The Trench by Steve Alten was originally published in 1999. My hardcover copy has 296 pages. This is the second book in Alten's Meg series. I specifically went looking for The Trench to pass it along to my nephew, Movie Dude, who will like it as much as he liked Meg because it reads like a made-for-tv movie, and that is OK. The Trench is an entertaining book full of exciting escapism and action that would have actually made a fun summer vacation read, or airplane book. I actually think it's a better book than Meg. It has it all: prehistoric creatures, good guys, villains, shark attacks. Alten does a nice job bringing readers up to speed on the story so you don't even need to read Meg in order to enjoy The Trench, should you happen to stumble across a copy. No rating on this one - it was for fun.
Synopsis from cover:
Its appetite is ravenous. Its teeth scalpel-sharp. Its power unstoppable as it smashes the steel doors holding it in a Monterey, California aquarium. For the first time the captive twenty-ton Megalodon shark has tasted human blood, and it wants more.
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 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 that means returning to the dark terror of the trench... where the Meg is waiting. Using himself as bait, Jonas will enter the ultimate battle - a fight to the death between man and beast in the darkest recesses of the ocean... and a fight for his sanity from the depths of his own tormented soul.
"Retired Navy deep-sea pilot Barry Leace wiped the sweat from his palms as he checked the depth indicator of the Proteus." first sentence
"Four years earlier, through man's intervention, Carcharodon megladon, a prehistoric sixty-foot species of Great White shark, had risen from this very trench to wreak havoc." pg. 3
"Jonas stared at the monitor. A mintes passed, and then a white blur shot past the camera, accelerating toward the gateway faster than a tractor trailer, moving at more than one hundred feet per second." pg. 16
"You want me to stop living in fear? Let's drain the lagoon and kill the... monster before it escapes." pg. 19
"A minute later, she fell into a restless sleep, unaware of the trail of black fingerprints she had left along the porthole wall." pg. 52
"Too weak to care, he shut his eyes and continued rising through the trail of his own blood, buoyed by what little air remained in his BCD vest." pg. 59