The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Book Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill (2010)
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Stars: 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.


I know, this book came out three years ago. I know, the cover looks a bit scary. But this book is so good! If you like horror or dark fantasy novels, give this one a try – and if you don’t like those genres… well try it anyways and let me know what you think ;)


3 thoughts on “The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

  1. From the moment I saw the cover for The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, as well as rdaeing the synopsis where the main protagonist is male, I had to pick this one up to read. Unfortunately, what I read inside the book was very lacking. Talk about a big disappointment. The premise is excellent about a very awkward and scared teenage boy who is from another realm. But because of the overall vague nature of the characters and very slow beginning, where again the key word is vague, I couldn’t stick with it and unfortunately this became a DNF (Did Not Finish) for me. This is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t pick a book by its cover as well as trust the blurb on the cover from a very popular and successful author who just also happens to be part of a blog with Brenna Yovanoff.Mackie Doyle is a very strange teenager. He tries to fit in, but can’t. He’s known as a weird and creepy boy who is very pale with blond hair and dark eyes. Mackie is allergic to iron, and when he sees blood, he becomes very ill. He tries his best not to bring attention to himself for reason that are just known and not really stated. The town of Gentry, where he lives, is almost as strange as Mackie is. Mackie also hides a dark secret, one his parents and sister hides from the world, where they even keep the most important facts from him. Mackie knows he’s not normal, but no one will tell him why, until one of Mackie’s schoolmates, Tate, has a family tragedy. Tate’s little sister, Natalie, has been killed, or I think she has been killed, but again, everyone seems to dance around the situation that has occurred.Tate knows her sister’s death was due to an evil influence, but again her finding the answers will be very difficult because everyone around her ignores the signs and pretends that nothing is wrong. A great deal of healthy infants are dying for no reason in Gentry. But Mackie is getting closer to the truth about himself and Tate’s sister, for Mackie has replaced the real Malcolm Doyle when he was only a baby. He’s known as a Castoff and was expected to die, but thrived. Now the creatures of the underground, the ones that have jagged teeth and ugly features want Mackie to join them. If he doesn’t, he will continue to weaken, and his sister Emma will also suffer, for she was the one who was able to save him from dying when he was only a baby.The Replacement is a very dark and strange book that I had no connection to. No one wants to admit to anything, and by the time I met the freaky supernatural, let’s wear our scariest Halloween costumes and go BOO to Mackie to make him tremble in fear tween fairy girls, I knew then I was done. I felt no connection to Mackie, his predicament or the spooky atmosphere I guess should be feeling. I think my big problem was the way things were written. Brenna sets up the story, but does so in such a way where there is too much telling and not showing. There was no depth, no push to keep me interested. Everything was very hollow and more surface rdaeing if anything.Now I know because I didn’t finish The Replacement, things could have improved in the second half of the book. Unfortunately because the beginning was stale and just blah for me, I couldn’t continue. Katiebabs

  2. it was one of the best horror young adult books that has come out in a while and I coetelpmly 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.

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