4.5 47
by Paul Zindel, Wayne McLoughlin

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Sonar screens stalk the astonishing, massive water creatures that have been sighted in a remote Vermont lake. Fifteen-year-old Loch Perkins is aboard the Revelation, a high-tech search yacht, when the first creature explodes from the deep. With deadly, frightening power, it almost devours his girlfriend, Sarah, the daughter of a wealthy

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Sonar screens stalk the astonishing, massive water creatures that have been sighted in a remote Vermont lake. Fifteen-year-old Loch Perkins is aboard the Revelation, a high-tech search yacht, when the first creature explodes from the deep. With deadly, frightening power, it almost devours his girlfriend, Sarah, the daughter of a wealthy publishing mogul. The expedition's photographer — hoping for a shot that will make his career — is not as lucky....Suddenly the hunters have become the hunted.

In the days that follow, Loch plays a deadly game to save those he loves from the jaws of these prehistoric killing machines. At the same time, he tries to prevent the creatures from being destroyed by a man who will stop at nothing to be the first to obtain proof that one of the world's most enduring legends is based upon fact.

Paul Zindel'S LOCH is an edge-of-the-chair, electrifying rite of passage — with teeth.Recently, locals near a remote, deep Vermont lake reported sighting massive water creatures. Fifteen-year-old Loch is thrilled to find himself part of an expedition to prove that one of the century's most enduring legends could indeed be based upon astonishing fact. Then, suddenly trapped at the end of the lake by a wall of skiffs, trawlers, and a high-tech search yacht, one of the dagger-toothed beasts explodes from the deep with deadly, frightening power. Now, the hunters have become the hunted. In the hours that follow, Loch must use every ounce of his courage to rescue the ones he loves from the jaws of these prehistoric killing machines—and discover a way to prevent these mysteriously intelligent creatures from beingexterminated. "Fast, furious, and masterful."—K.

1995 Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA)
1995 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)

Author Biography: Paul Zindel who won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Effects of Gamma Rays On Man-In-the-Moon Marigolds,once again draws upon his scientific background for Reef Of Death. His most recent books for Harper Collins include The Doom Stone and Loch, both Recommended books for the Reluctant YA Reader (ALA), and the tragicomic memoir The Pigman & Me, which School Library Journal said in a starred review "allows readers a glimpse of Zindel's youth, gives them insight into some of his fictional characters, and provides many examples of universal experiences that will make them laugh and cry." The Pigman & Me was both a 1993 ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a 1993 ALA Notable Children's Book.
Mr. Zindel lives in Montague, New Jersey.

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Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Anne Sherrill
Fifteen-year-old Loch embarks on high adventure as he and his sister Zaidee determine to save prehistoric sea monsters from the well-equipped army of a greedy publisher named Cavenger, who is determined to harvest one of the creatures. When threatened, these creatures are lethal, as three deaths prove. However, Loch and Zaidee earn the trust of a young plesiosaur and communicate with it. They learn that the monster cries and feels pain just as humans do. Two characters face moral decisions. Dr. Sam, a marine scientist and the widowed father of Loch and Zaidee, must decide whether to use his knowledge to set the monsters free. Loch must maintain his sense of fairness by risking his life to rescue the beasts from senseless slaughter. The early adolescent will enjoy the relentless excitement as well as learn about salmon grids, sea life, scuba diving, and human selfishness.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Zindel knows how to capture a young man's life and thoughts to perfection. Loch is Loch Ness, but it's also Luke Perkins' nickname. When Luke was six, he had an encounter with a beast at Loch Ness, but no one believed him, and by now, ten years later, the whole episode seems like a piece of childish imagining. Since then, his sister Zaidee has been born, and his mother has died. And now the family is in Vermont, where his father has joined an expedition to search for wildlife in a mountain lake. There's a mild romance, Loch's relationship with his sister and the relationship of the two kids with their father are perfect, and the blood-and-guts (literally) search for monsters is just right. The intended audience is kids in grades 6-12, but sixth graders might never go swimming again and twelfth graders might think the romance too tame. But it's a good read.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9Zindel draws on his scientific background in this story of Luke Perkins, 15, nicknamed ``Loch'' after claiming to see a lake monster as a little boy. He and his younger sister, Zaidee, join their oceanographer father on an expedition searching for enormous prehistoric creatures sighted in Lake Alban in Vermont. Their leader, Cavenger, is a ruthless despot who would just as soon annihilate as preserve the Plesiosaurs, water beasts thought to be extinct for over 10 million years. The siblings and Cavenger's daughter befriend Wee Beastie and help it and its family escape to safety; Dr. Perkins, who has been diminished in his own and his childrens' eyes by selling out his ideals in his need for money, redeems himself. The book is really about what makes a family, whether human or creature, as Loch and Zaidee adjust to their mother's death and help their father regain his self-respect. The gruesome attacks by Pleisosaurs on some humans are gory and grisly enough to satisfy even the blood-thirstiest of middle schoolers. Zindel's style capably blends descriptive, figurative language with YA dialogue.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Chris Sherman
Readers who enjoy gory horror stories will appreciate Zindel's latest, in which lovable (though human-eating) creatures trapped in a Vermont lake become prey for a ruthless man. Sixteen-year-old Loch and his sister Zaidee accompany their father, a marine scientist, on a job for Mr. Cavenger, who finances scientific expeditions. Loch expects their search for modern-day plesiosaurs to be a washout. Instead, creatures do appear, and they're vicious when annoyed. Even so, Loch, Zaidee, and Cavenger's daughter manage to befriend one of them, and when they discover that Cavenger intends to kill the beasts, they are horrified. The climax is dramatic, and the horror elements of the story are successful. As a story about kids and their fathers, however, the book doesn't work: Cavenger is despicable, and Loch's father is simply a submissive wimp.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.53(h) x 1.10(d)
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Hour of the Beast

Loch turned away from the plunging mountainside until he floated hundreds of feet above Lake Alban. He shifted his weight below the aluminum-and-canvas wings, turning the hang glider more sharply, circling. Even as the morning sun rose clear of the high ridges to the east, the lake below remained peat-laden black and grasped by the final, thin fingers of the dawn fog.

Lake Alban was profoundly cold, a sixteen-mile-long, narrow, and unspoiled lake in the rugged and sparsely populated highlands of Vermont. It had once been an arm of massive Lake Champlain to the west, carved to depths of over nine hundred feet by a mighty glacier knife. Lake Alban, like Loch Ness in Scotland, was abundant in salmon, eel, and other bottom feeders, food favorable in the eyes of a few scientists to the breeding of massive aquatic animals. But despite recent emotional TV interviews with eyewitnesses, other, more traditional scientists were only amused by tales of terrifying creatures imagined to live in remote waters.

Loch soared in his winged harness. He loved to lift the tip of the glider high above the horizon, let the glider stall, then free-fall until the wind rushed back under the wings to give him control again. He was fifteen now, a handsome, strong boy with shaggy, light-brown hair and deep-green eyes. He had changed a great deal in the years since Loch Ness, when he was the child who cried that he had seen a great water beast. Of course, his parents had smiled-somewhat nervously-and humored him about seeing the monster. It was the children from the town of Inverness who had giggled most and were thefirst to call him Loch.

The years had so clouded the memory of what had happened on that moonlit night that Loch himself spoke of it only as a childhood imagining. But there were two other events that made Loch's childhood seem many millions of light-years away. The first was the happy birth of his sister, Zaidee, who was now a handful and more than ready for the fifth grade. The second event was the sad and unthinkable death of his mother from leukemia only a year ago.

"She won't die," his father had assured him and Zaidee over and over again. "The chemotherapy is working, the marrow transplant is taking. No, your mother won't die."

But she did. On a snowy, chilling winter's day they had buried her in the family plot near a strip mine outside Star Lake, New York. Finally, now, they all accepted that she was gone forever.

The sky wind whipped Loch's shirt as he straightened out the flight of the glider high over the eastern tip of the lake. He started to raise the tip of the glider again but leveled out when he heard a plane approaching. The droning sound grew loud, then louder still, until it was earsplitting. Loch banked his glider in time to see the familiar Sea-B Amphibian burst from the towering white cloud above him. The sun exploded off the plane's fat, stainless-steel body and rear-drive propeller, blinding Loch for a moment. When he looked again, he saw his father's boss, Cavenger, at the controls. Cavenger's daughter, Sarah, was next to him, waving at Loch from the plane's outsized custom windows.

Loch had planned it like this, to be in the sky when Sarah arrived. He wanted her to see him soaring high, to show his pal how well he had learned to fly, and he was thrilled to see her smiling at him as the Sea-B circled. He quickly put his glider into a stall, then let it fall longer and faster than he had any right to.

The wind finally caught under Loch's wings again, as Cavenger dropped the Sea-B for an approach to the lake. The Amphibian came in low above the project's encampment, lording its roar over the heads of the hired crews readying the boats for the day's search. Loch knew the raucous maneuver was one more inspired gesture by Anthony Cavenger to remind all who worked for him: I pay you, I control you, I own you.

Gliding toward home base, Loch had judged the wind currents well. He scanned the desolate north shore of the lake, with its single dirt road to the old logging mill. He gave a last glance toward the massive blue basin to the west that was Lake Champlain, then glided down over the forest and smoking chimneys of the few homes that dotted the paved road south of Lake Alban. Several times in the past he had misjudged the morning convection drafts. He had fallen short and had to set his glider down on the little-traveled roadway. Today he knew he could easily make it to the field near his father's trailer. As he cleared the last patch of mist and a knoll of tall pines, he saw his sister waiting by the duck pond, waving him in.

Loch set the glider down and was out of its harness in time to catch Zaidee when she reached him. "You looked like a chicken hawk up there," she said, the strands of her bobbed hair bouncing up to her ears as she jumped. She locked her arms and swung from his neck. "When are you going to teach me to hang glide?" she asked, so wanting to be just like her big brother. "When?"

"How long have you worked for Cavenger?" the young man wanted to know as he helped move boxes of research equipment from the back of the U-Haul truck into Sam Perkins's 1978 Volvo.

"About seven years," Sam answered, just to be polite about it. Small talk with college graduates just starting to claw their way up the corporate ladder had never been his strong point.

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Meet the Author

PAUL ZINDEL (1936-2003) wrote more than 40 novels, including The Pigman, one of the best-selling young adult books of all time, and Pardon Me, You’re Stepping on My Eyeball! His Broadway play, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, won him a Pulitzer Prize and was produced as a film directed by Paul Newman.
Mr. Zindel taught high school chemistry for ten years before turning to writing full-time. His work as an author brought him to exotic destinations around the world, from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the monkey forests of Indonesia. Drawing from those experiences, he created The Zone Unknown series—packed full of horror, humor, adventure and bravery—with reluctant readers in mind. It includes six titles: Loch, The Doom Stone, Raptor, Rats, Reef of Death and Night of the Bat.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Amasso More than 1 year ago
The kids, Loch, Zaidee, and Sarah try saving the sea creature, Wee Beastie. The author's purpose was to entertain the readers and to teach the readers, if you miss with nature, nature will miss with you. I am writing this to tell other readers whether this book is worth reading or not. I think it is great, but it is sort of confusing at the beginning.The story mainly takes place at Lake Album, which is in Vermont. There is where they are trying to catch the sea creature. I judge the book by if it has a good story or not and if it has me learning new vocabulary. "We have to save Wee Beastie."This is the main points of the story using paraphrases from the text.The story takes place at a tributary lake named Lake Album, Vermont. The story is about kids trying to save a sea creature. Loch, Zaidee, and Sarah all find a creature which they named Wee Beastie. It turned out the creature was very smart and kind, but the grownups (parents of the kids) are trying to capture it. The grownups eventually found it and the kids do everything to stop them taking it away from it home. "We got to save Wee Beastie!" My thesis is that the kids protect the sea creature from the hunters or their parents. I think the book is just like many other thriller books.Now you know why this book is good. I think it is really cool how the kids are protecting the sea creature. The book had a really nice story, but it is sort of confusing at the beginning.
JSTREADER More than 1 year ago
Loch and his sister are with their father on a scientific expedition to track lake monsters. Their father's boss, Anthony Cavenger, a ruthless publishing mogul, is determined to prove that the legends are fact. Until now, it has been a fruitless exercise. But suddenly, on a routine exploration, a hideous water beast explodes out of the water, and a photographer, hoping to get the picture of a lifetime, loses his life instead. The plesiosaurs terrorize the secluded lake community, but Loch encounters a baby plesiosaur and realizes that the monsters only attack when threatened. So he risks his life-and the lives of his family and friends-to save the race of the monster.This book is mostly focusing on the myth of the loch ness monster. How the monster came to be. This book is mostly fiction but based on some true events.This book is for readers who want to know about the loch ness monster. It tells what a possible process that could happen for the monster to be created. If the make this book into a movie, which they kind of already did, it would be a great motion picture. My over all review is that I would recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a real page turner! Anyone with any interest in the mystery of the Loch Ness monster will love this book. In addition to proposing just exactly what is this mysterious creature, the story also has a great mystery, a little romance and a lot of action. I was engrossed in the story from the very first page. It also provides a little bit of Scottish history, for those interested, as well as the history of just how the myth of the monster got started in the first place. I could totally see the movie in my head as I read- it will make a perfect action blockbuster!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loch and his father are on a scientific expedition to track lake monsters in the book loch. They are trying to prove that the legendary lake monster exists. But suddenly they get attacked by two of the lake monsters! Loch¿s the first one to see the monster and Sarah, loch¿s best friend, was almost bitten by the monster. Dr. Sam is Loch¿s father. This all happens at a huge lake called Lake Champlain. This book reminds me when I was little my sister was telling me that there was a monster in my closet. But it really was a sweater! This book shows that some legends may be true. I like this book because I love scary books and also with scary books, you never know when something is going to happen. Kids 9 and up should read this book but if you like scary book .
Guest More than 1 year ago
The master of gory creature disaster brings a fast-paced thriller about a teen trapped chasing water myths, an egotistical madman determined to prove the existence of such things, and a massive, bloodthirsty plesiosaur trying to stay alive. It falls to Loch to keep the great creatures from being destroyed, as well as being torn apart by the jaws of doom. While this is a great book, it has nothing on such books as Doomstone and Raptor. For a Zindel beginner, I reccomend Loch
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loch is an exciting, scary, sad, and sometimes nasty book. It's filled with suspence, you are always wondering what will happen next. One characterisic of Science Fiction in this novel is the monsters living in the lake. Right now we don't know of any but in the far future there might be. To me, the best part of the novel was when Loch found Wee Beastie. This was good because it showed that the monsters aren't always mean. I would definatly recommend this book to someone with a lot of curisoity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Zindell makes a great all around story involving the quest to find the Lochness Monster, the life of a teenage boy, and the wonders of having your own pet.I liked the novel, because it has some very cool and exciting parts throughout the story. It sometimes got boring. The author did a great job of making it adventrous, and showing how hard it can be losing things you care about. I recommend this novel to someone who likes fantasy and adventure. It has a lot of action and a lot of Science Fiction. Loch, the main character in the novel, is a good person and will make the story fun and exciting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Zindel writes an action/adventure novel that includes friendship,lonely,and furious tone of voice.In the novel,Loch,his sister,and Sara try to protect the plesiosaur family from being killed by Sara's dad Cavenger.The message in Loch is to believe that you can make a difference in the world.I recommend Loch to young adult readers who love adventure novels!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Zindel writes an action packed novel for someone who likes suspense. Every time the ¿Rogue¿ comes you can hear the theme song to jaws play in your head. My favorite part of this book was when the Rogue killed Cavenger. I would really recommend this novel to someone else because, I really enjoyed it. Paul Zindel did a really nice job of writing a action packed suspenseful novel. Loch is a science fiction novel. A few hints on this is because somewhere in the ocean or a deep lake there might actually lay a Pre-historic beast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Zindel's Loch is an jaw droping action packed novel.About Luke Perkins, 15, nicknamed 'Loch' must use every single ounce of his courage he has to save the people that he loves from the jaws of monsterous prehistoric killing machines also discover a way to keep these mysterious but intelligent creatures from being exterminated of the face of the earth.This novel has feelings of bravery,love,worried,and scared.I would recommend this book to young adult readers that love exciting,hart pounding,and masterful action and adventure novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
15 year old Luke Perkins is nicknamed Loch after an encounter when he was 5 with a water creature. Who knew 10 years later the memory would come back to haunt him. His father's greedy boss will stop at nothing to capture one of these creatures. But it soon turns to tragedy, while out exploring a young photographer loses his life trying to get a good shot. Loch befriends a baby pliesiosaur wich he names Wee Beastie. With the help of his sister Zaidee and friend Sarah Loch won't stop untill he knows that Wee Beastie and his family are safe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zindel takes a peaceful lake, a beautiful setting and sticks a family of giant, flesh-eating, prehistoric beasts in it! This guy can write!But what tops it off, is the baby plesiosaur!He makes it cute and cudly and...'awwww'. Though it has rows of pain in its mouth, it's only a baby, right? Still, though Loch and Zaidee protect it, it is found by a power hungry man on an expedition for lake monsters! So... if you want bloody, gory, edge of your seet action, read Loch!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a science fiction novel filled with adventurous stories about Loch Perkins' encounters with the Loch Ness monster. I didn't especially like this book because I don't enjoy reading about non-existing creatures, but if you do, then this is the book for you! The author of this book did a great job giving descriptions of the different situations that occur with the Loch Ness monster. It makes it a whole lot easier to get a visual aid when there are enough details to establish the scene.I would recommend this book to young readers with big imaginations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Zindel's Loch, is one of the most interesting novel I have ever read. With a ton of action scenes, and emotional scenes. This novel is about the Loch Ness monster. A boy names Loch has a father who works for a man who goes on a lot of expaditions, but on they will never forget.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this novel is good for people who have strong stomachs because of all the blood and gore involved in this novel. People who luv action, romance, and a lot of suspence will pull the readers into the novel. I think this is a fantasy book because it may be true about the Lochness monster and it may not be, but it could be true because we might be able to clone or combine other animals to make a monster simmlar to the Lochness. One think i know is that it ccan cause a lot of trouble!! I recommend this novel because of the novels 'feeling' you will feel like you are in the book its self. Once you start reading you wont be able to stop! There are little hints through out the book about the secrets of the Lochness. I beet many people may relate to the many characters in this story one way or a nother. ^__^
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loch is a gripping, action packed, thriller that will sink it's teeth into you and won't let go. Zindel has once again created a masterful and suspenseful thriller. The author was able to paint a very descriptive picture of the setting in the readers mind. He also did a wonderful job of bringing the characters personalties to life. For those who love to read fantasy, I recommend this book to you. I give Loch 5 stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this novel Mr. Zindel was extremely creative. He made it exciting, interesting, and adventurous. It expresses romance, friendship from man to creature, adventure, and even a little fantasy. I would classify this novel as Science Fiction because it is possible to find mysterious creatures, yet not gentle or trusting unknown creatures. My favorite part of this novel would be when Zaidee and Loch discover and befriend 'Wee Beastie'. I would definately recommend this book to fellow students, but most likely only to the ones with more imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is an amazing novel with a great plot and problem.The detail is very precise.This is a very exciting novel for anyone to read.The best part of this novel is when the monster attacks the boat and sinks 'The Cat'.The worst part of this novel is when Loch and his sister have to stay away from the lake.That part is boring and uneventful.This book is more Science Fiction than Fantasy because the monsters are said to look like the Loch Ness Monster that is believed to live in Loch Ness Lake.I would recommend this book because when I read this book it kept me entertained every minute. The book leaves you hanging as every chapter goes by and the excitement never ends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Zindel wrote a great action,suspense, and mystery book. Loch tells about an expedition to prove that an aold legend about the Loch Ness monster is true. But what happens when the camera man Erdon gets eaten by somthing thought to be extinct for over 10 million years? so if you're looking for a great action and suspense novel it is Loch. the book keeps you hanging after every chapter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have read from him. It was the first I read too. I'm only in middle school and i've read it three times already. Haven't got tired of it yet. Who would?!?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much. it's great. READ IT! it was the second book i red of his. and I have to say thanks to you Ms. Cravens, for telling it was a good book and that I should read it since i like the book The Doom Stone. it's so real you can't put it down. all of Paul Zindel's are great. read them. Paul Zindel is my Fav. author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loch a very good book you will be very eager to turn the page and keep reading. Also red paul zindels newist book The scream musam
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loch was a great read I couldn't put it down
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loch is full of excitement. it has plenty of mixed emotions ranging from danger to sadness. I recommend this book to any avid reader who loves to sit down and read a good book.