18 September, 2009

Review: The Loch, by Steve Alten

"It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."

The Loch (2005) [US][UK], by Steve Alten, is a stand-alone novel in which, similar to his Meg series, water plays an important role. I posted about The Loch in my Weekly Roundup, and now the time has come to offer you my review of a book, that is apparently several books in one: part travel guide, part history book, part action thriller, and part mystery novel.

The Setup

This is the story of Zachary Wallace - a young and famous marine biologist born in Drumnadrochit, Scotland. It is also the story of Loch Ness, in Scotland, and its mysterious inhabitants. After a nightmarish event in the Sargasso Sea, Zachary returns to the place of his youth - Loch Ness and its surroundings. In a fast paced story, he must discover the mystery of Loch Ness, save his father from jail, face his greatest fear, and conquer his destiny.

My Take in Brief

Steve Alten gives us a fast-paced thriller with plenty of action. The chapters are separated by quotes from personal sightings of the mythical creature - better known as "Nessie" - since the 1930's. The story is interspersed with colorful excerpts of ancient history - meet the Knight Templars, Sir James the Good, Sir Richard Wallace and many more. The Scottish dialect used by the people living around Loch Ness - a challenge for oll non Scottish readers - gives the story a realistic and earthy feel. And, the explanation of the mystery of Loch Ness is one of the best I have read, thanks to a wealth of the scientific background and knowledge.
All in all, The Lock is a riveting read. I will admit that since I read the book, I have an intense desire to visit Loch Ness, but I won't be going out on the water!

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

This time my inner book critic and I have not had a very long discussion. It was more like a ping-pong match. "You like Scotland?" "Of course you silly bone!" "Interested in the myth of Nessie?" "Come on, that is more than a myth." "Fortunately you don't suffer from aquaphobia." "Why?" "In this case you should avoid a visit to Loch Ness." "What do you know about Scottish history?" "More than you, but not enough!"
To keep it short: When you like a story with following ingredients - action, history, myth, scientific background, a pinch of love, family ties, rites, nature, phobia, a splash of humor, sensation mongering, Scottish-accented language, geology, crypto-zoology, - well, then you should definitely read The Loch.


Don't forget to visit the official Nessie site. If you can't picture the surroundings of Loch Ness, then have a look at this picture gallery. And finally, don't forget to visit the offical The Loch site where you can find information about the scientific knowledge in the book.


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I picked this up at a used book sale a while back. I have several books by Alten, but have only read Meg. I was glad to see your review. I thought this looked like a good read and I've always been fascinated by Loch Ness. I'm definitely going to move it up in my enormous TBR pile!

ediFanoB said...

I assume your TBR pile is as enormous as my pile (Around 170 unread books :-) ).

Would you be so kind as to share your impression about Meg with me? After reading The Loch I started to think about to read more Steve Alten books.

viagra said...

I've heard a many stories about the Loch Ness's monster, so I don't believe in any one of them because imagine that animal had died because it doesn't have anything to eat there.m10m

www.lamparas.biz said...

I believe one and all must look at it.