Between the Lines Descent to Danger
Can you handle the pressure?
Marine biologist Zachary Wallace gained notoriety as the man who discovered the Loch Ness Monster. Fame is a fickle thing, though, and when the tourists stop visiting Loch Ness, Wallace is shunned. His marriage is on shaky ground and his future uncertain, but there is another lake. And something even more dangerous awaits. Best-selling author Steve Alten’s new novel “Vostok” (Rebel Press, 2015, $24.95) tells of Wallace’s journey to the depths of Lake Vostok, which is hidden beneath the ice of East Antarctica for more than 15 million years.
Following the discovery of the fossilized remains of two giant prehistoric creatures in the ice of Antarctica, an expedition through the ice to Lake Vostok is planned. Needing an expert marine biologist, they call on Zachary Wallace, whose study of the Loch Ness Monster makes him a natural choice. Using specialized lasers to make a path through the ice, a mini-sub carrying Wallace, the pilot, and a beautiful Chinese scientist makes its way to Lake Vostok. The oversized hungry predators they encounter aren’t terribly surprising, since the book cover features a fierce-looking caiman, but something even more surprising awaits Wallace in the recesses of the massive sub-Antarctic cavern. And the future of human civilization hinges on his actions.
“Vostok” is the sequel to “The Loch” and the Florida writer’s latest work—and it does not disappoint. His fast-paced stories feature giant prehistoric creatures, but he takes the time to develop characters that a reader can care about. Zachary Wallace is a three-dimensional character with real flaws and fears and he faces unbelievable obstacles in a very human fashion. If you like over-the-top action with down-to-earth characters, pick up “Vostok.” You’ll be glad you did.
Best-selling author Steve Alten is the founder of Adopt-An-Author, a program that works with teachers to encourage kids to read. He lives in south Florida with his family.