Read 12-21 by Dustin Thomason Online


An ancient prophecy foretells that the world will end on 21 December 2012 . . .In Central America, a treasure hunter discovers a Maya relic - a mysterious and ornate codex - but when he smuggles it into the US, he brings with him an old and deadly secret . . . Early in December 2012, the codex comes to Chel Manu, a Maya world authority. She is torn between the chance to trAn ancient prophecy foretells that the world will end on 21 December 2012 . . .In Central America, a treasure hunter discovers a Maya relic - a mysterious and ornate codex - but when he smuggles it into the US, he brings with him an old and deadly secret . . . Early in December 2012, the codex comes to Chel Manu, a Maya world authority. She is torn between the chance to translate the codex herself and her duty to alert the authorities. Meanwhile, in an LA hospital, an unknown man is dying of a rare, contagious disease. When Dr Gabriel Stanton is called in, he realises that this is no ordinary infection - and it will spread uncontrollably. Stanton and Chel must race to decipher the codex's secrets and prevent the prophesised apocalypse . . ....

Title : 12-21
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780718193959
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 402 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

12-21 Reviews

  • Jesse
    2019-04-17 11:19

    First of all, this was not a terrible book.So why only 1 star? Lets just say that I had a really hard time with the ending. Here's the scenario (major spoiler alert, obviously):The main male and female characters, a doctor and museum curator, respectively, have gone to the deep jungle of Guatemala to find the source of a nearly apocalyptic prion infection. Along the way she is attacked and contaminated. This greatly distresses him since, of course, he is madly in love with her at this point. They finally reach the ancient tomb where the infection originated. She is practically dead at this point. He makes a wild deductive leap/guess at an antidote for the infection, which of course is beech bark. He runs outside and conveniently finds several beech trees growing within a few steps of the tomb entrance. He grabs bark, twigs, and leaves and runs back in. He crushes up these various tree parts, dissolves them in a saline and enzyme solution (?!?) and injects them into her. But of course, this prion infection lives in the brain, so he has to see if this miracle remedy has penetrated the blood brain barrier. So then he quickly performs a spinal tap (double groan), prepares some blood smears and quickly examines them under a microscope revealing a total lack of beech molecules (?!?!?!?!). All of this, remember, in a ruined tomb in the deep jungle where this same doctor was afraid to even enter without a biohazard suit and helmet. Discouraged, the doctor begins to think about losing his new found love, and the torment of having to bury her and burn incense for her... And suddenly he has the solution! He has to burn beech tree parts and hold her eyes open over the smoke so that the antidote can enter her brain through her retinas! Of course! And then we cut to a year later, when the happy couple is tending to all the many orphans left behind by this terrible infection.The medical professional in me died about 40 times during the ending of this book, which was what I was wishing upon all of the characters at that point.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-04-24 16:04

    12.21 was an entertaining read. I never got bored, that's for sure. I'm not big on the whole Mayan Prophecy thing, so I normally wouldn't run to read this sort of thing. However, Random House offered a giveaway for the Action/Adventure Aficionados group, so I decided to give it a try. I am glad I did. What I liked:* I love medicine, so medical dramas in various incarnations almost always appeal. The whole concept of an epidemic illness arising out of a connection to an ancient Maya tomb and civilization, and related to the Mayan Prophecy was a unique approach. I liked the characters' race to find out what the etiology of the infection was and how to combat it. There was a real sense of urgency and I felt my pulse racing as I read. History is another favorite subject, so there's a good combination here. * This was quite readable. The narrative was cohesive between modern day and flashbacks to the ancient Maya times (900AD), and there was a sense of steady progression in this story that I appreciated, especially for a suspense-driven book. *I like that the author didn't slow down the story too much with excessive explanations, but the Maya cultural elements seemed well-researched and the science was fairly credible (except one heinous element below that I must rant about).*Sadly, I knew little about the indigenous Maya descendants of Guatemala. That was very interesting to read about their thriving community in LA (assuming that it's real). Also, I wasn't aware of the situation with the indigenous people in Guatemala. It's always good to learn about different peoples and their struggles, and it will make me more sensitive about their plight. What could have been better:*Okay, I have a mini rant. The scene with the slaughterhouse/meat processing factory is so unrealistic it's insulting and laughable. The things that occur in that facility would never happen. I know for certain. They had serious food safety issues going on, including commingling of meat ingredients and use of products that definitely are not approved for meat production or use in the United States. Then the author made a point of saying that kids eat that product. A lot of inspectors work very hard to make sure that products safe for consumption make it on the shelves, and that was offensive to the hard work they put in and the many safety checks that meat plants have to follow in their food safety system. One could argue that maybe that facility was not under government oversight, but the author made a point of mentioning the USDA, so I know it was. And let's be clear that is not going to happen in a federally inspected facility. I don't mind the line between fiction and reality blurring in appropriate settings. This wasn't one. For a medical science drama, I expect more realistic and credible use of information in a story. Fortunately, I was able to get over my disgust with this and keep reading the book, but it affected my rating without a doubt.*I didn't feel a heavy sense of connection to any of the main characters. The storyline itself was more interesting to me. Towards the end, the sense of urgency for their situation did hit me, but I can't say I fell in love with anyone in this novel. Overall Thoughts:*A pretty good, readable, suspenseful novel. I liked the mix of ancient civilizations and treasure hunting with modern medical science. There were a couple of pitfalls that lowered my rating, but overall, it was a worthwhile read, especially for those interested in the Endtime Mayan Prophecy and Meso-American ancient civilizations. For a quick-read medical suspense story with some ancient connections, this is a pretty good one to pick up.Overall Rating: 3.75/5.0 stars.A special thanks to Random House for the opportunity for members of the Action/Adventure Aficionados to read this novel.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-04-19 13:53

    Well....I know if you've read many of my reviews you've seen that opening before, and you probably know what it means.Well, this one escapes a 2 rating barely. I like the main plot line. It's one I've seen elsewhere and so close to the real world that it's not really a strain to accept it (or something like it). I can't say more outside a spoiler tagged section.So, good "plot line" but from there on there are (for me) not a lot of bright spots. While the plot is a good one the plot devices used to bolster it and carry it forward aren't really that great. The characters are a bit shallow and lightly drawn and I never got involved with them (and the female protagonist is frankly annoying). I found so much of the book predictable (when it happens you have that "I saw that coming way back" feeling).I don't know I ended up skimming part of the book and that usually signals that I'm not going to go above 2 stars, but I was curious to see how the novel tied up.I can't really recommend this one, at least not highly. Many like it so I'd suggest you look over some other thoughts on the book. Have you agreed with me in the past? might help to know. I mean if you've loved books I don't like or disliked books I love that may tell you something to. :)Now if you plan to read the book know that the spoilers below are actual spoilers. Don't read it if you don't want some details about the story.(view spoiler)[ So, what did I like.'s a plague. I suspect that a global pandemic is not all that far fetched. Now the type of plague and some of the things we're told I'd like to really know about. The idea that prions were so hard to get rid of was something I had to look up. Still it's a frightening scenario (think airborne Mad-Cow). So, that was interesting.The other parts of the book I found less involving. The self righteous female lead put my teeth on edge. This may be because I've seen (and grown up with) her like. Mom moves away from a village so daughter won't have to scrape a living from the fields and the jungle. She goes (legally) where daughter can have flush toilets, central heat and air, a college education (and get her doctorate)...this is not to mention things like clean, safe, plentiful food, antibiotics, recorded music, books, etc., etc. Believe me I grew up in the country and didn't start life with a flush toilet...out houses are rustic and look good in oil paintings. In real life they have a very interesting smell, are dark at night, cold in the winter (and I mean VERY cold)... I'll keep my flush toilet. I had relatives who didn't have electricity. Nights are dark. So daughter grew up in the evil industrialized country (while mom worked and provided all this of course) and she judges mom telling her she's abandoned her "roots" and "the ways of her people". Even when said protagonist realizes she's done wrong to her mother she nobly stays in the "old village" least for a while.Okay rant over. (hide spoiler)] The book's okay, the plot's good, the characters are weak, a lot of the plot devices are pretty cliched... Maybe just me. Compare thoughts maybe you'll decide differently on this one. Not really one I find memorable.

  • Richard Gazala
    2019-04-12 14:15

    The vast majority of fictional entertainment (and lots of psuedo-science masquerading as unassailable fact) addressing the Mayan Long Count calendar's ancient imputed prediction that civilization as we know it will end on December 21, 2012, pivots on the fantastic. If humanity's impending annihilation doesn't have its origins in climatic cataclysms or sudden reversal of the earth's poles due to rare planetary alignments, then it will be incessant earthquakes or a malignant alien invasion that will bring about our apocalypse. Those theories are only a few of the countless doomsday scenarios inspired by the purported "end" of the Mayan calendar next December that fill groaning shelves at DVD and book stores around the world.Dustin Thomason's take on the subject in his interesting new novel "12.21" is refreshingly different. In Thomason's novel, mankind needn't peer elsewhere than in its collective mirror to find the source of the threat to its existence perhaps chronicled in the Mayan calendar. When a tomb robber steals an ancient artifact from Mayan ruins long lost in dense Guatemalan jungles and brings it to Los Angeles for sale on the archaeological black market in December, 2012, he unwittingly unleashes a catastrophe on humanity unseen since the Black Death. Once they suspect they might have uncovered the calamity's provenance, a medical doctor named Gabriel Stanton with expertise in strange infections reluctantly teams with a Guatemalan American academic named Chel Manu to strike out for the Mayan ruins. Armed with only cryptic clues thousands of years old in a dead language about where to find the ruins, and a shaky hypothesis of what caused the disease ravaging the continent, Stanton and Manu trek into the jungles with hopes far outweighing certainties that they can stop what will surely be the end of man on earth.Thomason (who with Ian Caldwell in 2004 published the bestselling novel "The Rule of Four") tells his story crisply, in a writing style neither particularly graceful nor inept. His characters, settings, and dialogue service his plot as well as they must to keep readers turning the pages to find out what happens next. All told, "12.21" is a solidly entertaining contemporary thriller that's certainly more worth reading than most of the current drivel trying to cash in on whatever will (or won't) come to pass next December 21.

  • rachel • typed truths
    2019-04-05 12:12

    In all honesty, I picked 12-21 up for the sole reason that it is the only book set in Central American I could find at my library. I am determined to finish the Diversity Bingo Challenge this month, so it was either read this or fail. If you are a diehard Zoo fan, 12-21 may be your new favourite read. If you're not, there is not much to say about this one. Maybe my enjoyment was tainted by my expectations; I seriously thought this was about treasure hunters in Guatemala, not a virus epidemic. Regardless, this was a story that did nothing for me personally.The flat writing and underdeveloped characters really let me down. The characters had no life, no personality. Outside of their professions, we knew little about them. It was hard to dredge up the empathy to care about their situation when I felt like we barely knew them. The random romantic angle - which is thrown in haphazardly towards the end - certainly did not help. It was completely unnecessary. I will say that the plot did keep my interest. Before reading this, I knew nothing about very little about Guatemalan history so I did find Chel’s POV very informative. It is also great to see more indigenous voices in published works- although I’d love to read an #ownvoices review before making comments on the representation (if you know of any, feel free to link me up).Overall? This was a forgettable apocalyptic story with bland characters and unoriginal storyline. I doubt I will remember this book in six month time. I am happy that more diverse voices are narrating our books but I can't say that element saved this book for me.Blog • Twitter • Instagram

  • Bonnie
    2019-04-18 13:16

    12.21: A Novel was kindly provided to me by Edelweiss for Random House Publishing Group.Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!This is actually the first '2012' type story I've ever read and it truly blew me away. Look up the definition of 'page-turner' and you should see a picture of this book. It was thrilling, addicting, and I couldn't put it down. One of those that I was more than willing to sacrifice sleep so I could keep reading. 12.21 tells the story of an infection that once it starts spreading it cannot be stopped and how it could very well be the reason the Maya civilization originally disappeared.I wouldn't consider myself a 2012 fanatic but I have seen my fair share of Mayan prophecy shows on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. I've never considered the fact that the world is truly going to end on December 21, 2012, but I think it's a fair assumption that something may very well indeed happen that changes the world we live in. Or it could be like every other normal day, who knows. I guess we'll just have to wait a few short months and find out firsthand. But the storyline in 12.21 of one possible outcome was terrifyingly realistic and incredibly convincing.I loved how this wasn't just an end of world tale and how it was actually linked to the very reason the Maya civilization disappeared so very long ago. Based on the Authors Note, 'there is no evidence that the Maya suffered from a transmissible prion disease', but regardless this was a riveting concept. Dustin Thomason created an amazing yet lifelike end of days story that is hands down my favorite read of 2012.

  • Jeanette
    2019-04-20 10:07

    3.5 starsNarcoleptic vegans are not immune.

  • Jeanette
    2019-03-27 09:53

    The first third was nearly a 4 star. Intriguing premise and situational tension, plus the characterizations were better than average for this genre. Reminded me completely of a good Michael Crichton. And then about 1/2 way in, it just started to get too weird to believe the means of transmitting the disease and some of the logistics to L.A. outcomes. Going from about 880 A.D. to present and back again destroyed all tension, for me, after the King and the Dwarf got into the killing/eating orgies. I almost gave it a 2 star because I had to force myself to finish the last 1/3rd. Too bloody, too much a dire dwarf and king cartoon monster scenario for me by the last 1/3rd.3 stars for the premise and effort.

  • Linda
    2019-04-01 14:06

    “12.21” by Dustin Thomason was an amazing novel. At first I didn’t quite know if I would want to follow the story as it goes between ancient Mayan history and storytelling to modern day Los Angeles scenes when in the midst of a cataclysmic medical event. However, from the jungles of central America to the suburbs of the California and it’s beautiful seasides, the characters draw you into this unbelievable story based on the ancient Mayan calendar.The author used astronomy, scientific testing, obscure language skills and personal faiths to create a story that was a blend of Michael Crichton’s medical thrillers such as “ The Andromeda Strain” and Lewis Perdue’s “Daughter of God.” It was compelling. There was even a little of the flavor Raiders of the Lost Ark in the action and tension of the novel. With so much information and misinformation available about DNA, mad cow disease, genetic engineering, etc. I think that the fear of some sort of untreatable strain of illness is a bit frightening to many people. I have always been interested in Mayan history and having visited some of the ruins that were mentioned, this book seemed to be well developed. The action was complete with some of the best and worst of human nature described. I appreciated the opportunity to read an early release of this book from Random House and I thank LibraryThing for sending me a copy of “12.21” to review. The book is a fairly fast read and I give the book a 4 star rating and recommend it as a mystery to keep you entertained.

  • Lisa P
    2019-03-30 09:03

    This is definitely a captivating medical thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed learning (probably more than I wanted to know…scary) about prions. I also enjoyed the historical aspect of this story (Guatemala and the Mayan culture). Both of these elements make for a good story in my opinion. The pace of the story was good…a real page turner throughout most of the story. What I didn’t like so much about the book were the two main characters…not very likeable or memorable…and still not sure what the point of Victor’s character was. I also felt the ending was quite rushed (I understand that 12.21 was approaching quickly and the author needed to wrap things up :), but I would have loved for Chel and Gabe to have spent more time in the jungle together searching for the lost temple and the cure. It all just happened a little too fast. I rate it a 3.5, but will round up to a 4. Not quite spectacular, but overall an entertaining read!

  • Maria Carmo
    2019-04-12 16:03

    This is a book that stands out more for its writing technique then for its inspirational value. Although some of the characters are inspirational, what is most patent in the book is the incredible investigation and knowledge of its author in order to be able to write such a credible and well grounded book. A tremendous adventure, a good thriller, this a book to read with pleasure and recommend.Maria CarmoLisbon 02 October 2012.(Second October is the Day dedicated to Guardian Angels)

  • David
    2019-03-31 09:07

    The character development and storyline were terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh look at the approaching end of the Maya Long Count. Thomason provides great insight into Mayan history, and the various doomsday theories, while offering a highly entertaining story.

  • Annie (Diverse Reads)
    2019-04-12 10:58

    • MC (Chel) is an indigenous Maya from Guatemala. • Multiple other Guatemalan/Maya/POC secondary characters

  • Jill
    2019-04-23 13:58

    This thriller begins ten days before the purported apocalypse of 12/21/2012 predicted by interpretations of the Ancient Mayan calendar.Gabriel (“Gabe”) Stanton, is the director of a center in L.A. for research on prions - proteins in the brain responsible for some rare and currently incurable diseases, including Mad Cow Disease and Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI). He gets an urgent call from Michaela Thane, a resident at East L.A. Presbyterian Hospital. She believes she is seeing a case of FFI, which causes total insomnia, leading to hallucinations, panic, and seizures. Nearly all of the afflicted die after a few weeks. Thane's patient doesn’t speak English however, and when someone finally guesses he may be speaking Qu’iche, a branch of the Mayan language spoken by many Guatemalans, Stanton and Thane call upon Chel Manu, a local language expert, to help them translate.Dr. Manu, curator of Maya antiguities for the Getty Museum, specializes in epigraphy, the study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions. Coincidentally with being summoned by Stanton, she has come into an incredibly valuable ancient Mayan codex, or written history, which was painted in glyphs (hieroglyphic-like symbols) by a royal scribe of a king. Chel discovers that the patient, Volcy, is the one who found the codex, and he sold it to the collector who gave it to Chel for safekeeping. Volcy dies before he can tell them where he got the book, which is presumably where he contracted this virulently lethal disease. It is imperative for Chel to translate the codex as soon as possible, in the hope that she can figure out where it came from. Stanton needs to get to the source of the infection in order to figure out a cure, because somehow the FFI is spreading, at a rate suggesting that the rumored apocalypse could actually be happening.As Chel translates, she learns about the fascinating world of Paktul, the scribe of the codex; what happened to cause the collapse of his city; and the reason that Volcy would get sick and die almost 1100 years after Paktul himself succumbed.Discussion: Some aspects of the story were not plausible to me, such as Chel’s speed at translating broken fragments of a document that was moreover written in ancient glyphs no longer readily understandable. It also appeared that everyone was quite susceptible to the disease except the characters the author needed to keep around.The persona of Victor, Chel's mentor, seemed a bit inconsistent to me, and the villain was a little too cardboardy. As for the two main protagonists, I really never felt like I “knew” either Gabe or Chel. But I found the medical part and the explication of Mayan culture quite interesting, and I enjoyed the sections of the book that told Paktul’s story. Evaluation: I had a mixed reaction to this book. Much of it moved along at a “thriller” pace, but I considered some aspects to be better written than others. The ending also disappointed me; in addition to an abrupt denouement, the theme of coincidence or fate, so prevalent throughout most of the book, just sort of got dropped.Nevertheless, it is an entertaining book, and certainly recommended for those with an interest in the prophecies about a possible apocalypse on 12/21/2012.

  • Andres
    2019-04-12 07:57

    I swore I would never read anything (fiction or non-fiction) about the supposed end of the world due to the end of the Mayan calendar. I’ve read 'real' books about the Maya culture and can’t even begin to entertain any half-baked notions. Just…c’mon people.So why exactly did I read this particular novel? Because it was written by one-half of the team that wrote the really enjoyable “The Rule of Four”. That was enough for me to give the advanced reader a try when it landed on my desk.It includes all the things that I find fun and interesting: Maya culture and especially Maya glyphs, medical intrigue (here, specifically about prions), archaeoastronomy, and even local familiar locations (the Getty Center, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory, and many more).And I really enjoyed the book for the first 2/3rds. That last third though…Usually with these kinds of books (techno-thrillers, I guess?) there’s sometimes a few (or many) instances of credulity stretching incidents, whether it’s a gaping plot hole or illogical actions taken by some character or iffy science or… something, something that depending on its degree you can easily gloss over or make your eyes roll or even make you put down the book.None of that happens here though, at least for more than half the book. Everything rolled along believably, delving into the science of the prions, the culture of the Mayas and even the city-wide quarantine stuff. There was even one character I was really rooting for, and it was when that character died suddenly that I felt the book took a turn for the strange. The death didn’t feel ‘earned’ or ‘necessary’—it just kind of happened, and it felt more plot ordained than anything else. It needed to happen to ramp the story up, I guess, but after that the story seemed to fishtail and never really find its footing again.The story doesn’t wrap up in the usual Hollywood wrap up way, which I’m fine with, but it felt as if there were more story to tell, like maybe there’s a sequel? Even open-ended endings have a kind of finality to them. But here, there’s a kind of world-building it taps into but then kind of leaves dangling at the end. The character stories are wrapped up for the most part, but still it felt like not everything was satisfactorily tied up.It was a fun read but it leads to an odd ending.

  • Ti
    2019-04-09 16:06

    The Short of It:A quick, adventurous read that takes you from the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles to the ruins of an ancient Mayan civilization.The Rest of It:After a patient exhibits signs of FFI (fatal familial insomnia), Dr. Michaela Thane enlists the help of prion expert, Gabriel Stanton. With a disease this rare, the question to ask is, “How did it get here?” In his quest to find the answer, Stanton brings in Chel Manu, a Mayan expert, to translate what the patient has shared with them thus far and when Chel is presented with a Maya codex, she begins to think that the two incidents may be related.With the title and all, I was eager to read this book as I love anything that has to do with the end of the world but it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. I pictured a riveting medical thriller with people dying everywhere and doctors and scientists running all over hell to find a cure. There were elements of that but on a much quieter scale. What I found contained between these pages was in fact, a beginning to a screenplay as I could see it in my head played out on the big screen.The framework was all there and the story interesting, but I felt as if the momentum seemed to stop as soon as I was getting into it. Plus, I didn’t find the Mayan connection to be all that interesting even though it had everything to do with the significance of the title and the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar and in turn, the end of civilization as we know it.However, the medical bits were well written and did pull me in. I definitely wanted to know more about Stanton. Maybe a bit more about his personal life? Oh, and I wanted more drama. I am a Southern California gal and the fact that it was set in Los Angeles was a huge turn-on, but Los Angeles in the midst of a pandemic? Hello! That has crazy written all over it and what I got was a bit too tame.If you are looking for a quick read and like medical thrillers that are on the quiet side (no blood or gore or oozing snot), then you might enjoy this one.For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.

  • Lorretta
    2019-04-03 13:55

    I received this through the GoodReads Giveaway.This was a terrific read! It has creepy medical scares, sacred artifacts, spiritual groups and good people who sometimes make dumb choices. After all, who likes a hero that never makes a single misstep?Gabe is a top researcher in the study of prions which cause disease like mad cow. Since the huge scare has been over, his funding has been dwindling and he is relegated as a specialist in a supremely narrow field. He is stunned when a doctor from a huge Los Angeles hospital calls with a potential case.Chel is a curator at the Getty museum in Los Angeles. She is from Guatamala, descended from the Mayans. She is eager to discover and protect the Mayan treasures and history, goes to religious services, and can even speak the ancient language. Her mother, on the other hand, refuses to talk about Guatalama or the fantastic heritage of the Mayans. Chel understands that the death of her father at the hands of the government was hard on her mother, but since he was a leader of the revolution, Chel cannot understand why her mother does not have more vocal pride.A shady art dealer gives Chel a priceless book-a Mayan codex that looks to predate almost all other codexes known to date. Against her better judgement, she takes it and uses Getty resources to preserve and translate it. It is written on bark and fallig apart. To translate and decipher, she must turn to her old mentor who once betrayed her and an ex-boyfriend who she hasn't seen in months.In two weeks, it will be 12.21 and the believers in the Mayan calendar are preparing for the end. Chel is contacted by a local hospital to help translate the ravings of a sick man. Once there, she is stunned to find out that it is he who smuggled the codex from Guatamala. She holds back some information from the doctors to protect herself. Only after the sickness spreads does she admit to Gabe her deceit by omission.From there, they are in a race against time to find something to stop this deadly disease!I enjoyed this book a lot; I hope this author is prolific!Like the cover art very much

  • Patrick
    2019-04-06 12:56

    First of all, a friend of mine got this through a Goodreads giveaway and told me I just had to read it.It was good. Not great. Not bad. Just good. The majority of the book is centered around the characters' attempts to translate a recently discovered Mayan text which may hold the key to a new disease that's spreading across L.A. To me, the connection between the Mayan Codex, the disease, and the linguist's home village is just too convenient to be believable. In fact, there were several times where I actually said, "Gee. That's convenient." while reading. It didn't necessarily HURT the narrative, I just had to suspend my disbelief a little more than usual.Selecting a rating for this book was tough as the whole narrative was VERY well written (I could not put the book down during the last 70 pages) and I immediately fell in love with the story of Paktul the scribe. The author has obviously done his homework on both Prion based diseases and Ancient Mayan civilization and he manages to seamlessly impart this knowledge to the reader. However, I can't ignore the fact that I found myself rushing through the majority of book, which takes place in modern times, just so I could get back to the story of Paktul and the collapse of Kanuataba.This is also a book that is built on plot twists, of which there are many. These twists were interesting, but I thought the foreshadowing was a little heavy-handed as I saw most of them coming from a mile away. In some cases, I found myself yelling out the answers to some of the riddles 40-50 pages before they were actually revealed. Once again, this didn't ruin the narrative, but it did impact my enjoyment of it.Overall, this book is a solid 3 stars. I could make an argument for more, but I could also make an argument for less. I definitely don't think it should be anywhere near the top of your purchase list when it's released in August, but if your looking for a quick and interesting read, or you're really into the Ancient Mayan civilization, this might be a good book to pick up.P.S. To Mr. Thomason, not sure if it was intentional, but the Harold Camping joke in the epilogue was priceless!

  • Ruth
    2019-03-31 11:19

    Insomnia plays a key role in the short list of symptoms. It's amazing what sleep deprivation can do to a person. It's the end of the world as we know it. The city of LA is under quarantine. Deadly prions have escaped from the ancient Mayan civilization to wreak havoc on all they come in contact with. Dr. Gabe is thoroughly confused and guesses food as the culprit. Dr. Chel has committed a major crime (accepting and decyphering an ancient codex) and could face jail time. Hero and heroine search for the underlying reason and are exposed to the disease, but somehow these two escape the wrath of the prions, slightly bruised, but ultimately unscathed. Of course they have to because they are the main characters and there is a touch of romance. I find this quote to be interesting, especially since it was Dr. Stanton's ex-wife Nina, who stated this about Dr. Chel:"That woman just lost her friend, she was screwed by her mentor, and people took that book from her. If I'd been through what she has, it'd take me years to even think straight again. But she's down there working. I've only known one other person in the world who could do that. So don't be damn rational. Get to it, for God's sake." [pg 258]First of all, to the author, I must say, "Kudos" for the thriller aspect, but did you really have to bring in the worship of praying mantis and the disgusting cannibalism???!! I was really enjoying this book until that aspect appeared. I stopped reading at that point and resumed it later the next. The first two-thirds of this book had me on the edge of my seat, flashlight in hand to discover the ending. The last third, I could easily put down, totally uninterested. So Dustin, I must say you did a good job of combining neuroscience with Mayan history in the thriller aspect of a 12-21-2012 theme. Others have tried and not succeeded.I will never look at insomnia again in the same way.

  • Robin Carter
    2019-04-10 11:57

    After many Historical Fiction titles back to back i was just in the mood for a thriller, but didn't want cheesy, so skipped the latest Cussler and dived into an unknown book called 12-21 by Dustin Thomas.At first i must admit i thought i was going to get some sort of cross between tacky Armageddon thriller and a robin cook. I was relived to find it wasn't, it was a really well written medical thriller with a great blend of medical information, history and location research. The characterisation in the book is excellent, blending the professional Stanton with the personal life of Stanton. Adding in the cultural differences for Chel Manu and he people. It made all the people in the book feel very real.Unlike most apocalyptic thrillers, the end result of this story is very credible and quite scary. The whole meat food chain is almost enough to turn even meat eating me vegetarian ... almost, but not quite. And the end is spot on, much better than the average thriller where all life tends to carry on as before.Well worth a read(Parm)ancient prophecy foretells that the world will end on 21 December 2012 . . .In Central America, a treasure hunter discovers a Maya relic - a mysterious and ornate codex - but when he smuggles it into the US, he brings with him an old and deadly secret . . .Early in December 2012, the codex comes to Chel Manu, a Maya world authority. She is torn between the chance to translate the codex herself and her duty to alert the authorities. Meanwhile, in an LA hospital, an unknown man is dying of a rare, contagious disease. When Dr Gabriel Stanton is called in, he realises that this is no ordinary infection - and it will spread uncontrollably.Stanton and Chel must race to decipher the codex's secrets and prevent the prophesied apocalypse . . .

  • Roberto Mattos
    2019-04-10 16:07

    This is a very well written piece of fiction. Very dense, this novel brings all the elements to make this book an instant success. A thriller that goes from Los Angeles to the jungles in Guatemala in 10 days. The plot is simple and interesting. Doctor Gabriel Stanton is a specialist in prion diseases and Chel Manu is a star in the field of Maya studies. Dr. Stanton receives a call from a resident in a hospital saying that they have a patient that he needs to see. Problem is that the patient only speaks a language they figure out to be a Mayan dialect, and Chel , as a Guatemalan American and Maya specialist, is called to be the interpreter. She is a researcher at the Getty Museum and she receives an artifact in a bag from a black market agent, that happen to be a book with the story of her ancestors written by a royal scribe. That story ended up being the key to solve the variation of the prion epidemic that start to happen initially in LA, but then starts spreading fast all over the USA.I recommend this book to the permanent library of all book lovers that wants to be entertained with a story that will hook you from the beginning and you will read it on the edge of your chair. It took me around 12 hours to read the whole book.This book was written by Dustin Thomason and it was published by The Dial Press on August of 2012. was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

  • JoAnne Pulcino
    2019-04-22 09:16

    12 21Dustin ThomasonThis good read transports you from modern neuroscience to texts from the ancient Maya culture and lost cities.For decades the Maya calendar predicts the world will end December 21, 2012 which is only two weeks away at the onset of this novel.Dr Gabriel Stanton the foremost expert on the rarest infections is confounded by a patient whose symptoms terrify him. Chel Manu, the brightest star in the field of Maya studies is a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum. Chel Manu has in her possession an illegal artifact of a priceless codex from the lost city of her ancestors. The patient and the codex have just arrived from Guatemala, and there may be a link to his illness through the codex she just obtained illegally.Together Gabriel and Chel join forces to discover why the Maya kingdom vanished overnight, and to make sure that our civilization does not suffer the same fate.The theme of this book and so many other books since the DA VINCI CODE begin to be so repetitious that I begin to lose interest and find myself not caring if the heroes are successful. The saving grace of this book was the depiction of the Maya culture, religion, customs and the hieroglyphics found in the codex.

  • Travelling Sunny
    2019-04-17 10:16

    I received this book months ago through goodreads (for free, in exchange for an honest review.) I know, I know - I definitely should have read and reviewed this sooner. And as an added punishment, December 21st has come and gone with no apocolypse, so the premise of the story wasn't nearly as disturbing as it should have been.But, it's been sitting on my shelf, so I thought I'd read it before 12/21/12 was so far behind me that I wouldn't be able to relate.I wasn't disappointed in the book. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but it was still enjoyable. Sort of a mash-up of Michael Crighton's NEXT (context), Dan Brown's Angels and Demons (style), and any book my youngest reads about zombies.The illustrations of the hieroglyphs, in my humble opinion, should've/could've been better. They seemed almost cartoonish.I'm passing it on to my youngest. He saw the cover and is now interested. I'm not surprised.

  • Shawn Hopkins
    2019-04-05 12:09

    I LOVED the first half of this book. The pace was great, and like the blurb on the books claimed, it really did remind me of Crichton. A lot. And I love Crichton. It felt to me like the last half was rushed though. I would have enjoyed another 100 pages or so, especially with the last couple chapters. I had to chuckle when the librarian told me it was due back on the 26th:-) As far as that goes, it wasn't really what I was expecting, but I still really enjoyed the story. I'll be keeping my eye out for Thomason's future work (assuming we're all still here, of course:)Content rating: some language

  • Jennings Wright
    2019-04-19 11:09

    The plot of this was great, and the research about the Maya and prions seemed incredibly detailed and accurate. (Some other things fell a little short, research wise, but nothing major. I thought the plot carried the book, because the characters -- esp the relationships between them -- were not very believable. I get "love at first sight" as a plot device, but I don't get "love after they totally screw the pooch on day 1" as a plot device. However, the majority of the book is the medical emergency combined with the Maya end-of-the-world myth, so overall, I liked it.

  • Jenn
    2019-03-28 11:03

    I really wanted to finish this book before 12:21. After failing that, I lost a little of my steam. It was a little more interesting when it seemed like I might be reading about a possible apocalypse. And really, it's a plausible depiction even though it lost a little of its potency. The book itself is pretty decent. There is a lot of predictability, but with some definite surprises. There is one point toward the end where I felt the book unraveling a bit, but it gathers itself back up and ends okay.

  • Tanushree Baruah
    2019-04-03 08:03

    Well, that was pleasantly surprising. It wasn't as bad as I expected. I would love to just read a story about the ancient Mayan Paktul. Dustin Thomason wrote a very compelling point of view with the flashbacks.The book steered clear from a final violent showdown - there were no guns blazing but there were deaths. I thought the ending was rushed and also the romantic relationship seemed forced.Three stars for the beautifully written memoirs of Paktul. I think Thomason will do well with literary fiction than a cheap flight read.

  • Fish
    2019-04-01 09:05

    I had the chance to read an early copy and blazed through it. The plot spans two millennia but unfolds at breakneck speed, and the mystery goes beyond the typical medical thriller by weaving the history, anthropology, and science together (as opposed to a more classic doctor versus virus).The last book (co-authored by Thomason) drew comparisons to Dan Brown, but this is different kind of read - more Creighton than Cook, but will appeal to readers of both. Thumbs up.

  • Andreia Morgado
    2019-03-30 11:22

    Não estava á espera que este livro fosse tão interessante , gostei bastante. Cheio de aventura esta historia dava um bom filme . A historia de um vírus que aparece quando encontram um códex maia , o vírus faz com que a pessoa não consiga dormir e num espaço de cinco dias morre e vai se espalham-do por toda a América do Norte, então tem de encontrar a cura o que os leva ( Dr Stanton e e a Chel ) a Guatemala onde o livro foi encontrado....

  • Hope
    2019-04-12 14:03

    I won a copy through Goodreads' Firstreads program!A medical-mystery-Crichtonesque type thriller...that will have you on the edge of your seat like you're watching a movie. One ancient codex, a doctor who studies rare prions, and an apocalypse to go please. I was not a huge fan of the ending, but overall Thomason pens a wonderful novel of suspense. Whatever you think this book will be from the title, it most certainly is more. Read on!