Book Review: Vostok by Steve Alten

71PUCDyNugLI’ve been lucky enough to be asked to join in on a Book Blog Tour for Vostok by the prolific science fiction adventure author, Steve Alten.  The blog tour was organized by the good folks at iRead Book Tours.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t familiar with him before they contacted me either, but after doing a little research, I can tell you that this guy has kept himself busy.  His Adopt-an-Author program alone seems to be doing a lot of good in getting unique titles into schools for kids to read.

But, this isn’t about the author, this is about his newest book, Vostok…a book that I’m happy to announce is quite amazingly good, especially if you’re someone like me who appreciates a good Crichton-esque science fiction read.

However, before I get into my review of the book, here’s a few words from Mr. Alten himself:

My name is Steve Alten and I am a NY Times and international best-selling author of fictional thrillers. My new release is called VOSTOK. In writing VOSTOK, I spent over twenty hours interviewing Dr. Steven M. Greer, the world’s foremost authority on Extraterrestrial Intelligence Last week, Obama Advisor John Podesta revealed that his biggest regret since leaving office was “keeping the UFO issue a secret.”

Woven into Vostok is Dr. Greer’s darkest secrets about a Cabal made up of the four largest banks which also own and operate the four largest oil companies. These cartels work hand-in-hand with the defense industry and orchestrate the wars which finance their entities. They own every major newspaper, magazine, radio, and television network which allows them to black out news stories that run counter to their enterprises. The Cabal operates by its own set of rules; Congress has no oversight over their budget or knowledge of their actions. When inquiries are made people turn up dead, and no rank is too high to be assassinated. CIA director William Colby agreed to support Greer’s investigation – until his body turned up in the Potomac River. That was a warning to Clinton and other members of the Cabal who might think of defecting. President Obama received his warning while in Norway to receive his Nobel Prize. On December 9, 2009, MJ-12 fired off a scaler burst over Oslo from one of their satellite weapons. A scaler weapon uses gravitic waves to vaporize targets, and the Norway blast left behind a blue spiral in the night sky that was witnessed by thousands. Obama was put on notice that he may be president, but the Cabal is still in charge. This group has one singular objective – to acquire ET technologies for weapons applications while keeping a tight lid on clean, unlimited power generating systems which would essentially solve the planet’s energy crisis but put the fossil fuel industry out of business. Vostok exposes everything!

In writing VOSTOK, I spent over twenty hours interviewing Dr. Steven M. Greer, the world’s foremost authority on Extraterrestrial Intelligence Last week, Obama Advisor John Podesta revealed that his biggest regret since leaving office was “keeping the UFO issue a secret.” Dr. Greer was the person who provided the extensive briefing to John Podesta on UFOs shortly after President Obama took office in 2009. Dr. Greer left his career as an emergency room physician to dedicate his life to persuading military and government officials to come clean about UFO sightings; not just to convince the public they were real and meant us no harm, but because he knew the military industrial complex had been suppressing extraterrestrial technologies that could supply society with an endless supply of free, clean energy. In 1993, Greer had met with a group of military advisors to find a way to poke holes in the dam of secrecy and disinformation that had obscured the truth about extraterrestrial contacts since 1947.

See more here- http://news.yahoo.com/outgoing-obama-adviser-john-podesta-s-biggest-regret-of-2014–keeping-america-in-the-dark-about-ufos-234149498.html

As you can plainly see…if you like conspiracy theories, this book will do more than whet your appetite.

Vostok works as a bit of a crossover title between two of Alten’s other works (one being a series, the other being a separate book).  I obviously haven’t read any of those, but it didn’t matter to my enjoyment of the book here, although I definitely got enough of an idea of the basics of those previous titles.  In fact, The Loch, which I think works as a more direct previous book to Vostok, is about a guy finding the Loch Ness Monster…and if you know anything about me and cryptozoology…well, you know that this is my kind of game.  Might have to pick up a copy when the to-read pile lightens a bit more.

But, let’s get on to the actual review:

Alten’s latest masterpiece, Vostok, might not be quite the thing you want to read as you’re trudging your way through the last few weeks of February and eagerly awaiting the warmer months to come about, but that doesn’t make it any less of a wonderful enjoyment to read.  Sure, the bulk of this book might take place in Antarctica, causing readers to be constantly reminded of the absolutely frigid temperatures outside (which, at the time of reviewing this for publication, isn’t actually that cold…), but all of those connections are quickly severed as you are brought into Alten’s mysterious world of Miocene monsters still living, and active, and hungry, in the world today.

On the surface, readers might recognize a lot of Crichton’s work within the style of writing Alten produces.  We see a highly action-packed tale filled with tons of scientific facts to back up the more absurd concepts.  But Alten really takes this genre into his own by opening his world up to so much more than one specific idea.  Here we see a fully developed globe where incredible feats of scientific research are being performed everywhere and by everyone, and we get to have these little glimpses into the amazing things that people are learning about the very world we live in.

However, this ain’t no book of facts and figures, this is a book of purely thrilling action and completely incredible situations that will cause you to be flipping pages long past the time you know you were supposed to go to sleep.  Heck, not many books will kill off their main characters.  Alten seems to like to do this as many times as possible.

You don’t need to have an interest in marine biology or undersea monsters to enjoy this book, all you simply need to have an interest in is great storytelling and a healthy dose of action and adventure.  Besides, once you get deeper into this book, you’ll quickly find that there’s much more going on under the surface (see what I did there?  you know…because they go under the ice…), leading to a shady conspiratorial world of even further questions.

This book really has pretty much everything you could possibly ask for from a book written with the typical male in mind, giving it my official stamp of Dude Lit.

Check it out!

On a side note, I see that Alten is sometimes criticized for loose research, causing shoddy recognition of scientific facts.  I’m no scientist, and definitely no expert in the fields being discussed within the pages of this book.  I can say, however, that he does a good enough job of supporting his ideas with scientific concepts that my own personal suspension of disbelief was never in danger of faltering.  And I think that’s about the best you can ask for from any book, IMO.

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