12/21 by Dustin Thomason (and Give-Away)

by Dustin Thomason
published August 7, 2012
336 pages
There are cloths spread across the floor, placed here in preparation for this moment. The man lights his candle, sets the bundle at a careful distance from the wax, then carefully wipes his hands. He drops to his knees and reaches for the sisal. Inside is a folded stack of pages made from the bark of a fig tree, hardened with a glaze of limestone paste. With the great but seemingly effortless care of a man who has trained for this act his entire life, he unfolds the paper. Twenty-five times it has been doubled back on itself, and when it is completely unfurled, the blank pages stretch across the width of the cave.
From behind his hearth, he gathers three small bowls of paint. He has scraped cooking pots to make black ink, shaved rust from the rocks to make red, and searched fields and riverbeds for anil and clay to make indigo. Finally the man makes a puncture in the skin of his arm. He watches the crimson rivulets run over his wrist and into the bowls of paint before him, sanctifying the ink with his blood.
Then he begins to write.
A little bit like Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom meets The DaVinci Code, what we have in 12/21 is lots of action combined with some mythology. Or, perhaps, what some would call history.
It begins with Paktul, an ancient Mayan scribe, who recorded an enormous drought in his community on bark paper. Left inside a king’s tomb, where disease has festered and bred, it was eventually discovered by a man named Volcy and brought to California. Brought to the attention of  Dr. Chel Manu, an expert in antiquities, who conducts research at the Getty museum and lectures at UCLA.
But, while she is uncovering the truths within this sacred book’s pages, disease is spreading throughout the city. And now a race begins to discover what the Mayans knew about 12/21 and the fifth generation of people who come after the fourth has been destroyed. To discover the source of the disease now infecting thousands of people and spreading. To discover the role of “prions”: tiny proteins which occur in all normal animal brains, the role of which Dr. Gabriel Stanton is so anxious to know. An expert in mad cow disease, Stanton is the leader of the Center for Disease Control’s National Prion Center, a center “created to diagnose, study, and eventually fight the most mysterious infectious agents on earth.”
Manu and Stanton join forces to trace the origins of this sacred book which has come into their hands. In a riveting tale of drama and adventure, we breathlessly turn the pages as we discover along with them exactly what the Mayan culture knew and foretold. 
Find more reviews here from TLC Book Tours which graciously invited me to review this thriller.
Tuesday, August 7th: The Brain Lair

Thursday, August 9th: JulzReads

Monday, August 13th: Colloquium

Wednesday, August 15th: Twisting the Lens

Thursday, August 16th: I’m Booking It

Monday, August 20th: Rhapsody in Books

Wednesday, August 22nd: Reviews from the Heart

Monday, August 27th: A Bookworm’s World

Tuesday, August 28th: Book Chatter

Wednesday, August 29th: Proud Book Nerd

Thursday, August 30th: Starting Fresh

As to the end of the world? I believe what it says in Matthew 24: 36.

The publishers are kindly giving away one copy of this book (US/Canada). Simply leave a comment to submit your name into the drawing for one winner at the end of August.

The winner is Leslie from Under My Apple Tree. Congratulations!