Cover image for The trench
The trench
Alten, Steve.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Kensington Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
296 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Cataloged from uncorrected proof.
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 7.4 21 Quiz: 19674 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Its appetite is ravenous. Its teeth scalpel-sharp. Its power unstoppable as it smashes the steel doors holding it in a Monterey Aquarium. For the first time, the captive twenty-ton Megalodon shark has tasted human blood, and it wants more. Now, it's feeding time.

On the other side of the world, in the silent depths of the ocean, lies the Mariana Trench, where the Megalodon has spawned since the dawn of the time. Paleo-biologist Jonas Taylor once dared to enter this perilous cavern. And he wears the painful scars of that deadly encounter. Now, as the body count rises and the horror of a monster's attack grips the California coast, Jonas must begin the hunt again.

But to do it means returning to the dark terror of the trench...where the MEG is waiting. Using himself as a bait, Jonas will enter the ultimate battle -- a fight to the death between man and beast in the darkest recesses of the ocean, and the fight for his sanity from the depths of his own tormented soul.

Steve Alten once again unleashes the power of the MEG in a new heart-stopping thriller. "The Trench" takes us into the zone of the unknown and the primal terror of what is "down there". Tense, realistic and action-filled, it will hold you in its grip until the last chilling page...

Author Notes

Steve Alten is the writer of such thrillers as Meg, Fathom, and The Trench. While critics often find fault with his works, the books continue to be popular. Disney Productions optioned Meg, which has been described as "Jaws meets Jurassic Park" or "Jurassic Shark."

He was born in Philadelphia. As a young man he planned to become a sports coach and earned his PhD. In sports administration.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Paleobiologist Jonas Taylor has nightmares about the lives lost when he first came upon a gigantic Megalodon shark. He is also troubled that his pride in vanquishing the beast and in the eventual capture of its offspring, Angel, outweighs caution against the danger she represents. His worst fears are realized when Angel smashes through the underwater steel doors confining her to the aquarium and heads home to the Mariana Trench. Jonas reluctantly teams with his father-in-law's partners, the ruthless Benedict Singer and his beautiful and conniving protege, Celeste, to find the white shark. Benedict and Celeste have a sinister hidden agenda. The shark isn't the real objective of the mission but plays well her killer role as she winds her way from Southern California to Alaska. While Jonas struggles with survivor's guilt and the seductive tricks of Celeste, his wife, Terry, fights for her life against the sadistic manipulations of Benedict nine miles beneath the sea. Alten's follow-up of Meg (1997) is a fast-paced thriller with many plot twists. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

So how bad is this spawn of Meg, which Doubleday declined to publish (albeit perhaps in an earlier version)? About as badÄand as goodÄas its predecessor. Alten can still write a mean giant prehistoric shark scene, but he flails like a fish out of water at nearly everything else (of his #1 human villain, psycho billionaire Benedict Singer, he writes, "Benedict stood before the window, his arms outspread, emerald eyes blazing as he reveled in his glory"). It's four years after the bloody doings of Meg, and Angel, the daughter of the Carcharadon megalodon of that novel, is now terrifying tourists at a Monterey aquarium. She escapes, however, and starts eating themÄmunching on yacht-goers, a kayaker, a submarinerÄand swallows other animals, including a media-darling whale named Tootie, before she returns to her home in the Pacific's Mariana Trench. The novel isn't all d‚j…-vu shark action, though, since Alten bifurcates the narrative. While paleobiologist Jonas Taylor, who killed Meg, pursues Angel across the seas, his wife, Terry, suffers misadventures galore in the Trench as she tries to uncover exactly what that billionaire (who's in partnership with her father, who owns Angel), is up to 35,000 feet down: nasty work involving nuclear fusion supplies for terrorists, it turns out. Alten's evocation of the Trench and its dangers (including more prehistoric beasts), and of the machineryÄsubs, minisubs and a giant underwater stationÄthat would challenge them, is evocative and backed by rigorous scientific detail. His human vs. human conflict is screechingly melodramatic and his dialogue littered with exclamation points, but when Angel rolls back her eyes and opens her jaws for the kill, readers will remember with a thrill why they picked up this novel in the first place. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The Meg (Carcharodon megalodon, a really, really big shark) is back in this sequel to Meg (LJ 5/1/97), which picks up right where Alten's last killer thriller left off (in the second chapter there's even a two-page synopsis recapping the previous action and plot to bring new readers up to speed). Angel, the female offspring of the Meg killed last time around, is being held in captivity and displayed by hero Jonas Taylor and aquarium-owner Masao Tanaka. But Angel is huge and deadly; when she escapes from the aquarium, the predictable rock 'em-sock 'em mayhem ensues. So Jonas must face death and his own fears once again and return to the Marianas Trench in another attempt to rid the world of this prehistoric menace. Nearly a carbon-copy of Meg, this action-packed technothriller reads like a movie script and won't provoke many thoughts but will satisfy fans of Meg and Peter Benchley. Recommended for most fiction collections.ÄRebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.