Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Replacement

Mackie Doyle is a strange boy, but no one around wants to admit how strange he really is. He’s prone to fainting at the sight of blood, which isn’t too odd, but he also can’t stand being near steel or iron and can’t tread of consecrated ground. He is a changeling, left in the place of the human child that was stolen. No one in the town wants to face that these children are stolen by creatures that they don’t want to believe exist. The townspeople aren’t above making Mackie feel like a freak and an outsider. Then two things happen: a mysterious man tells Mackie he’s going to die; and Tate, a girl from his class whose sister had just died, keeps accosting him and asking him where her real sister is. Can he find her sister and save her from a horrific death or will he even survive long enough to try?

This book came highly recommended to me by my sister. She said it was one of the best horror young adult books that has come out in a while and I completely agree. The overall tone of the novel is very dark and descends as it goes along into an inhuman realm of undead children, gruesome murders, and ancient supernatural beings. The city of Gentry is odd and disjointed: there’s the normal, mundane world that regular people live in and then there’s the sinister world of the fae that serves as a constant undercurrent to the normal one. The inhabitants of the town are aware of the fae world and children are stolen from them, but they don’t really know why or for what purpose. It has to be horrible to live in a town where the truth is glossed over and denied while children are put in danger “for the greater good.” The way these two worlds interact and feed off of each other is fascinating.

Mackie is an interesting character because he’s relatable and interesting without even being human. He’s pretty miserable throughout most of the book both because of the physical pain that comes with living in the human world and the emotional pain from being the creature that replaced his parent’s real son. His relationship with his family is beautiful because even though he isn’t really even related to them, they decide to embrace him and make him feel loved anyway. They all work so hard to protect him, especially his sister Emma. It would have been so easy for them to resent and hate him. Mackie expresses his feelings through playing his bass, which I can totally relate to. There’s a scene where he plays in onstage with a band; the music, the way the band feeds off the energy from the crowd, and how the band members interact are described in electric detail. I really loved Mackie as a different kind of hero because he stopped being satisfied with glossing over the truth like everyone else. I enjoyed seeing his growth and change throughout the novel.

The Replacement is a wonderful young adult book that creates a creepy, eerie atmosphere. The world Brenna Yokanoff has created is brilliant, yet disturbing. I would definitely recommend this to any fan of horror fiction.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins


vvb32 reads said...

you know, i've seen this one around but never took to the time to really look and the cover and read the description until now. eerie, yes. wonder what the horseshoe shaped thingee in the mobile is? good review. i'm picking this one up!

E.J. Stevens said...

This book sounds fabulously creepy. Great review!
From the Shadows

Misty said...

I'm reading this right now, so I avoided most of the review, just in case you give anything away. So far I am really LOVING it, though. It just flows so nicely, especially since I'm reading the ARC -- I would have expected some rough patches, but nothing so far.

Nikki-ann said...

Good review. I've heard good things about this book. Might just read it now :)