Thursday, October 11, 2012

12:21 a novel by Dustin Thomason

Fiction: 12:21, a novel by Dustin Thomason

12.21: A NovelDustin Thomason's novel "12:21" explores the myths of the Mayan "long" Calendar which ends on Dec. 21, 2012.

The novel takes through a somewhat tortuous story line in which a Mayan descendant leaves an ancient Mayan city ruin carrying a disease similar to Mad Cow disease, and spreads it through the world.

Historically, Thomason offers some insight into the Mayan Calendar, but his writing style is stilted. Difficult to read. Not an easy flow.

Probably the best part oft he novel is his recreation of the ancient Mayan civilization and a fictionalized account of a brutal Mayan leader who turns to cannibalism. The story is built around the Mayan leaders scribe and the detail about ancient Mayan life brings this novel to life. Tragically, everything else is a let down.

It's very predictable. The events. The scenes. The dialogue.

The audio book is about 11 hours long.

Here is the book summary from

From the co-author of the two-million copy mega-bestsellerThe 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.

-- Ray Hanania

Monday, October 1, 2012

Micro by Michael Crichton

Micro by Michael Crichton

This was one of my first audio books and it was phenomenal.

The story may be unbelievable but is any science fiction techno-thriller believable these days?

The book is well written. The plot is tight. Basically, it's a story about a greedy corporate CEO who starts killing off people to preserve his profits.

But the real attraction of the book is the phenomenal detail that Crichton offers in terms of the insect world. In the book -- without giving anything away -- a group of students are miniaturized and they end up in a nearby rain forest. What they go through fighting off ants, beetles, wasps, bats and spiders is an exciting read.

Although the book is for mature readers, kids would love the story of how little people have to struggle to stay alive with now giant insects and animals surrounding them. How insects eat, breath and conduct themselves is offered from a close-up perspective or a micro-human being. Crichton describes home a wasp lays its eggs in a live host. How insects sense other potential prey in their environment.

I purchased this one on audio book and listened while in the Health Club. It made the workouts go by fast. I mean the narrative is that good that you lose a sense of time reading it. You get fully absorbed.

Click here for the book's info on

I highly recommend Micro. It is a fast and capturing read.

-- Ray Hanania