cover image Mayan December

Mayan December

Brenda Cooper. Prime (, $14.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-60701-263-4

Cooper interweaves past and present in this elegantly understated narrative of the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, a pleasant outlier in a subgenre known for apocalyptic histrionics. Alice Cameron is an archeoastronomer visiting the Yucat%C3%A1n to view the December 2012 celestial alignment. Her 11-year-old daughter, Nixie, sees the trip as an adventure, but she gets more excitement than she bargains for when she walks into the past and meets Ah Bahlam, a young Mayan lord, and a weeping young woman named Hun Kan. As time thins, the two Mayans, their world crumbling into war, will have their destinies altered by the encounter, and the changes may ripple through Alice's and Nixie's increasingly grim present. Though the modern story moves too slowly at times, Nixie is delightful, and Cooper illuminates the colorful Mayan world with imagination-hugging historical and cultural detail. (Sept.)