not what I was hoping for but, hey, I'm flexible. Then they changed again, and changed again, and.... Finally, the beginning of Vostok is noticeably better written than the last half of the book in my review edition. Now this could be changed in the final version, but it was glaring for me.

I loved The Loch and was anxious to read about Zachary's latest adventure. Vostok didn't quite live up to that promise. While it wasn't as preachy-bad as The Shell Game, it certainly wasn't as entertaining and wonderful as Alten's earlier works. For me, Vostok is a solid airplane book. It will keep you entertained. You'll likely want to keep reading to find out what happens next, but if you misplace it or switch to another eBook, you aren't going to miss it.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Rebel Press for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
This book is actually a sequel to The Loch, which I've not yet read. I picked this up after reading a review that intrigued me. The book begins with a trip to Antarctica where a lake far below the ice surface is located. It struck me as a modern day "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and then strange things started to happen. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to keep reading but I did and I'm so glad. The book has many different themes - Creation, Alien Life, Time, and Energy, the latter being controlled by corrupt and powerful agencies. I can't explain without giving it all away but I really liked this book. It's fiction that leaves one thinking and there are so many things to think about. And I will pick up The Loch which I've heard good things about. I understand there's a 3rd book coming and I'm really looking forward to that one! ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
I loved Steve’s Meg series. Who wouldn’t love a prehistoric shark loose in today’s oceans. I’ve read the complete series and then moved on to The Loch. Another winner with a prehistoric creature lurking in Loch Ness.

Steve has brought two amazing characters together from these books. Marine biologist Zachary Wallace and Dr. Jonas Taylor. Both of these men have drowned and come back from meetings with giant terrors of the deep seas. Neither ever thought they would enter primal waters again, but here they go.

From the village of Drumnadrochit, Scotland, to America, and back to Scotland to battle and defeat the beast of Loch Ness, Zachary is now about to jump down the rabbit hole into the coldest place on earth. Antarctica. But not on the surface. H he’s going two and a half miles below the ice cap to an undersea lake called Vostok.

No man has ever gone there before and Vostok has been undisturbed for over 15 million years. Here be monsters. Behemoths of unimaginable size and voracious appetite.

Imagine it if you can. Lasers burn the way, forming a narrow tube for the sub to pass through the ice cap. You break through and fall, plunging into a vast undersea lake over a thousand feet deep. A beast rises, mouth gaping wide, teeth taller than you, so huge you can’t grasp it.

When things go wrong, which they do, who do you call for help? How long will it take for them to get there, if they even can?

And what if there is another reason for sending you down there? Something ancient, powerful, non terrestrial that you have to retrieve. Big brother has their sticky fingers in this expedition. They want what’s down there. No one knows what they are up to. You get it or die trying. Sounds like a conspiracy doesn’t it?

The cast of characters is diverse and many. Some were old favorites and some were new to me. I crossed my fingers the good guys would survive, but you never know with Steve. He’s not above killing some off. And the bad guys. Some were just annoying, and some I’d drop through the tunnel myself.

By the time I reached the third part of the book, I was feeling the terror, the frustration, the courage of these characters. And then the author took the story in yet another direction. I stumbled a bit. Partly because it was hard for me to grasp how it worked at first. And partly because I didn’t want it to go in that direction. I was dragged kicking and screaming away from my beasts. I went with it though, and soon was engrossed and into it.

Vostok is the crossover book that brings The Loch and The Meg series together for the upcoming release of Meg 5: Nightstalkers. The title alone has me imaging all types of monsters.

I follow Steve’s newsletter and have been waiting years for his Meg book to be made into a movie. It will be coming soon and I’m sure it will be a huge hit. From there, maybe we’ll be meeting these beasties on the big screen.

Thanks so much to Steve Alten and Rebel Press for gifting me a Limited Edition Hardcover copy for my honest review.

What a strange, terrifying, spectacular ride it’s been from the first Meg book to Vostok and beyond! ( )
  laura-thomas | Jan 27, 2016 |
Vostok by Steve Alten There no book like this. I can not even describe what it all about except that it maybe about ET or what we call Energy. Is it possible that we live in a multivenverses that can alter our life or are we just atoms that look like a body. We live in a plant that we see is an alter our lives.
The earth have a big bang or did we get seed here from other plant like Mars and now we live on Earth. We could be from the old Mars that is now dead. Our world may be really just be our illusions of what we call home. We may be complete atom that can detain to access 10 dimensions that we see a light. Could we really save our species or are we going to destroy our planet and need to find a new world to survive.
Could our world really be an Illusion of our minds that we see blue skies and green grasses. We may be able to be in our dimensions that we only see what we see. We could be seed or was it our creator that put us on planet Earth. What do you think about our Earth history? Did we really come from Charon which is Mars now that it a dead planet. Here my favorite of the book, "Life on Earth and Death on Mars". We could have be spawned and planet on Earth or was it the Big Bang. You may want to read the book and decide for yourself what believe. We may be living in world that we now the truth that has to do with our survival. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Jan 21, 2016 |
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There is a place, like no place on Earth. A land full of wonders, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily , I am. -- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I fully believe we're not alone and have not been for many years even though at the time I went to the moon it was the conventional wisdom both in science and theology that we were alone in the universe. We're just barely out of the trees even though we like to think we're fairly sophisticated. -- Dr. Edgar Mitchell, former NASA astronaut
For my friend, BARBARA BECKER, whose tireless work in the Adopt-An-Author program has helped so many.
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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.
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