The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni

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.

Description taken from Goodreads.

A while ago, I interviewed Dianne Salerni about this book, THE EIGHTH DAY, and I was really excited to read it (even more so) after reading that interview. Finally, I dove through my TBR list to fish this book out and see what it had to offer.

In short, THE EIGHTH DAY is definitely worth reading. It’s an awesome adventure story that would be perfect for middle-grade boys.

Long review: 

Salerni didn’t waste any time with this book. She dives right in, using humor and dialogue to highlight moments of this story. She writes well through Jax, bringing him to life. All of the things he feels, the choices that he makes–smart and not so smart, his thoughts and actions, Jax was really realistic to me and I loved his character.

Even more than that though was how much I loved the other characters, such as Riley–who is Jax’s guardian and the other friends that Jax makes. His lessons in magic were all interesting to me and I liked the way he gradually formed his own relationships with the people under Riley. There were a lot of questions or things I wanted to see more of–such as certain characters, explanation of a few events, more people who live only on the Eighth Day and questions about the ending. However, this is a series (yessssss) and I hope to see these things resolved in future books.

The ending to this book is quite satisfactory and eases out well. The beginning is what I had a problem with. It is a little slow to start and I feel like there’s a period of the book that goes on for awhile where Jax is just trying to make sense of the Eighth Day and what exactly he can do with it. As for Jax’s initial reaction to the Eighth Day, I love how funny and realistic it seemed–especially for a kid born into this time where people are obsessed with zombies, talking gorillas, pandemics and people (even in real life) blow entire fortunes thinking the world is going to end.

To end, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves middle-grade fiction and especially middle-grade fantasy action/adventure. I can’t wait for Jax’s next story and I hope to see more from Salerni. 4.3 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 320

Series: Eighth Day


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