Review: 12.21: A Novel

12.21: A Novel
12.21: A Novel by Dustin Thomason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book I won in a contest, and I saved it for December, reading it on 12.21. It is the story of a mysterious artifact,a codex, smuggled out of Guatemala by a young man. It is clearly black market, but nothing like it has been seen before. It is a complete codex of the Maya, the only one found to date. Chel Manu, a researcher at the Getty Museum, works with her old mentor to try and decipher it’s meaning, as the forecasted day of the Mayan apocalypse nears. Chel doesn’t believe in it, but is intrigued by what she uncovers. Meanwhile, at the CDC a doctor studying incurable prion diseases is called by a hospital resident who thinks she may have a case, a new disease. If this is so, it could be an epidemic – fatal nearly all the time. As the two events seem to merge, secrets are unfolded, leading them down to the heart of Guatemala, trying to trace the origin of the codex and this mysterious disease. An enjoyable book by one of the authors of The Rule of Four. The only complaint was the ending. A tad trite and kumbaya for me, it left me unsatisfied. In effect, for me, it spoiled much of the book, although that still doesn’t detract from the depth of scholarship into the Mayan culture and what we know today. Just that I would have liked a bigger ending. After all, it was supposed to be the Apocalypse!

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