Review, Tour & Giveaway: 12-21


By Dustin Thomason
(The Dial Press, Hardcover, 9780385341400, August 7, 2012, 336pp.)

The Short of It:

A quick, adventurous read that takes you from the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles to the ruins of an ancient Mayan civilization.

The Rest of It:

After a patient exhibits signs of FFI (fatal familial insomnia), Dr. Michaela Thane enlists the help of prion expert, Gabriel Stanton. With a disease this rare, the question to ask is, “How did it get here?” In his quest to find the answer, Stanton brings in Chel Manu, a Mayan expert,  to translate what the patient has shared with them thus far and when Chel is presented with a Maya codex, she begins to think that the two incidents may be related.

With the title and all, I was eager to read this book as I love anything that has to do with the end of the world but it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. I pictured a riveting medical thriller with people dying everywhere and doctors and scientists running all over hell to find a cure. There were elements of that but on a much quieter scale. What I found contained between these pages was in fact, a beginning to a screenplay as I could see it in my head played out on the big screen.

The framework was all there and the story interesting, but I felt as if the momentum seemed to stop as soon as I was getting into it. Plus, I didn’t find the Mayan connection to be all that interesting even though it had everything to do with the significance of the title and the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar and in turn, the end of civilization as we know it.

However, the  medical bits were well written and did pull me in. I definitely wanted to know more about Stanton. Maybe a bit more about his personal life? Oh, and I wanted more drama. I am a Southern California gal and the fact that it was set in Los Angeles was a huge turn-on, but Los Angeles in the midst of a pandemic? Hello! That has crazy written all over it and what I got was a bit too tame.

If you are looking for a quick read and like medical thrillers that are on the quiet side (no blood or gore or oozing snot), then you might enjoy this one.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win your own copy! Details below.

Dustin Thomason

To view Dustin’s other TLC tour stops, click here.

TLC Book Tours


This giveaway is for one copy of 12-21 and is open to the US & Canada only (no PO boxes). A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on Sunday, September 2, 2012 (pacific). I will contact the winner.

To enter the giveaway, please click here.

Source: Review and giveaway copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

15 thoughts on “Review, Tour & Giveaway: 12-21”

  1. If the end of the world is coming, I WANT INSANITY!!! Crazy running around, pillaging, medical mysteries and dead Mayans coming to life, floods and earthquakes and crap. I do not want tame if the world is ending. So I appreciate the honesty. I shall wait for something that will blow my head off and scare me.

    1. I almost fell out of my chair at work. Your response is exactly what I expect in a doomsday novel. Blow my head off. Yes. Please. LOL.

  2. I do really like some aspects of this book, and think that medical dramas are my thing sometimes, so I did enter your giveaway. I read another review of this one that was similar to yours and said that the Mayan bits were not as interesting and well done as the other parts of the book, so I will have to keep that in mind when I am reading this one,

    1. I know! The last time I went to Yosemite I got really sick but they tested me for Lymes and hantavirus and both tests were negative.

  3. So far two end-of-the-world books that both take place in California have been not so great for either of us…I know for a fact that if it really happened people would be way crazier than depicted in the book!! 😀

    1. I am really tempted to write an all-out-crazy end of the world book based in California. I mean, when we had the big quake, people were stealing gas out of cars for pete’s sake. I need a little more crazy for it to be realistic to me.

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