Monday, October 17

Book Review: The Loch by Steve Alten

Author: Steve Alten
Title: The Loch
Series: Loch Series #1
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror, SciFi, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 541
Published: 2005
Where I Got It: My shelf (Goodwill)

Loch Ness holds secrets, ancient and deadly. Does a monster inhabit its depths, or is it just myth? Why, after thousands of reported sightings and dozens of expeditions, is there still no hard evidence? Marine biologist Zachary Wallace knows, but the shock of his near-drowning as a child on Loch Ness have buried all memories of the incident. Now, a near-death experience suffered while on expedition in the Sargasso Sea has caused these long-forgotten memories to re-surface. Haunted by vivid night terrors, stricken by a sudden fear of the water, Zach finds he can no longer function as a scientist. Unable to cope, his career all but over, he stumbles down a path of self-destruction…until he receives contact from his estranged father…a man he has not seen since his parents’ divorced and he left Scotland as a boy. Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander who never worked an honest day in his life, is on trial for murdering his business partner. Only Zachary can prove his innocence – if he is innocent, but to do so means confronting the nightmare that nearly killed him seventeen years earlier.

This has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. Just kept forgetting about it. Thanks to the TBR reading challenge I am finally dusting this bad boy off to read it. 

We all know the rumors and myth of Nessie the monster of Loch Ness. There have been thousands of reported sightings and dozens of expeditions...but there is no hard evidence. Marine biologist Zachary Wallace knows, but due to the shock, he suffered as a boy has buried all the memories of what he experienced. Years have passed and a near-death experience during an expedition in the Sargasso Sea has caused these forgotten memories to start bubbling back to the surface. Haunted by vivid night terrors and a sudden fear of the water, Zachary finds he can no longer function as a scientist. He is stumbling down a path of self-destruction...until he hears from his estranged father. His father is on trial for murdering his business partner, but he swears it was the legendary Nessie. Only Zachary will be able to prove his father's innocence but confront the nightmare that nearly killed him. 

Gah....I felt so bad for Zachary. He just wants to be left alone to do his science stuff. He has nearly died twice in nearly the same fashion....I can see why his body was all "NO MORE WATER!". Poor guy. 

I felt like I was on the most inconsistent roller coaster of my life. One minute I was absolutely hooked and then the next minute I was nodding off. The flow was extremely weird. 

The issue was that there were HUGE amounts of info dumping throughout. Some of it was at the beginning when going over the legend of Nessie and the history of Scotland. Yes, very helpful to get into the mindset. However, there were some LONG passages that really seemed could have been trimmed a bit. I'll be honest and I skimmed through these info-dumps. The court scenes were sometimes a huge bore. There were moments I was all "DAAAAAAAAMNNNN!!!" and had to read more. 

The mystery was deep and complicated and I loved it. I literally had no idea what was going to happen to our characters. I was super worried for everyone. The last 100 pages I couldn't put down. I had to finish!

This just needed some cleaning up. Some trimming and maybe quick summaries of some of the info. Just too much for me. 

Overall, this was pretty good. I enjoyed the mystery and the characters. The parts I liked...I loved. However, there were some huge lulls due to info-dumping. There needed to be some trimming in some parts. I'll give this 3 stars. 

- TBR Reading Challenge (#7)


Blodeuedd said...

Ohh what is there

Mary Kirkland said...

I've always been intrigued by the Loch Ness Monster. This sounds so good.

Carole Rae said...

B, no spoilers from me ma'am!

Mary, same!

Sophia Rose said...

Too bad about the inconstant pacing, but its Nessie so I'm game. :)

Carole Rae said...

Nessie is always fun! Worth it about the inconstant pacing.

Jen Twimom said...

Glad you still enjoyed even with the ups and downs. Info dumping can ruin the start of a good book.

Carole Rae said...

Yeaaaaa. I'm glad I stuck it out!