Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Friday, November 30, 2012 / “12.21” by Dustin Thomason / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is 12.21 by Dustin Thomason.

"12.21" by Dustin Thomason

Read this novel before 12/21/12. After that, it may not be available.

Why Clay Stafford chose this book:

Conspiracy theories and doomsday predictions do nothing for me in real life, but they are great springboards of fiction. The doomsday prediction in the Maya calendar that the world will end on December 21, 2012 is a case-in-point and the backdrop for the exciting pseudo-science thriller from Dustin Thomason, “12.21” It didn’t help me that my office manager had a sneezing cold and my family had rare steak on the very night I sat down to read a book about the end of the world via prion disease.

Reminds me of a cross between Michael Crichton and Dan Brown. I do enjoy puzzle novels so this was easy for me to get into. Painstakingly historically researched – even more probably historically than medically – if you will allow yourself to suspend disbelief (which you have to in some spots) and ignore coincidences and just going along for the ride, you’ll find it suspenseful and difficult to put down, if not educational regarding the culture of the Maya. It’s a fast ride with the ultimate stakes: the end of civilization.

I’m drawn to books that have unrelated stories (this has two) that come together tidily in the end. You have to give Thomason credit for attempting to intellectually tackle two big subjects intertwined within the same educated, smart book. If you read it, I’m confident you will enjoy it.

Something I did find interesting about this, which has nothing to do with the book, is that the hardcover is $15.09 with free shipping on Amazon and the Kindle Edition is $13.99. For you math geeks, that’s only $1.10 difference. I don’t recall seeing such a small spread before. Not making a judgement either way, is this the start of a new trend in eBook pricing? As a writer, you hope so. As a reader, it gives you pause.

From Amazon:

“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.

Advance praise for 12.21

Dustin Thomason, M.D., will invariably be compared to Michael Crichton, M.D., and 12.21 will be favorably compared to The Andromeda Strain. Both authors have written first-rate medical thrillers, the kind of fact-based fiction that is very scary but also very entertaining. Thomason knows his stuff, and it shows on every page. I truly could not put this book down. – Nelson DeMille”

If you want to make your own comments on this selection, we would love to hear from you. Join our Facebook Killer Nashville group page or our blog and join in the discussion.

Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!

Clay Stafford, Founder of Killer Nashville

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About Clay Stafford

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (www.ClayStafford.com) and founder of Killer Nashville (www.KillerNashville.com). As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages. Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” (www.OneOfTheMiracles.com) and the music CD “XO” (www.JefferyDeaverXOMusic.com). A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13)
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