“Meg: Generations” by Steve Alten Review

Meg generations

Meg: Generations

Meg #6

Author:  Steve Alten

Published:  2018

It felt like it had been awhile since I read a Meg book, but looking at the publication dates it’s only been about three years since Meg: Nightstalkers came out. I wasn’t a huge fan of that book because of it’s tie in to some ridiculous time travel elements from Alten’s Vostok and its replacing of the Megalodon creature with a Liopleurodon creature for most of the book’s big action scenes. Meg: Generations gets somewhat back to basics, eliminating a lot of the craziest science fiction stuff in favor of giant sea monster moments. Still, this ended up being an average entry in the series and not one of the standouts.

My chief complaint with this book continues to be the over reliance of the Liopleurodon storyline which has never seemed as interesting to me as the megalodon stuff. Much of the plot of Meg: Generations (Goodreads lists the book as just Generations (Meg #6) but the cover has the word Meg the largest on it and I’m sticking with that) revolves around recapturing the liopleurodon after it had previously been captured by David Taylor but not retained by the owners of a Dubai amustment park built around the attraction. There’s another cameo by a giant Moby Dick whale as well as some prehistoric fish with livers that can cure cancer (it wouldn’t be a Steve Alten book if it didn’t go full on crazy at some point) but the Lio gets the bulk of the drama moving the plot.

The best moments still come from the Megs, as David tries to recapture one and for the Tanaka Lagoon and eventually even train one like a dolphin at Seaworld. I really hope this goes full in this direction in the next book, which I have no doubt Alten will release at some point. Essentially, David captured the shark as a pup and then wears a device which emits a huge electric signal when the giant shark comes near and drives it off. He keeps swimming in the tank with the shark as it grows bigger. Give me more of the this! The book ends with a showdown between the captured Meg and the Liopleurodon that was also pretty fantastic.

Terry and Jonas have their own arc involving Terry’s battle with cancer and involvement with the Chinese company who is harvesting the livers from the buried prehistoric sea filled with sea monsters. I was never as convinced of their need to be involved with this whole plot line. The best part of it was a speech Jonas gave about the definition of a shithead. Somebody who sees shit on the sidewalk, knows it’s shit, and steps in it anyway. It’s a perfect metaphor for a guy who keeps getting dragged into underwater expeditions where being eaten is the most likely outcome.

Glancing at Alten’s website, I see excerpts available for Meg: Purgatory and Meg: Angel of Death – Survival. I’m a bit worried about the future of this series, as this book I needed to get as an audiobook or e-reader only, and Alten’s next book in the Meg adjacent The Loch series is only available in print if you pre-order it directly from the author’s website. I’m not sure if his new books are sequels, prequels (such as the Meg: Origins book also never put to print) or interludes, and it’s making it more difficult to access and follow the series without really searching for it. The fun parts are still good enough I’m down to keep reading, but the lack of print books makes me much less eager to check out new installments.

3 star

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