Publication Date: September 21, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin Group
Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
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.
I was kind of afraid to read this book because of the cover. That uber-creepy cover up there looks horrorish. I just wasn’t in the mood for a super-scary book but The Replacement was suggested to me so many times that I finally gave in and read it.
I’m glad I did.
There were some creepy elements in this book, yes, but it was a good kind of creepy. A Tim Burton kind of creepy: Everything is a little off-kilter but you still like the people and the story and you root for the characters. You know? I like that kind of creepy. It’s fun.
And, to be honest, the protagonist, Mackie, wasn’t all that weird. Throughout the book he kept talking about how weird he was and others mentioned how he was the weirdest guy they knew but nothing really stood out as that odd to me. He was completely relatable. Everyone has moments when they feel unwanted or outcast. It’s part of being human. Mackie Doyle was one of the most human characters I’ve read. Yovanoff did a good job with that.
I didn’t understand the relationship between Mackie and Roswell all that much. Roswell was always willing to do anything at all for Mackie. There were multiple instances of Mackie pulling Roswell away from a party or a girl and Roswell just going along with it. No questions asked, no complaints, just, “Okay, Mackie, I’ll do whatever you want even though I was having fun.” That’s a rare breed of person, right there. The most true friend in the world that I never got the sense Mackie reciprocated.
All the girls, I understood. Except maybe Mackie’s sister who was the most loving sister I’ve ever heard of. I wish I knew of a sister like that. I didn’t think Tate or Alison were all that likeable but I believed that there would be people who acted that way. They made sense.
When I first started this book I was just hoping against all hope that this wasn’t about vampires. I’m so over books pulling me in with an eerie, interesting first couple of chapters only to turn out to be about vampires. But they all have some different twist on the mythology and what vampires can do so that makes them unique, right?
So thank you, Brenna Yovanoff, for not writing a book about vampires. But, honestly, I would like to know what these beings were that I was reading about. All the hinting and vague explanations were lovely and interest-building but I like some good old blunt, “here’s what this is and why.” That’s all. So, in short, Yovanoff is an expert at creating suspense and interest in her writing. I was completely sucked in. She is less-than-expert, however, at explaining what it was that was actually going on.
I liked this book. I would totally read another of Yovanoff’s books just to enjoy her writing style and eerie themes. Super interesting.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Violence: Heavy (and lots of gross/weird gory things happening)