Gary Jennings, author of many historical thrillers including Aztec, died in 1999, leaving behind notes of ideas for further stories. Editor Robert Gleason and writer Junius Podrug have paired up to continue Jennings’s historical thriller legacy with several novels, including this one.
Apocalypse 2012 describes a modern world where global warming is destroying the planet, the volcano under Yellowstone National Park is about to explode, and an asteroid is heading toward the earth. Astrophysicist Monica Cardiff believes that four codices written 1000 years ago by an Aztec-Mayan man named Coyotl may contain a solution to the earth’s problems. Racing against bandits and time, two archeologists travel through lawless Mexico in search of the hidden codices.
In a parallel story we follow the life of Coyotl from his time as a slave of the Dog People to his eventual role as astronomer to the king of Tula. The civilization of Tula is collapsing, and Coctyl must work on and then hide the Great Calendar and three other codices so they will be available for future generations.
For a historical thriller, Apocalypse 2012 is slow moving. Near mid-novel, the pace picks up, but the suspense is not gripping, possibly because the action scenes are not smoothly written. The reader must at times re-read a scene to figure out what happened. The dialogue is implausible with characters sharing encyclopedic information rather than having conversations. The novel concludes mid-action, making this reader guess that a sequel is forthcoming.