Action/Adventure Aficionados discussion

12.21
This topic is about 12.21
33 views
Group Events and Giveaways > 12.21 by Dustin Thomason Book Discussion *spoilers*

Comments (showing 1-50 of 58) (58 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books), Literary Adrenaline Junkie (last edited Oct 19, 2012 10:49PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Let's read and discuss 12.21 as you get a chance to read it. I will open the thread now, but if you are still getting ready to start the book, fret not. The goal is to read it and talk about it through October 31st.

Those who signed up for the giveaway should have received their copy or will this week.

*Action/Adventure Aficionados gives our thanks to Random House (specifically Erika Gruber) for the wonderful giveaways of this book.*

Discussion Questions (optional)

1. What are your thoughts on the Maya folklore/cultural aspects? Does it ring true to you? Does Thomason do a credible job of tying the past of the Maya into the present?

2. This is predominantly a medical thriller. Does that work well for you? Anything distinctive to you about this compared to others you have read?

3. Do the characters stand out and gain your interest and loyalty? Which ones got your attention?

4. How would you have reacted to the epidemic crisis the characters faced?

5. What was successful about this book? What was unsuccessful about it?



Ctgt Got my copy earlier this week, should be starting it in the next few days.


Chris Marshall | 52 comments Got my copy yesterday, hopefully can start it over the weekend.


Jennings Wright | 37 comments Looks interesting. Kind of frustrated that the Kindle version is $13.99, though...esp when I can get the hardcover for $15.31. Book pricing is crazy.


message 5: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) | 5323 comments Mod
I've got my copy! Hopefully I'll get to it before the end of next week!


Jennings Wright | 37 comments I haven't done one of these read/discuss things on GR before - I assume it's just what it says... Read. Discuss. My TBR list is SO long, but I'd like to participate so I'll move this one up the queue


message 7: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) | 5323 comments Mod
Don't worry about it. I've been in Goodreads for over a Year now and I'm still winging it and hoping for the best.

I am interested in hearing your take on things. I love the book discussions I've been part of.


Kevin (spiralcity) Im about a 120 pages in, so far, so good.


Jennings Wright | 37 comments Bit the bullet and got the Kindle version. I have to finish what I'm reading now before I can start though!


Chris Marshall | 52 comments Well, I just finished it and my opinion of the book was just meh. The first half of the book was basically a medical thriller, which was fine, but I felt that the archaeological second half of the book just didn't mesh very well. It seemed like 2 separate books that didn't go together very well, if that makes any sense.

Character development is also very important to me. I couldn't bring myself to really care about Gabriel or Chel; nothing about them really hit close to home.

So that's my honest opinion about 12.21. Thank you Random House for the free copy!


Jennings Wright | 37 comments Just started it last night and didn't get very far (had eye surgery yesterday). My only complaint at this point is the "massive" 22' boat that Gabriel's wife has. I've been on and owned boats my whole life, and there is NO massive 22' boat! (Stuff like that just bugs me... sorry!)


message 12: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ctgt Finished it yesterday and for the most part enjoyed the book. I thought it put a nice twist on the whole Mayan 2012 thing(or whatever you want to call it).

The first half of the book really moved quickly, but as the story went on it slowed down somewhat. I think it was the translation of the codex that seemed a little wonky and slowed the pace. I really liked the translation itself, but the way it was interspersed in the narrative was somewhat uneven. I really want my action tales to move very quickly between scenes.

I did like the Chel character more than Gabriel.
Gabriel is one these types who is driven by a single purpose to the detriment of everything and everyone around him. Now in his field, this is a good characteristic, but it still makes him hard to like.(In real life I find these folks very annoying)
I found Chel much more interesting. Her Mayan background, her relationship with her mother and dealing in questionable antiquities made for a pretty compelling character.

If it wasn't for the pacing in the second half of the book, this would have been a 4 star read for me.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Started this early this morning. It's drawing me in so far. Of course, I am a sucker for medical drama!


Scott (SHissong) | 122 comments I'm starting this now. I'll check back after I finish.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I have gotten about 30 pages in and I am liking this so far. The story keeps moving forward. I'm curious to see how everything is going to come together. I feel that the Maya folklore and history is authentically rendered.


Jennings Wright | 37 comments I'll give this book 3, maybe 4 stars. There are things I didn't like (I was disappointed in the bad research on all things boat, when the research was so careful on all things Maya, for one thing). I didn't buy the relationship between Chel and Gabe, esp since it started out with Gabe still having a thing for his ex-wife and then he's all the sudden in love with Chel, who only screws up at first. It was almost like "well, we need a bit of romance in here, so here you go."

That being said, the story was interesting (I lived in Guatemala for 6 mos, but I was only 10 and didn't really understand the history with the Maya, etc). Some parts of the story just sort of petered out and had a quick summary wrap-up, but overall, I liked it and found it interesting. I never wanted to quit reading it, which is always a good sign. I think, as I'm writing this, the bottom line is, the story was more interesting and believable than the characters.


Kevin (spiralcity) I put this to the side for a week, I'll get back to it right now.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Working my way through this. I'm about on page 80. I have a huge pet peeve that I will discuss in my review, but otherwise, I'm still liking this (pet peeve aside).


Jennings Wright | 37 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Working my way through this. I'm about on page 80. I have a huge pet peeve that I will discuss in my review, but otherwise, I'm still liking this (pet peeve aside)."

That was kind of my thing - the story carries you through the peeves! haha


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Yeah, that's pretty much it!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I finished 12.21. It was an entertaining read and one of those books where you don't have trouble turning the pages. I gave it 3.75 stars just because I had a couple of issues with it. Overall a good read, and I'm thankful to Random House for the opportunity to read this book. I am going to try to post my review either tomorrow or Tuesday and come up with some questions for those who have read it.


Kevin (spiralcity) I'm still reading this book. I found the pace to be a bit slow and I also think the author under-play's the panic a bit.

It's not bad, but i'm not quite sure I enjoy this author's style.


Scott (SHissong) | 122 comments I finished yesterday and I thought it was just average. It never really sucked me into the story and honestly there were times when I almost put it down because the story was going nowhere. I would have given it 2.5 stars but gave it 3.


message 24: by Kevin (last edited Oct 19, 2012 11:24PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kevin (spiralcity) I finished 12-21 and have a few thoughts and opinions on the read.

I found the book to contain some rather good ideas but the execution was luke-warm. As I stated in an early post the author underplayed the hysteria which would have ensued following a quarantine of Los Angeles. I felt the author had a tendency to tell more than he showed, a bit more of showing would have livened up the pace of the book.

Did anyone else have a problem with the ease that Stanton and Chel were able to escape Los Angeles ? Also finding the lost city seemed much too easy.

My biggest problem with this book was the ending, actually the cure for the prion or FVI. If Stanton was the leading expert on the subject and discovered how the prion's where infecting people, wouldn't he think that perhaps that would also be a good way to administer the cure? How could he over look that?

Over all the book was OK at best. The pace was rather slow in many places but the medical aspects of the book kept me reading.

2 stars is the best I could offer on this one.

A big thank you to Random House for the free book.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I posted some discussion questions for those interested. I will come back and post my answers sometime this weekend.


Kevin (spiralcity) 1. What are your thoughts on the Maya folklore/cultural aspects? Does it ring true to you? Does Thomason do a credible job of tying the past of the Maya into the present?

I feel he could have handled this aspect a bit better. The deciphering of the codex seemed a bit drawn out and I truly feel that could have been handled better.

2. This is predominantly a medical thriller. Does that work well for you? Anything distinctive to you about this compared to others you have read?

The medical aspect was the only thing that kept me reading.

3. Do the characters stand out and gain your interest and loyalty? Which ones got your attention?

Stanton and Chel drive the story, Victor could have been an interesting character but the author didnt seem to go in the direction I would have liked.

4. How would you have reacted to the epidemic crisis the characters faced?

This I cant answer.


5. What was successful about this book? What was unsuccessful about it?

The ideas where very interesting, the execution was mediocre at best .


Jennings Wright | 37 comments 1. What are your thoughts on the Maya folklore/cultural aspects? Does it ring true to you? Does Thomason do a credible job of tying the past of the Maya into the present?

Not knowing anything about Maya folklore, he could have made it all up, for all I know. But I thought it read as true, which I guess is what matters. I love historical elements in books I read (and write) so I enjoyed most of this. I thought the codex itself didn't ring true, though, in the language used, and that the end was a bit convenient. Kind of "well, time to tie this up now". Compared to the other elements, finding the lost city and coming up with the cure was awfully fast!

I honestly have a hard time with "my culture/people are everything". Maybe it's the American in me - I never feel like it rings true. I'm listening to an audiobook right now with a native American element like this and find it kind of annoying.

2. This is predominantly a medical thriller. Does that work well for you? Anything distinctive to you about this compared to others you have read?

I liked the medical thriller aspect, although I'm now freaked out about prions.

3. Do the characters stand out and gain your interest and loyalty? Which ones got your attention?

The characters were the weakest point for me. I didn't believe the romantic relationship between Chel and Stanton at all. I didn't believe Stanton's strange mother-hen feelings for the Venice residents. I definitely didn't buy the ex-wife. The story moved along despite, not because of, the characters.

4. How would you have reacted to the epidemic crisis the characters faced?

Prayer! Otherwise, no idea. Loaded guns? Stockpiling food?

5. What was successful about this book? What was unsuccessful about it?

I agree with Kevin - the idea was great. I think he got bogged down with the technical aspects at the expense of the characters and, ultimately, the conclusion. A lot of codex detail could be edited out - a lot of it wasn't necessary for the present-day story, so perhaps just those parts could have been written out. Anything to do with boats was unbelievable, which was distracting. The twist with Chel's mother... Not sure on that. I'd say 2-3 stars, could have been 5 with some work.


message 28: by Lisa P, My weekend is all booked up! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa P | 1537 comments Mod
I just started this and am about halfway through. Definitely a science/medical thriller. I am a science geek and am really enjoying it so far. Learning lots about "prions". If you aren't into the science/medical stuff, then you may not find this story as enjoyable.


message 29: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books), Literary Adrenaline Junkie (last edited Nov 12, 2012 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I liked the science stuff as well (view spoiler).


message 30: by Lisa P, My weekend is all booked up! (last edited Nov 12, 2012 11:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa P | 1537 comments Mod
Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I liked the science stuff as well [spoilers removed]."

Yes that was a little disturbing, very happy to hear your take on the (view spoiler).


message 31: by Lisa P, My weekend is all booked up! (last edited Nov 12, 2012 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa P | 1537 comments Mod
I finished this last night and here is my review:

This is definitely a captivating medical thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed learning (probably more than I wanted to know…scary) about prions. I also enjoyed the historical aspect of this story (Guatemala and the Mayan culture). Both of these elements make for a good story in my opinion. The pace of the story was good…a real page turner throughout most of the story. What I didn’t like so much about the book were the two main characters…not very likeable or memorable, and the romance between them was completely unbelievable…and still not sure what the point of Victor’s character was. I also felt the ending was quite rushed (I understand that 12.21 was approaching quickly and the author needed to wrap things up :), but I would have loved for Chel and Gabe to have spent more time in the jungle together searching for the lost temple and the cure. It all just happened a little too fast. I rate it a 3.5, but will round up to a 4. Not quite spectacular, but overall an entertaining read!

Thank you to Random House and the Action/Adventure Aficionados for the opportunity to read this book!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
That's pretty much my take on the book, Lisa.

So far it looks like most of us felt the characters needed more development.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 2839 comments Mod
I liked the medical part to, but was also ultimately disappointed in the rest of the book. It's a good idea and sent me searching to find out if Prions are really that hard to get rid of on surfaces (they are). They actual plotting, character development...well the writing could have been a bit better.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I was okay with the plotting, generally, but I agree with you on the character development, Mike.

Prions are scary things!


Kevin (spiralcity) I agree that the ideas were good. I just found too many flaws for my liking, plus the writing trully lacked in style. What could have been a very good book became passable at best.

Just my opinion of course.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I liked that it was very readable. I wanted to find out what would happen next. That's a good thing for me when I read a book. I hate when I feel like I have to motivate myself to read a book.


Kevin (spiralcity) Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I liked that it was very readable. I wanted to find out what would happen next. That's a good thing for me when I read a book. I hate when I feel like I have to motivate myself to read a book."

Yes, the medical aspects of the book kept me reading. I also wanted to know how the prion's could be stopped, so this kept me turning the pages. But as I said in an earlier post, I found that the administration of the cure for the prion was a bit of a laugh. I truly couldn't see how the worlds leading expert on prion's could discover how they were affecting people through the eye but OVERLOOKING any attempts to administer a drug via the same route.

And as stated previously the end was rushed. The escape from the city was too easy, finding the lost city was WAY too easy, and the biggest disappoint for me was the way some of the characters were handled. The author simply didn't take Victor in a direction which could have made him much more interesting.


message 38: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books), Literary Adrenaline Junkie (last edited Nov 14, 2012 12:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Good points, overall. But, I don't know if I agree with you about the administration route being laughable. I think it is a process determining a cure and how to give it. A lot of trial and error. The aspect of the blood brain barrier being an issue in determining vehicle of treatment was pretty realistic. And few treatments for systemic diseases are given via the eyes. I liked that the cure ended up being old school and sort of like Occam's Razor (the simplest explanation is the most likely). In a modern society, we tend to overcomplicate things instead of thinking simply for some explanations, especially with it comes to science.


message 39: by Kevin (last edited Nov 14, 2012 12:31PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kevin (spiralcity) Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Good points, overall. But, I don't know if I agree with you about the administration route being laughable. I think it is a process determining a cure and how to give it. A lot of trial and error..."

Yes it's a process but once you understand how people are affected I think a truly gifted mind such as he was should have at least thought about eyedrops of some kind.

He was the WORLDS leading expert, not just some local doctor from a hospital.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
I'm going to give him a little credit. I think that he was stuck on the source of contact being food, so he had to shift his paradigm significantly over the course of this book, and we are talking about 2 weeks here, not years. It often takes years to determine a cause of disease and how it can be treated.


message 41: by Lisa P, My weekend is all booked up! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa P | 1537 comments Mod
Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I liked that it was very readable. I wanted to find out what would happen next. That's a good thing for me when I read a book. I hate when I feel like I have to motivate myself to read a book."

I agree with you Danielle. For me, there was never a time when I wanted to quit reading. Was it a spectacular read?...No. Was it entertaining and enjoyable?...Definitely! I personally read for pure entertainment...things don't have to be "realistic" in my book to be enjoyable. Yes there were some flaws, but I still had fun with it.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Yeah, I found it entertaining for what it was. The main issue I had is in my spoiler above.

I am not into that whole Maya prophecy stuff, so I wasn't exactly thrilled to read this book (honestly), and I was pleasantly surprised.


message 43: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Nov 14, 2012 01:25PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 2839 comments Mod
By the way, I was a commercial refrigeration tech for a lot of years and for part of that time one of my main clients was a factory where they made "chicken nuggets" and packaged other chicken products. They were very, very "anal" about cleanness and so on.


message 44: by Lisa P, My weekend is all booked up! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa P | 1537 comments Mod
Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "By the way, I was a commercial refrigeration tech for a lot of years and for part of that time one of my main clients was a factory where they made "chicken nuggets" and packaged other chicken prod..."

That is good to know :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "By the way, I was a commercial refrigeration tech for a lot of years and for part of that time one of my main clients was a factory where they made "chicken nuggets" and packaged other chicken prod..."

They have to be. The USDA will shut them down otherwise. That's why that part of the book was a huge chokepoint for me.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 2839 comments Mod
Maybe he had just read The Jungle...


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 4243 comments Mod
LOL. Maybe so!


message 48: by The Pirate Ghost, Long John Silvers Wanna-be (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (PirateGhost) | 5323 comments Mod
Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Maybe he had just read The Jungle..."

LOL or watched a lot of "Hell's Kitchen."


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 2839 comments Mod
....possibly. I was a commercial refrigeration tech and I worked in a lot of restaurants that I could never eat in after I'd seen their kitchen.


Kevin (spiralcity) Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I'm going to give him a little credit. I think that he was stuck on the source of contact being food, so he had to shift his paradigm significantly over the course of this book, and we are talking..."

Lady D,

I understand why the author chose to keep the cure under wraps as he did. He needed to build tension as the story neared it's climax. This is understandable, but I felt it was mishandled.

Stanton was able to find how the prions were entering it's host in such a short time revealing that he was literally a genius when it came to the subject of prions. The author also allows the reader the knowledge that Stanton was experimenting with a cure for prions for quite some time but he hadn't found a way to get the cure to the brain, it was always being blocked, so he had a huge jump on ways to cure the prion before the outbreak.

This is were my problem lies. Stanton was the top researcher on the subject studying prions for years, he was quickly able to discover the route of the infestation but we are led to believe he wasn't smart enough to think that perhaps the eye may be at least one route to try to administer cure.

As you mentioned earlier, it's a process, but so is finding a lost city,it's like hunting for a needle in a haystack yet the author leads us to believe these people are smart enough to do this in know time.

So how come the eye was so easily over looked?

This truly ruined the book for me, that's why I rated it so low.

I'm glad other's enjoyed it and it's very interesting reading the feedback of other.

I'm truly glad others were able to enjoy it more than I.


« previous 1
back to top