Review: Vostok by Steve Alten

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.

In this sequel to The Loch and prequel to the upcoming MEG 5: Nightstalkers, New York Times best-selling author Steve Alten offers readers a crossover novel that combines characters from two of his most popular series.

Steve Alten is the New York Times and International bestselling author of fourteen novels, including the MEG series about Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70-foot, 100,000 pound prehistoric cousin of the Great White shark and Domain trilogy, a series about the Mayan Calendar s 2012 doomsday prophecy. His work has been published in over 30 countries and is being used in thousands of middle and high school curriculum as part of Adopt-An-Author, a free teen reading program, which he founded with teachers back in 1999.

Vostok by Steve Alten. Book #2 in The Loch series. Narrated by P.J. Ochlan. Audiobook published by Blackstone Audio, January 2017. Run time of 14 hours and 28 minutes.

Trigger warning: Animal death D:

Well. Oh boy… I’m not sure how I feel about this one. :/

On one hand the plot was very fun. I really enjoyed the new creature crocodile that is introduced. Uh, AWESOME! I’m also a big fan of Antarctic / Vostok / other isolated cold area stories. Something about a cold, scary story UPs the creep factor of any novel by at least 20% coolness. 😀

Vostok’s story starts off interesting in getting the Scottish lads to Vostok with the big monsters and new characters introduced. I still enjoy our main character, Zach, and I was happy to see him back and revisiting his (bad?) life choices.

The same narrator from book 1 is back for Vostok. Once again, he does a pleasant job. I love his voice for Zach. It is spot on. He is pretty good at accents and gender as well. He is very easy to listen to.

HOWEVER…. things start to go sideways in some areas. Things were going well, but about halfway through, we start getting a LOT of super science info dumps! Like…. freaking string theory?! Wha-?? It’s very detailed, very long, and I often was struggling to figure out what I’m even reading about. :/

TOO MUCH detail definitely was a problem in this book! All that super detailed science talk really weighed down the plot. A. LOT. Vostok is 400+ pages! It felt wayyyyyyy too long in some spots, making it feel more like a chore to get through than a pleasant read. D: There is also a lot of animal death, in detail that was hard to get through.


On top of too much details on stuff like string theory, we have to get through numerous topics such as free will, UFOs / aliens, multi-verses / other dimensions, WTF time travel? Are we time traveling now?? Man, I just want a giant crocodile doing giant crocodile stuff!! You know? When I go see a Superman movie, do I want to watch 120 minutes of Clark Kent or do I want to see Superman doing cool shit the whole time? -.-* I had did not want to watch Zach time travel to save the human race or WHATEVER was going on here. :/ I don’t mind those themes, either, but it just felt SO out of place here in a Loch book. D:

This is the 2nd book in a row by Steve that felt too beau-coups and over booked. Dude, we don’t need every idea plus the kitchen sink. We want big creatures doing big creature things and the people trying to deal with them. That’s it. That’s all we ask for. 😦 It would be so much easier to read this one if it was trimmed up and reigned in a bit. D:


One thought on “Review: Vostok by Steve Alten

  1. I have read all of his books and get what you mean. I did enjoy the book in some parts but it got slow in others and….. confusing.

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