12.21 by Dustin Thomason
Date Read: September 2012
Genre: Fringe Thriller, Thriller
From the co-author of the two-million copy mega-bestseller The Rule of Four comes a riveting thriller with a brilliant premise based on the 2012 apocalypse phenomenon—perfect for readers of Steve Berry, Preston and Child, and Dan Brown.
For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end.
In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see. Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, is interrupted by a desperate, unwelcome visitor from the black market antiquities trade who thrusts a duffel bag into her hands.
By the end of the day, Stanton, the foremost expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds and terrifies him. And Chel, the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, has possession of an illegal artifact that has miraculously survived the centuries intact: a priceless codex from a lost city of her ancestors. This extraordinary record, written in secret by a royal scribe, seems to hold the answer to her life’s work and to one of history’s great riddles: why the Maya kingdoms vanished overnight. Suddenly it seems that our own civilization might suffer this same fate.
With only days remaining until December 21, 2012, Stanton and Chel must join forces before time runs out.
Publisher: Random House
Read for Review (Edelweiss)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.50
Character Rating: 4.50
First Thought When Finished: 12.21 by Dustin Thomason was brilliantly written, scary in premise, and wildly imaginative!
Story Thoughts: Dustin Thomason has managed to weave a story that on the surface seems a little bit like “Outbreak” (more the book than the movie). There is a disease that may or may not have been originally introduced through contact with an animal (though ingestion in this case). Very quickly though 12.21 takes a completely different turn. The characters are taken through a labyrinth of scenarios for source and the reader is taken through a series of scenarios that keep us guessing. 12.21 is a great mix of different story-telling methods that work: history (Mayan), science, and emotions. How would they all play together in a real world scenario? That is something you will be asking yourself as you read along.
Character Thoughts: Dr. Gabriel Stanton is a prime example of a man who lives for his work and he is good at it too. He is a bit of a tunnel vision guy: recognize a breakout, put things into effect, and really his way is the right way. I found him to be complicated in some aspects and relatively simple in others. There are people like him in the world and honestly if something bad is happening, they are the people I want working on it (I just don’t necessarily want to work with them). Chel Manu is the other main character in 12.21. She is a woman on a mission to save the Mayan culture and preserve their history. Though the story starts out with her making a very damning choice of withholding information, I do believe her choices are made with the best intentions. She is passionate about what she does and she ends up being very integral in the overall story. Together Stanton and Manu make a very determined team and Dustin Thomason did a great job of making their chemistry very organic!
Final Thoughts: 12.21 by Dustin Thomason is a story that will make you think! For me, personally, I will never look at insomnia the same way again!