And having now completed it, I can tell you that her book is an excellent study of the many and varied controversies concerning the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012.
Is the world going to come to a fiery conclusion on that potentially fateful - and fatal - day? Or will we see a positive transformation that ushers in a whole new Golden Age-type era for Humankind? Or will we see absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happen at all?
These - and many others - are the questions that Marie's book skilfully asks and answers.
So where to begin?
Well, at the beginning, of course!
After a thoughtful and insightful foreword from best-selling author Whitley Strieber (who has written at length himself on the issues of future disasters and cataclysmic events), we are treated to an excellent lesson in history from Marie, who reveals the notable story of the Mayan culture, how the Mayan calendar came into being, and what it was that led to the situation that we now find ourselves in: namely, wondering what the hell might happen in only four-and-a-half-years from now!
And that, of course, is the crux of the book.
Marie leaves no stone unturned as she addresses the issue of what our world, and our civilization, might be like after 2012 rolls over into 2013.
Are we going to see death and destruction on a scale that echoes the Old Testament? Will we experience monstrous earthquakes, floods and environmental disasters that overwhelm us into destruction? Is it possible that there could be some form of religious rapture looming ominously on the horizon, and one that comes to its climax in December 2012?
In asking these questions, Marie also gives us much-welcome data on such characters as Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Zecharia Sitchin, and she demonstrates that it's not impossible that the latter days of 2012 and the years that follow could prove to be very bad indeed - if, of course, the whole "End of Days" ideas and beliefs have some merit to them.
But, don't go slashing your wrists just yet!
Marie's book is not one of doom and gloom, and neither is her approach to the subject matter: she stresses in the book that as far as the Mayans are concerned, "Yes, they say, the world will end. But only the world as we know it. The Mayans believed in spiritual transformation and the acceleration of conscious evolution."
In other words, what we perceive to be doomsday might be the equivalent of the caterpillar turning into the butterfly - a positive end, and a fantastic new beginning. Again, Marie details for us the beliefs of the Mayans in this particular area (as well as the similar beliefs of different cultures), life-cycles, world-cycles, and the issue of the so-called "Thirteen Heavens" that are all integral parts of the story.
Marie also discusses a very important matter in the chapter of her book titled Who's Behind the Curtain? Namely: "How much of what happens to us is predestined, as fate, and how much of it is free will or choice?"
For me, this is a very important question, as I feel that very often when it comes to predictions, and those who subscribe to them, there is often a sense of "Why do anything? It's going to happen anyway."
In this same chapter, and on this same aspect of the large 2012/2013 controversy, Marie also delves into the fears that surfaced around the whole Y2K saga, and has much to say that is good food for thought.
And then we get to the real Armageddon issues: if everything goes bad, how is it going to end for us? As far as the planet itself is concerned, might it be due to climate change, pollution, super-storms? How about atmospheric calamities? Or Godzilla-sized volcanoes and earthquakes? The list is both alarming and overflowing.
But what about the Earth's worst infestation, that one thing which has wreaked more havoc and careless death and destruction than just about anything else? What am I talking about? Us, of course! That insanely reckless, Damian-like child known as the Human Race!
Marie's thoughts on this matter make it abundantly clear that we have a potential to do far more damage than Mother Nature: population explosions, increased poverty, the possibility of water (our most valuable commodity) becoming a scarce luxury for future inhabitants of our planet, the very weird and highly ominous die-offs of bees all across the world recently (a tiny creature that is actually an integral part of our society), and energy sources running out might all be factors that hasten along the end.
And, of course, there's the disease angle: viruses, SARS, Bird-Flu, West Nile Virus. Could these, and other emerging health-hazards, lead to our downfall as a species? Possibly.
Marie also looks at such intriguing areas as (a) the potential shifting of power on the world-stage from West to East; (b) the rise of the European Union; (c) China's expanding role in a future world; (d) the current and future state of the Middle East; (d) future-trends in terrorism, and a great deal more.
Health is an important factor in Marie's research too: might advances in technology and medicine allow us to dramatically extend our life-spans? Will we see a merging of man, machine and computers that transforms us for the better?
On the other hand, what about all the gigantic, diabetic, fat people lumbering around from one fast-food place to the next in their motorized carts? Will we see a population doomed by the fact that whole swathes of it can't eat food in sensible portions anymore?
Here in Dallas, Texas I see such gargantuan behemoths all the time - and I see their children, too: 10-year-old kids huffing and puffing because they can't walk half a mile. Why? Because all they do is eat, drink gallons of soda, watch TV, eat, drink gallons of soda, watch TV, etc. And then what? That's right: along comes diabetes, heart-disease, daily insulin injections, and early deaths.
It would be ironic (and, in my slightly warped view, darkly humorous, too) if the age of the burger ushered in the age of the end. But again, maybe there is hope: the book shows that those aforementioned advances in technology and medicine might bring us back from the brink of extinction via the french-fry and the quadruple-cheese fatty-burger. And here we get into some fascinating areas, including matters related to artificial intelligence, robot technology, and artificial life.
And there's another area that offers some hope: namely, the idea that we, collectively as a species, do something to save us and save our world.
This is the crux of Marie's cleverly-titled chapter: Shift Shapers. After reading this chapter, you will realize that there are things that can be done, and that may very well help us. But, as you'll also see, it requires not just physical change: it also requires a radical change in mindset, in the way we think, and with respect to how we view our world - not as something that is our property to arrogantly exploit and plunder. But as something to care for, to nurture, to protect - because if we don't we may not have any sort of future.
As the book draws to a close, you are treated to a series of papers, essays and commentaries from various authors and writers giving their views, opinions and thoughts on what might happen on - and after - December 21, 2012. And those same views, opinions and thoughts are as varied and as intriguing as you might expect.
And there you have it: an in-depth, expertly written study of a subject matter that is quite literally just around the corner. In a few short years, we will know what 2013 has to offer, and if radical change is going to occur a few days before the end of 2012.
Maybe it will be good, maybe it will be bad. Maybe, nothing will happen, aside from the fact that perhaps all of the talk of death and disaster - as the date gets ever closer - will galvanize us to try and prevent the human and planetary disasters that could indeed overwhelm us. Or maybe it's already too late and the countdown to the end has already begun.
Written, refreshingly, by someone with no personal axe to grind - or personal theory to push in our faces - Marie's book lays out for us all the data, the theories, the possible futures that await us, and much more.
2013 is an essential read, and one that is at various times uplifting, disturbing, highly thought-provoking, but never without importance or relevance to anyone and everyone alive today.