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Review of Vostok, Interview with Steve Alten, and Book Giveaway

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Vostok

After reading Vostok by Steve Alten, the sequel to The Loch, all I can say is what a trip! After nearly drowning for a second time when trying to purge Loch Ness of Nessie in the last book, marine biologist Zachary Wallace goes on a mind-bending journey in a submersible tethered to a laser to Lake Vostok in East Antartica, unexplored for fifteen million years, where he encounters Mesozoic life, including an enormous crocodile, and an alien intelligence. In the end, Zach finds he can’t trust his government or the military, only his family from Drumnadrochit, the highland area of Scotland.

 

This sci-fi thriller never lets up, punishing the protagonist more and more as he goes forward for the greater good. Just when you think it can’t get more bizarre, Alten pushes the envelope even more, just as he did in The Loch. I give this killer book five stars out of five, and I recommend it to anyone looking for an eerie, action-packed novel.

 

Steve Alten

 

INTERVIEW WITH STEVE ALTEN:

 

1. How did you get into writing?

 
I was struggling to find a career back in 1995 and came across a TIME Magazine article featuring the Mariana Trench. The article stirred my imagination and I married the location with my favorite creature of all time – MEGALODON, the 60 foot prehistoric great white shark. Six months late I had a raw manuscript. Five months after that, I had an agent, a polished novel, and a two-book deal with Bantam-Doubleday.

 
2. What’s your favorite book, and why?

 
My favorite Alten book? Really impossible to say. I enjoy them all. But MEG was the most important. I just went back and rewrote the entire book, combining it with the never-released-in-print prequel, MEG: Origins. The limited edition is being sold at www.RebelPress.com and is a completely different read. Maybe that’s my favorite.

 
3. An early scene in The Loch terrified me. Are you into horror at all?

 
All of my thrillers have elements of horror in them.

 
4. What’s your favorite genre, or do you love more than one?

 
Fictional thrillers.

 
5. I loved The Loch, about the Loch Ness Monster, and Vostok, about a giant crocodile, but’s also about much more. I’m guessing research for Vostok took a long time. Could you elaborate on how the book was researched?

 
A ton of research was necessary. Getting the science right is very important to me. To enable my characters to access Vostok, I contacted Bill Stone of Stone Aerospace, the company that is designing a drone to access the frozen seas on the Jupiter moon, Europa. Bill was incredibly helpful, enabling the Vostok journey to be feasible. Then there’s research about the lake itself, and the monsters, and the ET…

 
6. Tell me about the Meg series and the Domain trilogy.

 
The MEG series centers around Carcharodon megalodon, the 60-70 foot long, 30 ton prehistoric cousin of the Great White shark. DOMAIN is the first book in a trilogy about the Mayan Calendars doomsday prophecy. The hero, Michael Gabriel, is locked up in a Miami insane asylum, diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic. He must convince his new intern, Dominique Vasquez that the world is about to end so she’ll help him escape. Book two is Resurrection, book three is PHOBOS: Mayan Fear. The series is known as El Testamaneto Maya in Spanish and was a number one best-seller in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina.

 
7. Is there a possibility of movies based on The Loch and Vostok?

 
The LOCH has been optioned. If the movie is made and is a hit, I’m sure we’ll see Vostok.

 
8. Do you plan on venturing into any other genres?

 
I actually wrote a laugh-out-loud comedy called Dog Training the American Male, under the pen name L.A. Knight. The story centers around Dr. Nancy Beach, a relationship counselor who hosts a local radio show called Love’s a Beach. One problem: The relationship guru can’t seem to make her own relationships work, sending her credibility and ratings into the toilet. When her new boyfriend brings home a 120 pound German Shepherd. Nancy flips out . . . until she realizes the dog trainer’s techniques can be used to housebreak her boyfriend. That begins a wild hilarious social experiment that every couple and dog owner can identify with.

 
9. What’s a typical day as far as your writing?

 
Not sure there are any typical days anymore. A focused day has me exercising in the morning, answering email, then writing thru lunch up until dinner. I used to write from midnight until 3am, but my wife works full-time now and I must rise earlier to take my son to school.

 
10. What are your goals or ideas for novels in the future? Any screenwriting?

 
I’m tossing around two very different ideas for thrillers and debating which one to write first. I’m also hoping for a big MEG movie announcement soon.

 

Thanks so much for Steve Alten for my free copy of the book and for giving me an interview, and let’s not forget the giveaway of fifty signed print copies of Vostok on Steve Alten’s homepage. Go there and enter. What have you got to lose? Here’s the link:

 

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/blog—current-tours/book-tour-vostok-by-steve-alten

 

Vostok Tour Schedule:

March 16 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway
March 16 – Horror Maiden’s Book Reviews – review / author interview
March 17 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
March 17 – Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist – review / guest post
March 18 – Back Porchervations – review / author interview / giveaway
March 18 – The All Night Library – review / guest post
March 19 – Hello, my name is Alice – review / guest post
March 19 – Girl With Camera – review / giveaway
March 20 – So, I Read This Book Today – review / author interview / giveaway
March 20 – Steve Lionel – Top Amazon Reviewer – review 
March 23 – The Eloquent Page – review
March 23 – A. R. Braun Horror Author – review / author interview / giveaway
March 24 – She Treads Softly – review
March 24 – Room With Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
March 25 – Life as Leels – review 
March 25 – Pinky’s Favorite Reads – book spotlight
March 26 –Luxury Reading – review / giveaway
March 27 – JBronder Book Reviews – review / author interview
March 30 – Space and Sorcery – review / guest post
March 31 – Books, Bones and Buffy – review / guest post / giveaway
April 1 – 
fundinmental – review / author interview / giveaway
April 1 – Nighttime Reading Center – review / author interview / giveaway
April 2 – Pure Jonel – review / author interview / giveaway
April 2 – Library of Clean Reads – review / author interview / giveaway
April 3 – fuonlyknew – review / author interview / giveaway
April 6 – The Earthian Hivemind – review
April 7 – Amia Book Lover – review
April 7 – Brooke Blogs – review / guest post / giveaway
April 8 – Boom Baby Reviews – review / author interview / giveaway
April 9 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / giveaway
April 10 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review / giveaway

April 10 – Beauty in Ruins – review / author interview

Book Synopsis:

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.

Author’s Bio: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.
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