Steve Alten’s Hell’s Aquarium-Meg 4

Overview: Angel’s pups are getting too big for the Meg Pen. With the state of California not allowing The Tanaka Oceanographic Institute to expand, Jonas and Terry are looking for buyers for Angel’s five pups. An offshoot of PETA, R.A.W. (Release Animals to the Wild) wants the pups released. Can we say trouble? The bright side seems to be that the Prince of Dubai wants to negotiate a deal with Jonas Taylor. The only question is what deal is the Prince negotiating?

Story Telling: Once again we have a present-tense novel. Why do people use this style? Oh, and it’s a monster book.

Likes: Oh, Mac is going to be a Daddy.

Dislikes: Where to start…I guess we’ll start with my biggest pet-peeve. Evolution is a theory, albeit a theory that sets out to disprove God. As such we should treat it like a theory. But, even as a theory, Mr. Alten goes too far. Marine reptiles have to come to the surface for air. He could have made air pockets in underwater caves, something that would be, at least, more believable than marine reptiles with gills. Besides, marine reptiles tend to lay their eggs on land. We didn’t get an answer for that one.

Now onto the liopleurodon. This thing I expected to be a bit oversized for the book. In fact, I’ll admit to looking it up shortly after starting the book, just so I could get a feel for the creature. From what I could figure, liopleurodon was a megalodon-snack, not hunter.

This book seem gratuitous in regards to all of the gore. Yeah, I get it. People lose limbs in monster books, but Richard’s death was cruel and unusual punishment.

When it came to Angel, Mr. Alten, forgive the expression, jumped the shark. Let’s face it, if you needed a mommy and a daddy to come into the world, you need a mommy and a daddy to reproduce. Sorry. Just the way of nature. I would have bought spontaneous sex-change. That’s at least shown in nature, you know, the clownfish.

Favorite Character: Mac.

Favorite Scene and Quote: I don’t have either this time around.

Conclusion: This book was too much for me. My disbelief can only be suspended so far, and that’s pretty far considering that I read epic-fantasy, but there has to be some truth. I didn’t find much here. And he killed Minister.

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Steve Alten’s Primal Waters-Meg 3

Overview: It’s been eighteen years since Angel escaped from the Tanaka Lagoon. Jonas is stuck in debt, hoping his memoirs will salvage the family’s home. But life is looking a little better. A reality show, “Daredevils,” has offered him around $100,000 just for expert commentary. Taking his eighteen-year-old daughter along might just bridge the gap between them. But, why does the show want Jonas anyway?

Story Telling: While this is a monster book, it has one major problem. This is the first book that I’ve read by MR. Alten that’s written in present-tense.

Likes: We get a game with this one. Count the shark attacks, and see how many megalodons are in this novel.

Terry does face her fears.

We get to see what happened to Maren after Mac left him in Alaska.

Dislikes: I’m going on record here, but I despise present-tense writing in books. It’s almost always used to add a sense of impending doom for the main protagonists. And, from those books in this style that I’ve read, this promise of uncertainty never pans out. That makes it feel like a cheat to me.

I’m all for somebody facing his or her fears, I just think that Terry went too far when she got on the boat. There’s bravery, and then there’s stupid. One woman on a boat with four men is stupid.

Speaking of stupid, why did Dani fall for Fergie’s attitude? Is the first boyfriend really that big of a deal? Or was it more the idea of rebelling against Mommy and Daddy?

Favorite Character: It would be Mac.

Favorite Quote: Here’s something that most people need to remember. “See, it’s never just harmless sex, it carries a price, and that price, at least for me, is my own sense of morality, something both our generations have been a little too quick to shortchange of late.”

Favorite Scene: It would be when Mac and Patricia are arguing the second time on Mac’s boat. They definitely had an intervention.

Conclusion: This book wasn’t my style. But, that could be the fact that I just don’t care for either present-tense stories, or reality television. Enjoy it if you can

Steve Alten’s The Trench-Meg 2

Overview: After four years of containing a megalodon in the lagoon of The Tanaka Oceanographic Institute, you would think that the terror would fade from Dr. Jonas Taylor’s mind. Not really. If anything, his night terrors have gotten worse. An unfortunate convergence of events seems to be conspiring to lead Jonas back to where it all began. One of the Institute’s business partners want Jonas to double-check the other, and Angel, the baby of the first megalodon, has decided to try freedom for a change. How many people will die before Angel is stopped?

Story Telling: Monster book! These books don’t try to educate you, usually, yet all books teach. It is just, what some would call, a ‘guilty pleasure’ read.

Likes: Mac is back. And he is just as loyal as ever.

Masao struck me as the kind of man who pushes others to better themselves. It doesn’t hurt that he is willing to fight for what’s right as well.

Terry and Jonas stayed loyal to each other through all temptation. And I have to admit to liking how they handled their respective problems.

Dislikes: Benedict Singer…what can I say, with that first name, how can he be anything but a bad guy. Maybe I need to get out more, as the only Benedict I know is Benedict Arnold. But I digress. I don’t think the narcissistic jerk ever saw people as, well, people. Anyone that he ran across became a game for him.

Celeste Singer was more of a shark than Angel was. In fact, given the choice, I would rather deal with Angel.

I’m sure that class-action lawsuits started for a very good reason, but if you have to use emotion to win a case, then your evidence is thin at best. And most of these class-action lawsuits seem to play the heartstrings.

Also, a word of advice. If someone acts like he or she will kill you if you don’t cooperate, then he or she will kill you after you cooperate. The person has already made up his or her mind, so why bother cooperating? You aren’t going to change his or her mind.

Favorite Character: I’m not sure if Masao or Mac would fit. But, I love Mac. I liked his loyalty, his problem-solving skills, and his initiative. What’s not to like?

Masao had good points too. He tried to bring out the best in those around him. And he encouraged his daughter to consider her husband’s position.

Favorite Quote: We have two. Each one showcases attitudes. First one comes from Mac and Celeste. ““Why don’t you do us all a favor and fly that bucket of bolts back to Vietnam.” Celeste said.

Mac smiled at her. “Beats the hell out of flying a broomstick.””

And then, we have one from Masao. “Then listen to me carefully. True courage is doing the thing you fear doing most. There can be no courage unless you are scared.”

Favorite Scene: Here’s a taste of Mac’s ingenuity. The way make handles Maren’s sabotage attempt was great. And he never lied to the man.

Conclusion: This book was fun. The scientific terms might seem boring, though they have a good place, as they bring your adrenaline under control. I do have a question. During Angel’s last attack, was it murder, suicide, or both?

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America!

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Hey guys! Let’s head back to some of the earliest years of America’s history.

Story Telling: This is a young reader’s history book.

Artwork: Ms. Wright uses a comic book style for the illustrations.

Likes: For the most part, this is an extended version of the First Thanksgiving story.

Dislikes: I differed, at many points during this book, from Mrs. Roman’s findings.

Conclusion: There is so much more to America’s founding, from the colonial times to the birth of our nation. This book is one that I strongly advocate that you do your own research before reading it to your children. That way you can flesh out more of our history for them.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy!

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Our travels are taking us to the turning point of the middle ages in Italy this time around.

Story Telling: Once again, we have a history book.

Artwork: Ms. Brunetti uses a painting style. The images are adorable.

Likes: Once again, many of the statements sound accurate, don’t forget to check it out for yourself before you call anything a fact. And Mrs. Roman does admit to the fact that the dark ages weren’t all gloomy.

Dislikes: I understand the idea about not speaking ill of the dead, but sometimes you have to admit that some people are not the best choices for friends.

Conclusion: So far this is an interesting series. And it can open the door for some enlightening conversations. Enjoy it with your young’uns, and maybe you could encourage the older ones to join you in the research.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece!

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Our time-travels are taking us pretty far back this time around. This book is taking us to Greece, before Christ came to earth.

Story Telling: Like Mrs. Roman’s “…Elizabethan England” this is a history book.

Artwork: Ms. Arkova has an unique style here. It almost looks like she used and airbrush.

Likes: Some of the eating habits, if accurate, were interesting. And Mrs. Roman did showcase some of the ancient Greek gods.

Dislikes: Well, for the most part, Mrs. Roman was accurate in regards to the ancient gods. The problem is that in two cases, she left out the obvious jobs. Apollo and Artemis were the gods of the sun and moon respectively.

Conclusion: This book is interesting, but remember to do your own research.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in…Elizabethan England!

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: From modern cultures of the world to the historical cultures we go. This time machine will take us to the England of the early attempts at colonization.

Story Telling: This is a history book, albeit one masquerading as a story.

Artwork: Ms. Tabor uses a comic book realist style with the illustrations.

Likes: For the most part, this book has quite a bit of interesting information. And Mrs. Roman employs an interactive style with her writing.

Dislikes: To be perfectly honest, I don’t read many historical books, be they fictional or non-fictional. The main reason is simple. I feel that no one person has all of the facts. It’s up to everyone to seek out those facts for themselves. And my time, like yours, is limited.

Conclusion: This is an interesting book, and many of the facts sound accurate. Just be willing to do your own fact-checking so your little time-travelers get the greatest benefit.

Dean Koontz’s The Dead Town-Frankenstein 5

Overview: It’s finally time for the final showdown between the creation and his cruel creator, by proxy so to speak. Victor Immaculate thinks that his plans, for the annihilation of the world, are coming into fruition. The residents of Rainbow Falls and Deucalion’s team have a few arguments against that plan. Who will win the fight for life itself?

Story Telling: Once again, we step into the world of the mad-scientist. I wonder who inspired this vision.

Likes: You have to give the regular people in this book credit. Their situations weren’t the most hopeful, but they didn’t roll over and give up. They resisted to the best of their abilities, even if a few of them needed some external influence to do so.

Xerox-Bozeman was sad, yet in a way, hopeful. I saw him as proof, at least in Mr. Koontz’s world, that God can reach anyone.

And of course, Jocko is back, along with Erika.

Dislikes: You know, if Victor’s clone wasn’t actually trying to destroy humanity, I’d have found his arrogance hilarious. Oh, he’s so perfect, therefore his creations are perfect. Maybe he should ask God His opinion on that one.

And the ‘Builders’ are just gross.

Favorite Character: This might be a list. There was the Riders in the Sky congregation, Rudy, Sammy, Sully, Grace, Bryce, um…maybe I should wrap this up, Jocko and Erika.

Favorite Quote: We have two this time around. First off we get Mr. Koontz’s view on Hollywood’s view on the middle-class. “ It was the kind of modest, but well-detailed house that, back in the day, Hollywood routinely portrayed as the home of any reputable middle-class family like Andy Hardy and his dad the judge, before moviemakers decided that the middle-class was nothing but a dangerous conspiracy of dim-witted, grasping, bigoted know-nothings whose residences in films should reveal their stupidity, ignorance, boring conformity, greed, racism, fundamental festering evil.”

And now we see the people themselves. ““Most of them are not that way,” the giant says. “But among them are enough like you, Victor, to lead them astray again and again, to be their conniving politicians and their self-sickened intellectuals, their self-satisfied elites who seduce them away from their better natures. There is a serpent in the world, and having signed a pledge with it, you spent your life–your lives–spreading its venom.””

Favorite Scene: I loved the code name that the Riders gave Deucalion. It was perfect. And Victor’s punishment fit his crimes. Oh! The way that Carson and Michael met the Riders was fun.

Conclusion: This is a great story. Unfortunately, it is now over. The only people who might have a problem with this series, are those who have a problem with God showing up in books, but if that’s a pet-peeve of yours, then why are you reading a Dean Koontz novel anyway.