MEG: HELL’S AQUARIUM by Steve Alten (Tor, pb, 512 pp, $9.99)
For this fourth novel in his blood-drenched MEG saga, Alten brings us not just one live Carcharodon megalodon, the giant, prehistoric antecedent of today’s Great White Shark, but seven of them: Angel, her ex-mate Scarface, their five daughters (Belle, Lizzy, Mary Kate, Ashley, Angelica). That’s one hungry horde. Alten also serves up a large cast of lunchable humans—many named after die-hard fans of his books who nabbed this honor in website contests by promising to promote Alten’s work. That’s marketing genius! However, a slight silliness does set in whenever Alten introduces a “character” and we get a graph recounting their (presumably true) background—and then they die two pages later or we otherwise never hear of them again.