Saturday, May 18, 2013


Dustin Thomason


Genre: Thriller

Summary (from the publisher):  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.

Review:  I've read a lot of book club type books recently, and was in the mood for something a little lighter and more action/adventurey.  I picked this up at the library in one of my two minute browses through the buzz book section while trying to keep my girls from running around like crazy people.  My expectations were not very high, particularly after I found out it was written by one of the authors of The Rule of Four, which I did not like at all.  But, I really liked it!

Picture a combination of The Davinci Code and The Hot Zone - it's a medical mystery that involves translating a centuries old document written in ancient Mayan.  I was completely engrossed by the Mayan history as well as the complexities of trying to stem an outbreak of an incurable disease.  While I'd like to think nothing like this could ever happen, the author made it seem believable and certainly within the realm of possibility.  The main characters were well-developed, although the secondary characters were harder to understand.  All in all, a fun action/adventure/medical mystery/thriller kind of book that reads quickly and will make you think twice about eating another hamburger.

Rating: 4 stars

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