Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Date(s) read: April 9 – 10, 2013
Genre: YA Supernatural
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.
Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
The Replacement is one of those books that has been on my radar for quite some time, mainly because of its uber-creepy cover. I mean, a baby carriage with scissors and other dangerous objects hanging over it? How creepy is that?
One thing I love about Brenna Yovanoff’s writing is that her stories could be like the typical paranormal or supernatural stories that are out there, but they’re also so different. Just like the last story of hers I read, The Space Between, this one deals with demons and the devil, with the main focus being on these “replacements” — creatures that are put in the place of small children after the children are stolen. Normally, these creatures die, but in some cases, they live.
I really loved Mackie’s character, although it did take me a few pages until I found out that Mackie was a boy. I guess I’m not that used to reading books with male narrators! It was definitely a refreshing change and I really liked the story told from his point of view. He seemed confused and a little out of place, but he was still a boy had all those “boy” feelings, but I liked that he was never a jerk or too cocky about it. I also really loved Tate’s character, even if she was a little too demanding at times. I felt like there were times when she’d rather others do her dirty work while she dictates the terms, instead of getting her hands dirty herself.
I also really liked how different this story was. There were so many things going on in it, especially the theme of just being different — it’s especially dark in that sense, seeing as these “replacements” happen more often than not and more people can’t accept them. Not only is there the feeling of being different and not belonging, but love — and not even love between a boy and a girl, but familial love and sibling love. It was very powerful!
Another thing I really love about Brenna’s writing is her worlds. They’re not quite like the world we live in today, but there’s something dark and mysterious about them. It’s like seeing a world in full colour, but that one colour has something peculiar about them, like something you see that’s usually red has a greyish tinge to it — there’s just something “off” about it, and that’s a nice thing.
While I did love this story, I wouldn’t say that it hooked me as much as The Space Between did, though I am still very interested in Brenna’s writing. I think her writing is unique and able to draw in its readers with quirkiness, mystery, and romance. I think she’s an author to watch.