Monday, August 27, 2012

12-21 - Dustin Thomason - Review AND Giveaway

Okay, you've probably heard about it - the latest date for the end of the world. December 21, 2012 will be the final curtain according to some interpretations of the Mayan long calendar.

Dustin Thomason sets his latest novel - 12-21 - (a solo effort after his successful co-authoring of The Rule of Four in 2004) a few weeks before that date.

Dr. Gabriel Stanton is a world renowned expert in the field of prions - those tiny agents responsible for what we commonly call mad cow disease. When he receives a call from a local doctor insisting she has a case he needs to look at, he reluctantly attends. But when he arrives, what he discovers is unthinkable - a prion disease with no known cause or cure....and no way of knowing how it's being spread.

Dr. Chel Manu is an expert in her field as well - Mayan documents and dialects. When a known looter leaves an artifact with her, she too is stunned. It's a rare codex describing a time period in Mayan culture that has never been documented - until now.

Gabriel's patient? From Guatemala. Manu? From Guatemala. And now Gabriel and Chel are thrown together in a race against time to discover answers, antidotes and more....before it's too late.

Thomason has crafted an excellent tale, drawing us in in many ways. The mystery of past civilizations has always fascinated me. There are examples of Mayan glyphs throughout the book. At first I thought they looked quite cartoonish and of course had to go online to check them out. Turns out, that's what they really look like. There were other bits of story line that I followed up as well. Tomason has done his research.

The whole prion disease thing is scary - and the disease Chel and Gabriel encounter? It's real. Lots of food for thought - except maybe meat.

All of this provides a good solid foundation for the main two characters. They're well fleshed out and I liked them both - Chel a little more. Some of the supporting characters seemed to be a bit cliched. And I question the purpose of the 'Monster' character. He didn't seem to add anything to the story. I did enjoy the insertions of passages from the codex, written by Paktul, a Mayan scribe.

There's lot of action and run up to the final chapters that kept me eagerly turning pages. I was a bit disappointed by some of the end scenes - although exciting, they were slightly unbelievable, which was disappointing given the research and care put into the rest of the book. But, all in all, 12-21 was a good, entertaining read. ( And I can see it being made into a movie)  Read an excerpt of 12-21.

Fans of Michael Crichton and Dan Brown will enjoy this blending of science and history. Thomason could not have picked a more perfect time to release this book. Dec 21 should be an interesting day.....

Dustin Thomason attended Harvard University, where he studied anthropology and medicine. He won the Hoopes Prize for undergraduate writing, and graduated in 1998. Thomason also received his M.D. and MBA from Columbia University in 2003. You can find Thomason on Twitter.

Sound like a book you'd enjoy? Well, thank to the lovely folks at Dial Press, I have a copy to giveaway. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada, ends Sept. 15/12.

See what others on the TLC tour thought. Full schedule here.


bermudaonion said...

The plot does bring to mind Dan Brown and he's not a favorite of mine so I'll have to think about this one.

traveler said...

I am interested in this compelling novel. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Fascinating feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Liene said...

Count me in please!

Carl Scott said...

I'm really into the idea of this book. Please enter my name for the chance to win a copy. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

lag123 said...

I do like Dan Brown. Thanks for the giveawsy!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Martha Lawson said...

This one sounds interesting! I like reading different things about 12-21-12. Thanks for the chance.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting book, please enter my name for the giveaway. pambartholomew(at)runbox(dot)com

Luvdaylilies said...

Oh, I can't wait to read this book, it's on my wishlist!
Thanks so much for the giveaway & best of luck to all=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Piero G. said...

I so want to win this book. I love Dan Brown, and Dustin Thomason has woven 12-21 into a non-stop, edge of the seat action thriller, comparable to the works of Dan Brown. Combining historical events with modern day sleuthing. This book has the makings of a movie, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it up on the big screen.

Anita Yancey said...

This book sounds so good. I would love to read it and so would my husband. We have been discussing this subject for a while now. Thanks for having this giveaway.


curlypow said...

I love the sound of this one. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a copy.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I can see this as a movie too - one that should come out in December for sure!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Maureen said...

It looks like a good story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

Another great post...thanks for the giveaway.

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

Dixtra said...

Please count my in for this giveaway. I'm a big Dan Brown fan!! I'm also on a very limited income as I'm not allowed to work due to health issues. I know many more would want this as it seems so intruiging!!!