The Replacement Book Review

Mackie Doyle is The Replacement – left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. He has been raised among us. But he is not one of us.

–Front flap

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff


Mackie is a changeling. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a child who switched out by a mythical race (sometimes elves, sometimes fay) for one of their own. So Mackie’s not human. He’s got fatal allergies to blood and iron and blessed ground. He hates knowing that for his life, his parent’s real child was lost. He’s wracked with guilt and has a pretty messed up life in a small town where ignorance is bliss.

Until the day a girl named Tate loses her sister to the same people who replaced a real baby with Mackie so long ago. They burry a body but everybody in towns knows it’s not the real thing. They all also know that they can’t say anything: only their town has survived when the others around it collapsed and they know their blessing comes from the same people who steal their kids and give them back replacements.

But Tate can’t let it go. She has a feeling that her sister is still alive, and so she turns to the only changeling that ever survived the switch– Mackie. But Mackie isn’t interested in helping her. He just wants to survive because lately his allergies have become something to close deadly. But as with all battles, there comes a point where he can’t fight it anymore. And so he has to turn to his brethren, the strange people who protect the town and steals its babies for help, and with that move, Mackie is caught in ancient magic and a desperate race to save a girl he barely even knows.

Hmm. That summary was much longer and much more dramatic than I was expecting. So was the story as dramatic as I made it seem? In some ways, yeah, it was. The climax was pretty good, though I must admit, it was a little cheesy. The build-up was pretty good too. Mackie is a great hero, albeit a little angsty. However, I found that his gloom and doom nature made sense because he does have a lot to feel guilty for. It’s not something as simple as loosing his girlfriend. It’s the fact that the real Mackie is dead and buried and he is alive in his place. He’s got a real reason, and actually, I didn’t mind the dark tone. It suited the chilling nature of the book perfectly.

The story is told from Mackie’s point of view and his quite a character. I liked his voice, I liked the way he saw the world. There is only one thing I didn’t like, but I’ll get to that later.

Mackie is surrounded by a beautiful cast of characters. He has a family that I thought were very true-to-life in their interactions and great sister. Everyone should have  a sister like Mackie. He also had fantastic friends. I know some people thought it was weird that his pals didn’t question all his strange habits, but it’s obvious that Mackie’s friends are real friends, the kind that don’t need to question that sort of stuff.

Standing out in particular is Mackie’s best bud, a guy named Roswell, who I sort of loved  because he was touching in the way Peeta from the Hunger Games is touching– very sweet, very understanding, very loyal.

Also standing out was the worst part of this book, a girl named Tate. Remember her from the summary? Right. So she becomes Mackie’s love interest even though he’s never really paid any attention to her before. But as she starts pestering him for information he sort of starts liking her. My problem with her? Tate was a bit of a beast. Not an animal. What I mean was that on the third real conversation they shared– conversation, not date, not meeting, just a conversation– she starts making out with him. Which isn’t that much of an issue, but the fact that the next time he hooks up with her she just pulls her shirt off. Like, what?! Do people do that? Not only was that totally un-romantic (to me anyways) but it was way too sudden because their relationship was so not developed enough for that.

But why call her a beast? Well, because the way she was described, I  first, could never understand her relationship with Mackie– she hung out with his friends seemingly all the time, but he barely knew her?– and second because she was brutish. Seriously. She was aggressive and mean and violent. I know she was going through a lot, but blood streaming down faces has never made someone endearing to me.

Sure I was happy that Mackie was happy and by the end of the book, I guess their relationship seems better, but I still think it progressed way too fast.

The only other flaw is that I think the build-up to the climax was a little repetitive and slow. Other than those two things (it always seems to be two things; is it that I can only disapprove in pairs?) I thought this book was great. It was a nice cozy little quasi-horror story and it was sweet too. There were some seriously touching scenes in there. If you’re looking for a paranormal story that’s got a bit more man in it and less gooey romance this is your book. It was a refreshing change of tone and  I loved that it was novel not a series (things seem to come in packages of three only nowadays). I gobbled it up. Good writing, good characters, satisfying ending? Delicious.

Ri’s Rating

QQQ/QQQQQ

3/5

0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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