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Wednesday's Child - Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 20/20 If you had your chance to to your day over would you ???, February 28, 2016
by Amazon Customer
Enjoyed reading this book, it mixes in a little time travel with religion and current world tensions. The ebb and flow of action keeps the reader moving along at a nice pace.
4.0 out of 5 stars 20/20 Hindsight Vision, Jan 16, 2016
By Denis Dube, Goodreads.com
To have 20/20 hindsight vision, if only for one day a week... What one could do.
Wednesday's Child by Alan Zendell is a fantastic skillfully executed novel that is built on the "what if" foundation of one who suddenly wakes up to learn that his Wednesdays are switched with his Thursdays.
The set up is like an early "Twilight Zone" episode. Then it develops into a "post 911" novel about the fight against the relentless threat of terrorism, by exploiting this sudden time discombobulation phenomenon.
The story is episodic, as every sequential week, a new situation occurs when Dylan (the protagonist) must right the wrongs he witnessed on "his Thursday" the next day, which is, for him, Wednesday. This is a little difficult to follow at first, but once you get into the rhythm of it, there is no problem keeping up. Zendell re-explains the situation several times as he must have Dylan explain it as the story unfolds.
Personally, I am somewhat uneasy with stories based around terrorism, C.S.I. and F.B.I. investigation and such, the problem being that they, as did the "red commie" stories of the 1950's and later, and the cold war stories of the 1980's, tend to be awfully black and white and one sided in perspective. Fortunately, this author has gone beyond this limited attitude, while still not going soft on the real severity of the current situation.
The addition of this weekly two-day-time-flip element also nudges the story into another category, by a marriage of national homeland security crime investigation story with an atypical time travel story.
Well done. A good read.
4.0 Starts out of 5, October 23, 2015
By I. Silverman, Amazon Unlimited
Readable, at times captivating, and worth inclusion in a Kindle Unlimited list. Main feature is interesting interplay between back and forth along single day time travel.
3.5 out of 5 stars Tactical Triumphs, Friday, May 18, 2012
By Rebecca, Bibliognome
Wednesday’s Child has a slow start and is a little detail heavy (which comes across as wordy in the beginning.) Once it gets going though it turns out that the wordiness is fitting and even essential as the story goes on.
I love the everyday cover jobs and how they are all set up as pretty much a super secret national guard. Samir is my favorite field agent and William is awesome too. Though the only complaint I have is that the intro to this part of Dylan’s life kind of hits you out of the blue.
Oh the things that can happen when the days switch order. I like that Dylan, the main character, has more restraint than I do. I would get greedy with my stock portfolio. He plays it smart when he rembers to take advantage.
I’m not crazy about Irene but I do like Gayle. Irene I just never really got a good feel for as a character. Gayle is funny and it is neat to see the range of emotions as things happen in her life.
The whole explanation they think through made my head hurt. All those scientific words...but I absolutely love the trampoline and dropping a mountain in a lake comparisons. Especially that they name the powers that can be thing messing with them. I would call mine the flying spaghetti monster.
This is a good read. An epic story that shows what horrible paths humanity could be headed down and how no supperbeing is going to save it. Dylan given a chance to change it all shows others what could be if people don't fix it. He has to deal with his challenges and tough decisions. Top security clearance that if broken could get you thrown in jail vs family = Hello jail, but he comes throught in a journey worth reading.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Once and Future Present of Next Thursday, April 20, 2012
By Richard L Bunning, Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland, on Amazon
This is a very well written, exciting, and thought provoking book. Zendell chose well in writing in the first person, so giving the reader a feeling of personal connection. Zendell has mastered this device with aplomb, whilst holding together a complex scenario, and rounding out other vital characters. We are drawn into the suddenly confused thoughts of Dylan Brice, and nudged gently along by Zendell until we start seeing, and seeing is believing, that it just might be possible to live days out of order.
There is some comfort in the book in the idea that we can be saved from ourselves by higher forces. This cosy thought may well start to unravel, but, I will say no more through fear of planting spoilers.
The plot is very strong, and is probably tied together without any flaws! One would have to spend hours de-constructing the complex of sequences to be sure. Even if one did such an exercise would be pointless, because the soul of the book is in its ideas and not in the mathematical build of a whodunit. The philosophical conduit is well thought out, and cleverly executed. However, as with any book it isn't just the execution of detail that makes for a satisfying read, it is the beauty of design. Once the reader has taken-on-board the premise, one that the character struggles with as much as we might, excitement builds to a satisfactory and adventurous climax.
At an early stage in the book I felt the complexity of detail was overdone, that there was an unnecessary amount of paint on the canvas. This feeling didn't persist for long as I began to realise that a lack of detail would have greatly reduced our ability to connect with Dylan.
At the end I found myself wondering if in a particular past a potentially apocalyptic event, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, has once resulted in the end of civilisation. Well, it didn't, did it? This is truly first class speculative fiction, a book I deeply regret I didn't think to write.
5.0 out of 5 stars No causality conundrum in this amazing novel! March 1, 2012
By Dana, on Amazon
Alan Zendell takes a common sci-fi mechanism, time travel, but puts a very unique twist upon it. Dylan is a regular guy put to the test by a power he does not understand. The reader is quickly drawn into Dylan's world because of his mysterious time affliction, a complex and compelling plot, and fascinating, well-developed characters.
In addition to all lovers of science fiction, those who like a good mystery and international intrigue will love this tale.
4.5 out of 5 stars Wednesday's Child, January 28, 2012
By Edward M. Grant, Sift Reviews
Wednesday's Child is a page-turner, opening with Dylan's first experience of living time out of sequence and maintaining suspense to the end. When he is called to assist with an anti-terror investigation, his new and unexpected power could make the difference between a happy ending and World War Three.
Each week after he sees how Thursday would happen if he did nothing, Dylan uses his skills and contacts to determine what happened on Wednesday and how he could change it to ensure the day turns out differently... while trying to keep his time travel power a secret and determine its source.
At times Dylan missed some clues that seemed obvious to me and occasionally I wondered how realistic the anti-terror team's actions were. They also seemed a little sloppy, sometimes allowing people to escape when they could have caught them. However, on other occasions Dylan found smart ways to utilise his knowledge and the ending was a clever use of his powers even though the epilogue was longer than I'd have liked.
But those issues were minor and only one really stood out to me. I felt that Dylan's time travel ability, even though it was outside his control, made him too powerful compared to the terrorists and I wanted to seem him forced to work harder. The tension built through the story with the increasingly elaborate attacks and the government's reaction to them leading the world toward a major war, but I expected to reach a point where something would go horribly wrong. This balance of power is a perpetual problem with time travel stories and difficult to get right.
Otherwise the novel is a good read and from start to finish. I wanted to see what would happen next. I can't quite give it a five for the reasons mentioned, but it's a solid 4.5.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wednesday's Child, December 7, 2011
By Norman, on Amazon
Alan Zendell creates fascinating characters and wonderfully ties them together in the story. I found that I was compelled to read through to the finish with a desire to learn how the events conclude. Great attention to realistic detail that true science fiction readers will appreciate. One of the best books I read in years.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Take on the Time Continuum, August 5, 2011
By Jonathan Brazee, Bangkok, on Amazon
I am not overly found of time travel books. I think they tend to get too involved with paradoxes and such and forget good story-telling and writing techniques. Pages and pages of philosophy on killing your own grandfather when he was a boy just doesn't cut it for me.
However, I picked up this book, and I was quite engrossed with it, reading it quite quickly. While paradox did rear its ugly head, the book examined time travel in a unique and entertaining way.
Two main themes put "Wednesday's Child" in a different playing field. The first is the question of how to determine what actions need to be taken to avert a catastrophe when given only small windows of time, and the second is how would time travel be affected if it was being coordinated by a higher being?
Basically, the premise of the story is simple. The protagonist, Dylan Brice, goes to sleep on Tuesday night, but wakes up on Thursday morning with no recollection on what happened on Wednesday. When he goes to sleep on Thursday night, he wakes up on Wednesday morning with a full recollection of what he learned on Thursday and with a will to avert certain things happening.
And while he has a regular job, he also is a resident geek for the "Agency," which I assume is the CIA. He is on a team which is tasked with fighting terrorism. Because of this, he is positioned to actually do something about a group of terrorists who have brought in radioactive materials to make dirty bombs to use against the US. With a bombastic president in office, this could lead to world war.
First, Dylan has to figure out just what is happening to him. Of course being crazy was a consideration, but as he gets a feel for the "rules," he thinks that he may have been placed in this situation by a higher power, perhaps one anxious to avert world destruction, but limited in what direct action he/she can take. This higher power can shift things a bit, but must use a person to do the actual work.
Each week, Dylan is able to do a little more in fighting the threat. But in order to do so, he needs to bring in others, such as his wife, an FBI agent, and an agent for the Mossad. Surprisingly, they seem to accept his strange ability. Normally, this would be strange, but what if the higher power was steering people to him who would be more conducive to believing him?
Overall, this is a taught novel, full of action, but logical in how things progress. I didn't know what to expect, but I got a very, very enjoyable read, thought-provoking and fun.
4.0 out of 5 stars What's up with that calendar on the cover?, July 7, 2011
By Jeremy, on Amazon
Alan Zendell's "Wednesday's Child" is a great read, a very smart take on the well-worn time travel story. Instead of time travel large, where you have travel over centuries or more, this book takes a more simple proposition: if someone lived Thursday before Wednesday, how could they change the world? It seems like such a little thing, but the consequences are profound. Give this one a go, it's well worth it.
4.0 Stars out of 5, A Great Read, June 24, 2011
By Ken Lindsey, on Goodreads
This was definitely a good read, something that I would recommend to anyone interested in this genre. Mr. Zendell, the author, does a fantastic job of laying his protagonist out there early-on, and making you care about him. Dylan is an imperfect, relate-able character, more than able to carry this story on his shoulders.
The story, background and secondary characters are also well rounded and not forced. The plot is fast paced and kept me eager to read more, every time I turned the page.
Although there are very few grammatical errors to be found, the writing may sometimes be just stiff enough to slow the fast-paced story down (though, I never wanted to walk away). Also, there are some obvious, and at times heavy-handed, political and moral issues where the author clearly wants to take a stand, even at the expense of the story.
Something I haven't dealt with here yet is cover art. Obviously, when it comes to cover art, tastes will differ depending on the individual. In my opinion, though, the cover art for Wednesday's Child feels very dated and had me ready to read a story set in the 1970s, rather than today. No matter what your grade school teachers said, people do judge a book by its cover.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read, April 2, 2011
By SFLover, on Amazon
"Wednesday's Child" hooked me right from the start. It was easy to imagine what the protagonist was going through. The story moves quickly, with one surprise after another, but it raises interesting issues and really made me think. The idea of living days out of order creates a web of complexity that's fun to unravel, with a new situation facing the hero each week. I wondered how the author was going to resolve things in the end. He didn't disappoint me.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story line, February 16, 2011
By Sue, on Amazon
The story pulled me in right from the beginning as I wondered where the missing day went, and what would happen if it did, or did not, reappear. It's an easy read, but it isn't mindless. It's science fiction with a political angle...more science fiction than politics, and you don't have to agree with the politics to enjoy the book.
5.0 Stars out of 5, Riveting, January 11, 2011
By dMcClean, on Barnes & Noble
It isn't exactly hard science fiction and I'm not a huge fan of authors pushing a political viewpoint BUT once I started reading, I literally could not stop. The mystery pulled me in tight and wouldn't let me go.
I highly recommend it.