Tuesday, March 13, 2012

12.21.12 by Killian McRae: Review by AimeeKay

The only way to save the future is to decode the past. The only way to decode the past is to save the future.

Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his wife and partner on proving his widely panned theory: Cleopatra VII, the last sovereign pharaoh of Egypt, was not a victim of suicide as history suggests, but of a well-concealed murder. When a statue of the doomed Queen is unearthed in a pre-Columbian excavation site in Mexico, Shep rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. The statue, however, is only the first clue suggesting a mysterious connection between Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica, and possibly - beyond. Suddenly thrust into the heated rivalry between sexy and enigmatic antiquities thief Victoria Kent and the infamous Russian mafioso Dmitri Kronastia, Shep finds himself a common pawn played by forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids and cloaked in the Mayan Doomsday prophecy of 12.21.12.
McRae does an excellent job of weaving together ancient myths and legends in 12-21-12. Sheppard Smyth is a wonderfully flawed character. While at one point in his life he would have been that perfect hero, his wife's death has caused him to become even more obsessed with his theory on Cleopatra, and also with alcohol. He on more than one occasion has found himself at the bottom of a bottle and wishing that the bottle was a bit bigger. The writer doesn't try to paint him as perfect, and I think this made him very likable. Victoria and Dmitiri are intriguing as well. Combine their individual goals with the twists and turns that the author has placed in the novel and up until the end it is very hard to see who is the villain and who isn't. While sometimes these twists and turns left me almost as confused as poor Shep. For the most part though, it was confused in a good way. It made me want to keep turning the pages to see where the author was taking me. However near the end it when some of the mysteries were revealed, the explanations weren't as thorough as I would have liked. ***spoiler alert*** I personally got confused over which bond was passed to which human and how. Plus I wasn't sure whether Shep was the descendant of royal Egyptians , or Alex, or Christine. I would have liked a little genealogy chart maybe to go along with it. Maybe added as an appendix?***end spoiler***

While the book is set perfectly to lead into a sequel, it did have a nice happy ending for more than one of it's main characters. I am a huge fan of Happy Ever After, so this wasn't an issue for me. Plus I think that after all the crap that Dmitri and Alex put Shep through, he definitely deserved it. The only other issue I had with the book, is that I wanted to find out more about Victoria, and her other proxies. (I love myths and legends and would have loved to see how the author weaved Victoria and her proxies into history) However this issue has been semi-resolved. 

 Melissa was kind enough to let me know about a side series the author is releasing called The Twelve. I was lucky enough to download a copy of the first part from Smashwords. The full title is The Twelve: Altunai Subset One, and it introduces the reader to the first three proxies of Victoria. The only problem I have with it is that it is too short. I think that each of the proxies, at least the ones I've read about so far, could easily deserve their own book. Not just a few pages. This however won't stop me from trying to get my hands on the next book to find out about the other proxies. And I definitely would be interested in reading more about Victoria and finding out what happens to her and Alex, and the rest of the world she's created for that matter. I think this book was really good and I definitely would recommend it.

Til next time

note from Melissa:
If you would like to win an ebook of this story, just let me know in the comments. I'll chose a winner on the 19th.
Giveaway is over!


  1. Oooh this one sounds good... Despite the minor confusion... I can't help it- I gotta read spoilers! Lol

  2. I think this sounds wonderfully unique. I love doomsday books, they are just fascinating to me. Thanks for bringing the book to my attention!

  3. Ancient myths and legends - this I have to read.

  4. Glad I didn't read this one on Dec 2011, otherwise I would've freaked out! Lol. No, seriously, I'm a sucker for ancient myths and legends so this one is right up my alley. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

  5. Gah! I almost forgot about this book! I can't believe I haven't read it yet. I'm a big fan of HEAs, too, so I'm glad to know that is something I can look forward to while anticipating the next book.

  6. Oh I like this cover! I didn't know this book but it looks really nice. I love everything about Egypt so I'm sure I could enjoy this one too. And it's always interesting to read about the myths the author has writen. great review!

  7. Thank you for the kind words, and for hosting the giveaway. Also delighted that you discovered the novelette. :)

    (*whispers* Have you discovered the podcast as well? http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/author-killian-mcrae/id492594235)

  8. A nice happy ending for one, well that is good. So that there are not just cliffie after cliffie

  9. Awww....Thank you all for the wonderful comments! Glad you enjoyed the review.
    @ Melissa-You're welcome!
    @ Killian- Thanks for the link to the podcast I'll have to check it out!

  10. Oooo, I love that cover! And it sounds like a wonderful read. :) You could enter me please? lol

    thank you!


  11. Not sure if I want to read this book with doomsday right around the corner and all! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I really want to read this book It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  13. Nice review, and it sounds both interesting and confusing. Not sure this is the book for me.

  14. I've seen this book floating around but this is the first review I've read and a good one it is!

    Thanks for providing such an insightful review, this is one I might pick up!

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Excellent review AimeeKay! I think yours is the most in depth review I've read of this novel and I even hosted the author on my blog, but just for a guest post. I still haven't read the book.
    Please enter me in the giveaway!

    hrose2931 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks for the giveaway

  16. My goodness, a lot is going on here: Cleopatra, Russian mafia and the Mayan doomsday. I can see how I might get confused as well.

  17. Wow this book has a lot to wrap your head around, apocalyptic, dystopian doomsday books are my new addiction! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. Thanks for the wonderful comments! :)


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