Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: 'The Replacement' by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: 01/12/2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Received from Publisher
RRP $24.99

Mackie Doyle is the Replacement. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie 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 when it was stolen away by the fey. Now, because of 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 into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem, where he must face down the dark creatures and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.


Wow. What a book! I was pleasantly surprised by 'The Replacement' and probably wouldn't have read it if it hadn't been for another book by this author. I only wish I had read it much sooner...

So why was it exactly that I didn't initially want to read 'The Replacement'? There are a few reasons. The cover, the perspective and the whole creepy vibe of the novel all turned me against it. When I first had heard of this book it was a few years ago and I'd only just finished reading 'The Host' and 'The Twilight Saga' (which had both also been out for a while) and I was new to the literary world of creepy fantasy. I get scared fairly quickly and when it came to books I was typically shallow aiming only to read light and fluffy tales of romance. I was always drawn to things like 'Wings' by Aprilynne Pike that had some not-so-believable villains. Now that I've read more and grown up a little bit I'm happy to say that I'm pretty comfortable with some of the stuff I had orignally thought of as scary. I believe this applies to books only though, I'm not about to go and sit down for an 'Underworld' DVD marathon.

When I found this book on shelfari it had the creepiest cover; A pram with scissors and knives pointing into it. I thought it was super scary. The cover pictured above is almost equally discouraging, but not in a scary way. Regardless of which cover the book has, the amazing content inside is what matters most. Once again, I've found myself learning that the cover doesn't really mean squat when it comes to books.

The third thing that turned me against wanting to read the novel was the narrator. Call me sexist, but I'm not a real big fan of things from the male perspective. I often find that I can't relate to a lot of male characters and that they talk a lot about sports and such, which I'm not really into. Many of the books I've read with Male characters in 1st person were chop-n-change historical novels or magical realism that had the perspective of many different people. Having said that I actually found this book to be quite refreshing. There wasn't a whole heap of that "And I wore this" and "he was wearing" stuff included which left more to the imagination and stopped the reader from feeling bogged down in details.

I actually felt that I could relate to Mackie even though he was a male. This character wasn't your typical fantasy male. He wasn't super strong, he wasn't immortal and he definitely didn't think he was invinsible. He was a bit insecure and he was a bit of a reject. Things which I'm pretty sure most people can relate to.

The only reason I read this book is because I enjoyed 'Smoulder' so much. 'Smoulder'-which is also known as 'Space Between'- was published last year. It was a book that I enjoyed more than I thought I would and was different from a lot of the stuff that I was used to reading. After reading and reviewing it I discovered that the author had also written 'The Replacement' and even though I wasn't keen on that book I decided to give it a go anyway, because 'Smoulder' was just soo goood. I am really, really glad that I decided to request 'The Replacement'.

One quality that I enjoy most in a fantasy novel is the writer's ability to sugar-coat social issues from the real world. In 'The Replacement' the main character Mackie is a sickly boy who discovers that he's not really human. He's actually a 'Replacement'; A sick child of the underworld that has been switched with a human baby so that the real Malcom Doyle could be used as a sacrifice. The whole "replacement" aspect of the storyline reminded me of kidnappings and murders and cults. The scary stuff that happens in the real world. While the fact that Mackie has all these allergies and looks different to everyone else reminds me of kids who suffer from terminal illness and the kids who are outsiders; Kids that are another race or another religion; Kids that don't know how to be social with other kids. I think this book is a great way for readers to see the problems with society from another perspective.

Overall, I think this book is worth 5/5 stars and marking it as a favourite. What a great story! I thought this novel was a refreshing read and really enjoyed the unique social perspective it had to offer me. I think everyone should read this book, except maybe the faint-hearted.

Also by this author:
'Smoulder' by Brenna Yovanoff Click here for Review

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1 comment:

Erica said...

I really need to read this one - it looks so great!