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12.21.12: The Vessel (The Altunai Annals) [Kindle Edition]

Killian McRae
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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, 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 find, 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.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"I was hooked on 12.21.12 in the first 10 sentences.  It has humor, intrigue & just enough romance to make you curious.  The prologue alone is captivating.  It doesn't allow you to stop reading." -Bookish Novelties

"This book was a non-stop roller coaster ride from beginning to end! Take a bit of The DaVinci Code, mix in some Indiana Jones, a good dose of Egyptian mythology, a pinch of Mayan mythology, a bit of history and a lot of mystery and you've got ... a fun, rollicking, can't-tear-yourself-away-from-it read!" -Into the Mystic

"One hell of a great book! Honestly, guys, if any of you liked Stargate, Lara Croft, The Mummy and stories about gods and godlike creatures, this book is for you." - Nocturnal Book Reviews

About the Author

Killian McRae considers herself a fan of history, and this love is often reflected in her work. First published in 2010, she has two works in print, with a Fantasy YA work due out in 2012.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3261 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Tulipe Noire Press; 3 edition (January 16, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005YN675A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,361 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promising concept wasted by mediocre execution March 10, 2013
By J. Cora
Format:Paperback
12.21.12 by Killian McRae is a speculative fiction novel, which takes place over the final days before the alleged date of the end of the world. The premise, although not particularly original, could have been developed into an interesting story. Unfortunately the plot of 12.21.12 lost momentum after the first couple of chapters, and then the book became simply boring. Subsequently depicted events and slowly revealed facts were constantly greeted with shock and awe by the protagonists, but I as the reader found it hard to care about them, and in some cases they were easily predictable.

In my opinion this novel is a case of a promising concept wasted by mediocre execution.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 out of 5 stars! A uniquely blended mystery July 18, 2013
Format:Paperback
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was an interesting variety of genres. Mystery, mythology, science fiction with an 'end of the world' twist. Killian McRae blended many concepts, both new and old and created an original story worthy of some praise.

The book centers around several characters.W e have Sheppard Smythe (known as Shep) an archeologist who lost his wife in a traffic accident in Egypt and is called in to assist on a dig site yet gets caught up in some trouble beyond what he could imagine. Victoria who seems to be an assistant at the site but may be a criminal, and even rumored to be a goddess. Then there is Dmitri, a supposed Russian mob lord who knows more than what one might think. Each character is closely intertwined to one another, along with other characters in more ways than any of them realize. Each of them hold a piece of a puzzle that leaves the reader guessing until the end.

The book is written from different perspectives as the story moves along. Sometimes this added to the story. However it also left questions to the characters themselves at times and why they thought or acted the way they did. Certain behaviors, especially Victoria's feelings, seem awkward or inaccurate at times. I also wish there was more detail to the surroundings, such as the dig site and other places the characters stayed. While the book is enjoyable one major thing lacking is a lasting effect. When I finished the book I was quickly able to move on to the next story on my shelf. I like wanting to take the time to think on the characters and plot. This one didn't have me doing that much for some reason. I cannot say why. Yet regardless of these desires I truly enjoyed the story in and of itself.

*I received this book as a Free copy from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. Special thanks to the author for offering up a copy of her book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly intriguing read! December 22, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading 12.21.12. Killian McRae presents an intriguing take on the Mayan "end of the world" concept. It is hard to classify this book, but it has elements of mystery, suspense, ancient mythology, fantasy, sci-fi, and romance. If you like ancient Roman and Greek mythology, you will love how Killian places a new spin on the origins of these deities. The characters all felt very well-developed, and each had their own talents and flaws. There were no flat caricatures here. If you are looking to read something different by a new and promising author, give 12.21.12 a read.

Disclaimer: I'm the graphic designer for this book, but I also read it. No one asked me to write this review, nor was I required to do so. I just really enjoyed reading it, and I think you will too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars End of the World Conspiracy? February 28, 2011
12.21.12 is a cryptic date that some believe will be the end of the world. They get this theory from the Mayan calendar, which ends on this date for no apparent reason. If you are one of the many people in the world that likes puzzles, mythology, twists, conspiracies, Egyptology, or anything mysterious and unexplained in the ancient world, this book will be right up your alley.

This is an ensemble cast of characters that includes an archeologist, a Russian mob boss, a Vessel, an Order of Dan Brown proportions, and various gods and goddesses from Egyptian mythology. I will only give one spoiler in this review: no one is what they appear to be on the surface. In very basic terms and without additional spoilers, this ensemble takes the reader through explanations of who the gods/goddesses are, their role in history, explanations for things such as the real cause of Vesuvius' eruption, the truth behind Cleopatra's death, and even proof for the Bible's story of how woman was created from a man's rib. There are many more not listed that just slide into the plot. Yep, this book really has something for every conspiracy theorist out there. Just HOW these things are explained and interconnected are well done and formulated by the author.

What I enjoyed about this book is how the author brings various theories and conspiracies throughout human history and ties them together to explain how mankind will be saved or destroyed on 12.21.12. It is absolutely nothing like I have ever heard or thought about...truly unique. The feel of this book reminds me some of Preston and Child's books that include Pendergast, the very intelligent agent that seems to solve all kinds of impossible mysteries. It's not quite the same, but when looking for comparison, this is closest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FANTASTIC RIDE March 15, 2012
Format:Paperback
12.21.12 combines the back-of-our-mind fear about doomsday and ancient Egyptian cultures flawlessly. If you like a complex narrative that combines the elements of mythology, archaeology and science fiction, this fantastic mash-up of genres has a twisting plot that will keep you intrigued to the very end.

Sheppard Smyth is man who has spent his entire academic career seeking answers, answers specifically about Cleopatra, and the questions he's asked have cost him everything. Victoria Kent is a goddess, not in the diva kind of way we think of beautiful, powerful women today, but an actual living breathing goddess, one who has paid a steep price for her place in this world. Dimitri Kronastia is an otherworldly man masquerading as a Russian mobster, waiting and watching for his final showdown with Victoria. But I fell in love with Alex, something about his naivety and sexiness struck me throughout the book. These characters are smart, funny, dangerous, compelling and intertwined in complicated ways.

This is a fast past rollercoaster ride and you don't know quite what to expect in the next turn. All of the main characters have lost something they treasure more than their own lives, so there is a lot at stake and your never quite sure who's willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, either for love or life. Killian has a great sense of pacing, a deft hand at distributing historical details and enough intrigue to keep you gripping the safety bar to the very end of the ride.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Twist!
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. It was my first introduction to this author and I was very impressed. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Kerry's Corner
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read
This book kept me guessing until the very end. I loved it and I hope there are more to come.
Published 12 days ago by Rachael Pratt
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting yet confusing
I found the storyline very hard to follow, many times having to re-read sections to keep it all straight. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Denise Linden
4.0 out of 5 stars The Vessel (The Altunai Annals)
I went thru the book in no time. It was good. Very interesting story line, kept me reading. I have always been interested in the ancient times, and I like the way the author... Read more
Published 1 month ago by memaw5457
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read. Didn't want it to end!
Published 1 month ago by Lyn Tucci
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Fast paced and enjoyable. The characters are believable and the geography and history are top notch, finally, someone who knows their subject.
Published 1 month ago by John H. Goodwin
5.0 out of 5 stars And you thought 12/21/12 was a myth
Forget "watch the skies". This time they come and go in a flash. McRae brings an interesting twist to an old prophesy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by john newton
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked the story
I liked the story, but had trouble accepting the mix of abilities the Altunai had as a believable system. I usually can take the author's universe and go with it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daniel W.
3.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING PLOT
The story got a bit tedious and unbelievable at times, but I enjoyed reading the book. A little too farfetched for me.
Published 2 months ago by Tune
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting read
This was an interesting read and I recommend it. Loved the twist, unique plot and loved the last line in the story
Published 2 months ago by KSGAL
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More About the Author

Killian McRae would tell you that she is a rather boring lass, an authoress whose characters' lives are so much more exciting than her own. She would be right. Sadly, this sarcastic lexophile leads a rather mundane existence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She once dreamed of being the female Indiana Jones, and to that end she earned a degree in Middle Eastern History from the University of Michigan. However, when she learned that real archaeologist spend more time lovingly removing dust with toothbrushes from shards of pottery than outrunning intriguing villains with exotic accents, she decided to become a writer instead. She writes across many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and historical fiction.

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