science fiction and fantasy book reviewsThe Loch by Steve Alten

The Loch by Steve Alten horror book reviewsSteve Alten’s The Loch is full of clichés — the dialogue, the narration, and the plethora of borrowed plot lines from Jaws. You know the good characters from the bad. You can predict which ones will die violently (and deservedly so), and you know which bad guys will turn out to be good guys. But you know what, I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I found myself staying up through the wee hours to get through “just one more chapter.” At first I felt a little embarrassment at enjoying it so much. But ultimately I gave in and just went with it.

Vostok (MEG) Kindle Edition by Steve Alten (Author)


Now, it’s a fact that I was a hardcore Loch Ness Monster fanatic growing up in the 1970’s. I’m pretty sure I was the only kid in my school that kept checking out the thin Mystery of Loch Ness from our school library, as I’d pore over those images of what couldn’t be anything OTHER than a huge dinosaur that was alive and well and living in Scotland. So maybe I’m a little bit biased towards the whole Loch Ness Monster “thing.” But be that as it may, I just enjoyed this story.

I had to overlook the melodramatic romantic interest. I flew by the stilted conversations with nary a grimace, because I wanted to find out more about the monster in the lake. I wanted to see who was going to die next and by what monster-ific means. And I was even engaged in the way that Alten integrated a Templar-theme subplot in a (mostly) seamless way.

Alten writes smoothly and keeps the story moving at a rapid pace, so that even the most modest-paced reader will have no trouble flying through The Loch’s 500+ pages. I highly recommend this fantastic thriller. It’s not literature. It’s great for the beach. And it’s just a lot of fun.

Published in 2001. Marine biologist Zachary Wallace once suffered a near-drowning experience in legendary Loch Ness, and now, long-forgotten memories of that experience have begun haunting him. The truth surrounding these memories lies with Zachary’s estranged father, Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander on trial for murder. Together the two plunge into a world where the legend of Loch Ness shows its true face.


  • Jason Golomb

    JASON GOLOMB graduated with a degree in Communications from Boston University in 1992, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University in 2005. His passion for ice hockey led to jobs in minor league hockey in Baltimore and Fort Worth, before he returned to his home in the D.C. metro area where he worked for America Online. His next step was National Geographic, which led to an obsession with all things Inca, Aztec and Ancient Rome. But his first loves remain SciFi and Horror, balanced with a healthy dose of Historical Fiction.

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