A man named Gutierrez brings an old Mayan artifact to Dr. Chel Manu. It is obviously stolen and she knows she should report it. But this artifact is like nothing she (or anyone else) has ever seen. Meanwhile, a prion disease has appeared (think mad cow) and the doctors are desperately searching for the source. People are dying and as 12/21/12 approaches, some people are saying it is the end of the world.
Okay, so I went into this book blind (having no idea what it was about, though maybe I should have guessed from the title). I do this often, with varying results. This book was fine. The mystery of what caused the disease is pretty obvious to the reader early on. But watching the characters try to figure it out is interesting. The book moves at a slow pace overall with a few surprising and exciting moments. There are several points of view, including the writings from the artifact which detail the life of the scribe who wrote them.
Not my favorite "virus causes the apocalypse" book but not bad.
I know there are more interesting books out there, but if you like ancient history and stories about out of control viruses, you might like it.