Gary Jennings’ The 2012 Codex
Robert Gleason and Junius Podrug
Forge, Aug 31 2010, $25.99
Before the Spanish came to what is now Mexico, Montezuma built a vast empire to which all lords paid tributes in slaves for blood sacrifices and other valuable commodities. In a small village in Maya, Lord Jaanab visits and almost loses his life to a jaguar. Pakal, a stone cutter and storyteller, saves his life. As a reward he is taken into the lord’s personal guard. They journey to Mayapan where the King holds court. Pakal learns his fellow storyteller Ajal, who mentored him, was Jeweled Skull who took the Dark Rift Codex and hid it.
Lord Jaanab knew who Akul was and he does not believe Pakal failed to know who is teacher was and wwhere the Codex is. Rain is not falling; rivers are drying up; water is scarce; volcanic activity has risen; and anger is fermenting. The Codex supposedly tells how the world of the Aztecs and Mayans will end; by reading it they can perhaps prevent the next step of the prophecies from happening.
In present day Mexico, Rita Critchlow and Cooper Jones are searching for the Codex that Pakal concealed. The problems that escalated in Pakal’s times are prevalent today. Once they get the book, they plan to email American government officials in the hopes of finding out why this is happening and how to prevent it from running its deadly course.
Most of the book takes place in the time of Pakal before the Spanish Conquistadors destroyed the civilization; thus readers learn a lot of the Mayan and Aztec culture of a millennium ago in this entertaining historical fiction. Very few chapters occur in the present and those that do focus on the Codex that has a Revelations like feel to it. The 2012 Codex is an enthralling adventure thriller.