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MEG: Primal Waters Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Meg Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The giant prehistoric shark, carcharadon Megalodon, that put Alten on bestseller lists with his debut novel, Meg (1997), and its follow-up, The Trench, returns in a messy, exuberant, potboiling action thriller. It's 18 years since Angel, spawn of the "meg" in Meg, chomped her way through many humans (as well as through most critics' sensibilities); her nemesis, Jonas Taylor, is now 63—and in financial trouble. For money and perhaps a retaste of youth, Jonas agrees to star in a top-rated reality series, Daredevils, unaware that a meg-lover who's envious of Jonas's fame plans to feed Jonas to a meg lured to the middle of the ocean. Meanwhile, Angel returns to her California hunting grounds and another meg creates havoc on the coast of Washington State. The narrative runs in overdrive from start to finish, as Alten munches on the reality show phenomenon, ocean ecology and family issues (tensions among Jonas, his kids and his wife), but all those are merely the fibers connecting the novel's powerful muscle: the shark attack scenes, which are numerous and exciting and, toward the end, intercut as frantically as an MTV video. This title probably won't sell as well as Alten's first two Meg novels, but the novelty of an aging action hero adds general interest, and the author's many devoted fans should devour it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This latest novel in Alten's MEG adventure-thriller series concerns a 57-foot, 64,000-pound prehistoric shark loose in the South Pacific. The "most fearsome creature in the sea," the Megalodon shark has ruled the planet's oceans for millions of years, surviving the cataclysms that wiped out the dinosaurs and adapting to climate changes that devastated other prehistoric marine species. Alten begins with an informative description of the Pacific Ocean and its inhabitants, the Monterey Bay off California, and the islands of New Guinea and its surrounding waters. He also offers a brief history of the Ice Age, setting the tone for the fictional narrative that follows. Now enter Jonas Taylor, who joins the crew in filming a TV survival series called Daredevils aboard a replica of a Spanish galleon. Taylor eventually comes face to face with this monster--which, of course, comes as no surprise to readers. Who wins this violent struggle probably won't come as a surprise either, but Alten's imaginative tale will keep readers turning the pages to make certain their guess, intuition, or "readerly" instinct is correct. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: MEG (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 463 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765347857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765347855
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Alten grew up in Philadelphia, earning his Bachelors degree in Physical Education at Penn State University, a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Delaware, and a Doctorate of Education at Temple University. Struggling to support his family of five, he decided to pen a novel he had been thinking about for years. Working late nights and on weekends, he eventually finished MEG; A Novel of Deep Terror. Steve sold his car to pay for editing fees. On September (Friday) the 13th, 1996, Steve lost his general manager's job at a wholesale meat plant. Four days later his agent had a two-book deal with Bantam Doubleday.

MEG would go on to become the book of the 1996 Frankfurt book fair, where it eventually sold to more than a twenty countries. MEG hit every major best-seller list, including #19 on the New York Times list (#7 audio), and became a popular radio series in Japan.

Steve's second release, The TRENCH (Meg sequel) was published by Kensington/Pinnacle in 1999 where it also hit best-seller status. His next novel, DOMAIN and its sequel, RESURRECTION were published by St. Martin's Press/Tor Books and were runaway best-sellers in Spain, Mexico, Germany, and Italy, with the rights selling to more than a dozen countries.

Steve's fourth novel, GOLIATH, received rave reviews and was a big hit in Germany. It is being considered for a TV series. MEG: Primal Waters was published in the summer of 2004. A year later his seventh novel, The LOCH, hit stores -- a modern-day thriller about the Loch Ness Monster. Steve's eighth novel, The SHELL GAME, is about the end of oil and the next 9/11 event. The book was another NY Times best-seller, but the stress of penning this real-life story affected Steve's health, and three months after he finished the manuscript he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Steve's ninth novel, MEG: Hell's Aquarium, is considered to be the best of the best-selling MEG series. Steve says his best novel is GRIM REAPER: End of Days. The story, a modern-day Dante's Inferno, takes place in New York when a man-made plague strikes Manhattan. The release date was 10-10-10. His eleventh novel. PHOBOS: Mayan Fear is the third in the Domain series and will debut in the Fall of 2011 (Tor/Forge).

Steve's novels are action-packed and very visual. He has optioned DOMAIN, MEG and The LOCH to film producers. Steve has written six original screenplays. His comedy, HARLEM SHUFFLE was a semi-finalist in the LA screenwriting contest, his psychological thriller, STRANGLEHOLD, was selected as a finalist at the Philadelphia film festival and his reality series, HOUSE OF BABEL won at Scriptapalooza. He has also created a TV Drama, PAPA JOHN, based on his years coaching basketball with hall of Fame coach John Chaney.

Over the years, Steve has been inundated with e-mail from teens who hated reading ...until they read his novels. When he learned high school teachers were actually using his books in the classroom (MEG had been rated #1 book for reluctant readers) Steve launched Adopt-An-Author, a nationwide non-profit program designed to encourage students to read. Teachers who register for the program (it's free) receive giant shark posters, free curriculum materials, student-author correspondence, an interactive website, and classroom conference calls/visits with the author. To date, over 10,000 teachers have registered, and the success rate in getting teens to read has been unprecedented. Steve now spends half his work week working with high schools. For more information click on www.AdoptAnAuthor.com

As an author, Steve has two goals. First, to continue to work hard to become a better storyteller and create exciting page turning thrillers. Second, to remain accessible to his readers. Steve reads and answers all e-mails, uses the names and descriptions of his loyal fans as characters in all his novels, and even hires readers as editors, depending on their particular expertise.

For more information, contact the author at Meg82159@aol.com
or go to www.SteveAlten.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I must be one of the only people who was not as impressed with this novel as the previous two. I couldn't get into it from the very beginning with the Daredevils wanting to take Jonas on their voyage. The whole thing became a story by numbers with people dying in obligatory ways.

Meg was very interesting and fun and the Trench was absolutely fantastic in my opinion because it raised the stakes of the first book and introduced much more tension and, most importantly, it rounded out the characters and had a tight plot. But, because I didn't believe the story for once in this book the tension and horror was gone for me. It just seemed to be like one of those "paint by numbers." I bought this book as soon as it came out because I enjoyed the first one and loved the second. I'm sad to say I was sorely disappointed in this one. It's a shame because no one writes about the Meg shark the same way that Steve Alten does.

I knew Reality TV's influence stretched far...but when it pops up in a book, I know things are going to Hell. In my opinion stick with the first two, vastly superior novels and don't read this one. Oh, and catch the Meg movie that is finally being made because it will be exciting.
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Format: Hardcover
Now in his sixties, married to Terry and living in Tampa with her and their two teens, Jonas Taylor feels old and tired as financial sharks surround him demanding payments of past due bills. Jonas nostalgically thinks back to his glory days when he was in his mid forties and captured Angel the prehistoric Megalodon shark that terrorized the Mariana Trench. However, that was the highlight film of his life; now he owes a ton of money and has to deal with a recalcitrant female teen.
When the top-rated reality TV show Daredevils offers Jonas a chance to provide expert commentary on a contest in the South Pacific, he leaps at the opportunity. Taking his daughter with him, Jonas joins the TV show.
Meanwhile Terry investigates whale beachings off Vancouver Island. Neither of the spouses is aware that they have entered the latest feeding zone of "Megs" and will soon be battling for their lives as they did before (see MEG and THE TRENCH).
The third exciting Prehistoric Jaws vs. humans thriller is fast-paced especially Megs who steal the show once again. Steve Alten refreshes his series through Jonas is aging not so gracefully as he wonders how two decades have almost past since he had his fifteen minutes of fame and now has a chance to recapture somewhat his glorious past. Much of the action is similar to the previous novels with the shark feeding, man vs. man disputing, and shark vs. hero/heroine scenes, but the aging cast makes it seem new leading to a swimmingly fine time for the Megsters.
Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Meg: Primal Waters is the latest Megalodon popcorn-fest from the fertile, albeit somewhat turgid imagination of Steve Alten. Once again, Marine Biologist Jonas Taylor finds himself pitted against Carcharodon Megalodon, the prehistoric ancestor of the Great White Shark. (One would imagine that after his experiences in Meg: A novel of Deep Terror, and The Trench, Taylor would have taken up residence in Iowa, or some other similarly landlocked state, but as my grandmother was fond of saying, some people never learn.)

Primal Waters starts some 18 years after the The Trench, with Jonas and his wife playing flustered parents to a couple of kids right out of cliché' central: The sexy teen tramp, and the too-smart for his own good son with a hankering for adventure. The fun begins when Jonas is propositioned to appear on a reality show called Daredevils, which is, in reality (pun intended.....), an elaborate ruse to lure Taylor to his death at the jaws of yet another Megalodon. Meanwhile Jonas wife, Terry, is off on an adventure of her own, trying to recapture the escaped Angel, the Antagonist of the previous book. In case two Megs weren't enough, Angel is being pursued by her amorous son. Me so horny!! And speaking of horny, Mr. & Mrs. Taylor each engage in a dry-humping almost-affair, and I suppose the fact that neither one consummates the relationship is supposed to be reassuring and sweet, but I just found the casual manner they adopt to be kind of creepy and off-putting. Not exactly the way to endear readers to your characters, Mr. Alten.

Alten isn't much of a prose stylist, and his characters have always been extremely two-dimensional and Primal Waters is no exception.
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Format: Hardcover
Without exposing plot elements, I can come right out and say Alten's third Shark book accomplishes a feat touched upon in his previous installments, but fully mastered in his third one. To say that his grasp of terror has improved is an understatement, and I believe this can only come from placing well-known characters from his earlier books and putting them in situations that compromise their place on the food chain. I actually caught myself wanting to read to the end of the passage just to see if he/she lives or dies, but then forcibly restraing myself in order to read the words that preceded the horror that I suspected to come. Whether or not it happened is moot, but I was afraid it would. That is why this book was good.
By building up characters throughout the story only to have them slaughtered in an almost anticlimatic fashion, Alten proves that regardless of personal character, all you are to a Megalodon is one more addition to its ravenous stomach.
It was to my understanding that a contest was held before the initial writing of PW to include a number of real person's names as characters. Now that I have read the list, I just have to mention something to whomever Wayne John Ferguson really is, "Next time, step away from the side before you start bragging."
Those interested in reading Primal Waters must realise that this book is more like the original novel, as opposed to the second book, with its James Bond-esque villains and fantastic schemes of villainy. The book does carry a rather wicked villain, but all in all, he's not so...Spy Movie as Benedict & Celeste Singer.
All in all, more sharks = more killing, and here's hoping for something even bigger still in the 4th book, MEG takes Manhatten (speculative title)
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