Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Publisher: Razorbill (September 21, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 343
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9781595143372
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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.

This book has the dark theme of infant children being snatched at birth with a nonhuman "replacement" left in its wake. We are immediately introduced to Mackie Doyle who is significantly different from his human counterparts from his pale skin to his dark eyes and his overall level of freak. Yovanoff did a great job at the alienation that Mackie experiences when everyone, including himself, knows he is different.

When Tate's sister is presumed dead, Tate forces Malcom to tell her the truth and what he finds out is more truth about himself and suddenly we're thrown into the welcoming plot of the underground paranormal existence that thrives beneath the slag heap. We find out that the town of Gentry isn't as pleasant as it first seems; its past is dark and its a typical setup for the town that thrives in the middle-of-nowhere when all the other towns falter and fizzle. The truth of what happens to the infants is revealed and Mackie, the exception replacement, finds the strength to fight against it.

The plot takes us on an adventure through monsters, plotting, fun, and more until a most predictable and not quite exciting ending. The story was compelling until the finale left me feeling like it ended to easily; it was all set for something epic but it fizzled just like the outlying towns of Gentry. The remaining characters were well constructed and I loved The Morrigan possibly more than any other character; fun and lively this support character had a blossoming personality and a strength about her throughout the story. "She" felt much more well rounded than Tate or any of Mackie's friends with a deep connected history to Mackie.

The one thing that could have been answered with more clarity was what a replacement actually is; we know they do not typically survive, but what are they and why are they cast offs? And if it is assumed they are not to survive, as we expereince with Tate's sister's replacement, why leave them at all?

Favorite Quote:

"I love you, and when I tell you goodbye, I don't mean forever or for long. Just that I'm going home now, and so are you." - The Morrigan

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