Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Steve Alten
Forge Books, 415 pages

Steve Alten
Steve Alten holds a master's degree in sports medicine and has a Ph.D. from Temple University. An avid amateur oceanographer, Alten has been studying Megalodons for over ten years. He lives with his wife and three children in South Florida.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: MEG

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

Sitting inside the combat information center on the Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan, Commander Rocky Jackson has been watching the sonar screen. She hears a sound that she thinks is innocent; an orca or similar creature. Her commander agrees with her, but something about the sound bothers her. Before she can figure it out, she hears an explosion and runs to find her husband, only to find he's been murdered. Working her way off the sinking carrier up to the surface, she discovers that she is one of only a handful of survivors; the twelve ship convoy sunk. She also sees Goliath, a huge sting ray-shaped submarine, one that she herself had a hand in engineering. To see it made real, and to see it set against her own people strengthens her resolution to get justice for her husband. She knows who she's going to seek out -- a man named Gunnar Wolfe. Gunnar was part of the research team that developed the Goliath, until he was arrested for stealing the schematics and selling them. He has long professed his innocence, but no one, including his then fiancée Rocky, believed him. He spent years in prison, followed by bouts of alcoholism. Now, at peace on his farm, he thinks that he can finally get on with his life. Rocky, convinced still of his guilt, forces him to help become part of a team devoted to finding the Goliath and destroying it. She gives him no choice, for she feels that she's justified in making this man give up what he's doing to go and "make things right."

Simon Covah is the man in control of the Goliath, and he is a man with a vision. He intends to use the submarine to force people to give up on their weapons of mass destruction, execute figures such as Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin-Laden, and create a utopia enforced by his submarine. He has installed an incredible AI computer called the Sorceress, who becomes self-aware, and decides to supplement Simon's plans with ideas of her own.

Gunnar is, we are pretty much lead to believe early on, innocent of the theft. He realized that Goliath was going too far, becoming too powerful. Goliath is a submarine shaped like a sting ray, and is therefore as silent as any sea creature. It learns as it goes along, and the submarine's AI controls the whole of the machine completely. He realized that an instrument of such power was too much to allow any government to have, and so he determined to place a virus in the computer to destroy the data. He is right, in some ways. Goliath is an amazing machine. Quiet and powerful, it has little mini-submarines in its hold that look like hammerhead sharks, and are capable of exploding torpedoes en route, scavenging other ships cargoes and other neat treasures. Included in the book are carefully drawn pictures of both Goliath and the mini-subs, giving the reader a much clearer idea of what these items, shaped to imitate nature yet somehow still naval-looking are like. Goliath is truly the high point of the novel, because its advanced technology forces the writer to create more ingenious ways to solve the plot problems. The action was well done, spiced with these innovations, and made for a fun read.

The idea that a man could steal such a ship and turn it on the world in order to force world peace is an intriguing one, well worth thinking over as we turn the pages of Goliath. Is it not the most tempting thought in some ways? Unfortunately, when you consider it closer, you can see why such a thing could only make the world a bleaker place.

The element that I liked the least about Goliath is the relationship between Gunnar and Rocky. Her anger and constant jumping on Gunnar for his unproven wrongs grated. I also have no idea why their romance began to flare back up... not only because she was so nasty to him through most of the book, but because if he does something else in the future, she'll likely treat him with the same contempt she poured over him here.

I would recommend this book not only to SF fans, but to people who enjoy the works of Joe Webber or Dale Brown.

Copyright © 2002 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide