Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gary Jennings’ Apocalypse 2012 by Robert Gleason and Junius Podrug

With all of the furor that has arisen over 2012 in the media lately, the thriller genre has taken the opportunity to put out a number of books that play with that theme. Among those is Gary Jennings’ Apocalypse 2012 by Robert Gleason and Junius Podrug. I had wanted to dive into Gary Jennings’ Aztec series, and never had the chance, so when I saw this new novel, I decided to give it a try.

In 1001, Coyotl is a slave who was found as an infant. He is on the way to being a sacrifice when a group of Toltecs attack the camp, and set him free. The party, along with Coyotl and another slave, Desert Flower, set off for the great city of Tula, which is on the brink of breakdown during the middle of a terrible drought. In the present day, a group has gathered to face an upcoming disaster. Could the two be related?

While the premise of the novel is entertaining, the execution is terrible. The large portions of the book are about Coyotl and his story, and they are dry and unengaging. I never would have imagined that ritualistic human sacrifice could be so dry and unaffecting. Desert Flower is a blank character who does nothing but get scared and act very stereotypically female, while the two named Toltecs, Stargazer and Smoking Shield, and the only ones with a hint of depth.

And then we flash to the modern day, where we are given a point-of-view character who is a perfect example of political vileness. She is, without an explanation, violently against anyone and anything that doesn’t think as she does, to the point of verbally assaulting over and over a man who she simply disagrees with. We are expected to revel along with her as she acts vile.

I might have been able to hold on and keep looking at the dry historical tale, in the hopes that it would get better, but after a couple of flashes of my modern day protagonist, there wasn’t nearly enough in the historical section to keep me reading.

While Jennings’ name is attached to the book, I hope that it isn’t remotely like what he actually wrote. This seems to be yet another example of people wanting to tack onto an author’s legacy, and wind up smearing it instead. Avoid this novel.


1 comment:

  1. This book in now way reflects the brilliance of Jennings' work in Aztec, The Journeyer, or Spangle.

    Give Aztec a try. You won't regret it.