Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni

The Eighth DayTitle: The Eighth Day 
Author: Dianne K. Salerni
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: April 22nd 2014
Pages: 320
Genre:  MG Fantasy Adventure/Arthurian Mythology
Series: Eighth Day #1
Source:  ARC


In this riveting fantasy adventure, thirteen-year-old Jax Aubrey discovers a secret eighth day with roots tracing back to Arthurian legend. Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this first book in a new series that combines exciting magic and pulse-pounding suspense.

When Jax wakes up to a world without any people in it, he assumes it's the zombie apocalypse. But when he runs into his eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he learns that he's really in the eighth day—an extra day sandwiched between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people—like Jax and Riley—are Transitioners, able to live in all eight days, while others, including Evangeline, the elusive teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door, exist only on this special day.

And there's a reason Evangeline's hiding. She is a descendant of the powerful wizard Merlin, and there is a group of people who wish to use her in order to destroy the normal seven-day world and all who live in it. Torn between protecting his new friend and saving the entire human race from complete destruction, Jax is faced with an impossible choice. Even with an eighth day, time is running out.

I almost passed this book up and decided I would give it a go. I am so glad I did. This book was pretty amazing. I was captivated by the story from the very beginning and stayed that way throughout the entire book. The characters were pretty super, the pacing was well done, the writing was exciting, and I just enjoyed this book immensely. 

Jax celebrates his 13th birthday, goes to bed, wakes up in an abandoned world. He believes the apocalypse has come, but what has really happened is he is part of special group of people that can live in the eighth day. A day that exists between Wednesday and Thursday. There are others that experience this day and who live only within this day. Jax discovers all the secrets that surrounds this day and also the dangers. He unknowingly brings horrible danger to a friends front door, now its up to him and other Transitioners to save the eighth day and the world. 

This book was really really good. I didn't really know what I was in for, I thought the book sounded more sci-fi, time traveling, parallel universe. Nope its fantasy, magic, myths.... and I loved it. One of my favorite aspects of this book, the myth that surrounded the Eighth Day. Merlin, Arthur, and even the Knights of the Round Table had a bit to do with the Eighth Day. I have read many Merlin or Arthur retellings, inspirations, and renditions. This one was quite original. I was fascinated by the idea. It was well thought out and well done. The story was definitely the main focus for me. 

The characters were good too. It did take me a bit longer to connect to them than I like, but once I did the connection was strong. There was tons of story building, so the character building lacked just a tiny bit at first. In the end I fell for everyone of the characters. There is quite a variety of them too. The main character Jax, was my favorite. He was kind, brave, generous, and very true to doing what he felt was right. He was a normal 13 year old and generally acted first and planned after. He made some bad decisions but he was determined to make up for those choices. 

Evangeline was a bit harder to connect with. I liked what I knew. She was sweet. She was a loyal friend, and she had a bit of attitude. Riley was hard to like at first, a jerk at first site, but I loved him once I got to know him. He was very loyal and very protective over those he loved. He didn't think twice about doing what needed to be done and never failed to jump in when needed. I hope to see so much more of him in the next book. There was quite a bit more characters, but they weren't as major. They were all fun and fit well into the story, adding laughter and trouble. 

The story read well, started out running and ended with a bang. There was lots of action, thrills, humor, adventure, and discovery. The ending left me wanting more but also had some resolution. I closed the book with a smile on my face and hole that needs to be filled with next book. 

Awesome read. I would highly recommend this book for those that love MG books or wanting to dabble to see what its like. Also great for any kind of fantasy lovers or fans of Arthurian mythology. 

Dianne K. Salerni

DIANNE K. SALERNI is a fifth grade teacher by day and a writer by night. She's the author of YA historical novels, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks) and The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH), and a forthcoming MG fantasy series, The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014).

The Caged Graves is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and We Hear the Dead was the inspiration for a 10 minute short film, The Spirit Game, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.http://vimeo.com/64738099

In her spare time, Dianne is prone to hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research.

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