Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Release date: 6th Jan 2011 UK
Genre: Paranormal / Horror / YA
Target audience: 12+
UK Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Summary from Amazon:
Mackie Doyle is a replacement - a fairy child left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago, to replace the baby when it was stolen away by the fey. So though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie's real home is the fey world of tunnels and black, murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. Now, because his fey blood gives him fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything just to be normal, to live quietly amongst humans, practice his bass guitar and spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably back home to the fey underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem, where he must face down the dark creatures, rescue the child, and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.
The Replacement is a haunting, terrifying novel which explores the nature of humanity and the darkest creatures that live beneath the town of Gentry.
Mackie Doyle is not an ordinary boy. He lives in the town of Gentry but he is not one of the people. He is a replacement. Sixteen years ago a baby boy was stolen from a crib in the Doyle house and Mackie was left behind in the boy’s place.
From the very first chapter, the eerie and unnerving tone of the novel is unleashed. Mackie forgets that there is a blood drive at school and when he enters the canteen, the iron in the blood threatens to overwhelm him. Iron brings on a strange and debilitating sickness in Mackie. He knows he is different from his peers and he knows he must not show it for fear that the townsfolk will persecute him. The strange and sinister mysteries of the town are a recurring nightmare. Another baby has been stolen from a crib. Mackie tries to his best to blend in and not expose the true nature of what he is but his sickness is growing and his life is beginning to unravel.
Mackie was a very likeable character. Despite the fact that he perceives himself as part of the evil stirring in Gentry, as the reader I never felt that way about him. His desire to be human and accepted made me warm to him. I also really loved Roswell - Mackie’s best friend. He was dependable, logical and for me the central source of hope in the novel. I had this feeling, which I think Mackie shared, that as long as Roswell was there everything would be alright.
There were times reading The Replacement when I felt truly disturbed by the utterly gruesome horrors of the town. I am beginning to think this blog should be called Diary of a Wimpy Bookette because this book haunted me; the terrifying scenes followed me around even when I wasn’t reading. I have to say I was relieved when I finished it. But do not misunderstand me, for this book is well-written and well-plotted. It is just that the description of some of the monsters actually made me gag. This is the closest I will ever come to reading a horror novel.
The Replacement is full of foreboding, a swirling evil and an exploration of deep philosophical questions about the nature of who and what we are. It stands out for its utterly compelling, sinister edge but only read it if you are a braver reader than me. Let’s face it that wouldn’t be hard!
Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me the book to review.