Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie is allergic to blood.  And iron.  And consecrated ground.  That's because Mackie isn't human.  He's a changeling child, switched at birth.  In the town of Gentry, every seven years a switch happens, and the changeling baby usually dies.  But Mackie didn't.  No one talks about it.  No one acknowledges what happens in the town of Gentry.  Mackie has gone his whole life trying to be invisible, but he can't any more.  Mackie has been feeling sicker and sicker.  He's told he's dying, and the baby sister of a girl at school has been switched.  Mackie doesn't want to get involved, but he's being pulled into the world he doesn't want to know exists.  The world he's really from.

This started off good and then lost me as it went on.  There were some pacing problems.  Things really started to drag as it got toward the middle.  I wanted everyone to just get on with it already.  Stop the mopping around, I'm getting bored.

I also had an issue with what I felt was a major character discrepancy.  Tate is the girl who Mackie has a crush on and whose sister has been taken for the sacrifice.  Tate knows that the baby that replaced her sister and died wasn't really her sister, and she's trying to figure out the truth.  Tate is pretty kick-ass.  She doesn't take any crap from anyone.  She wants to know what's really happening in Gentry.  She's fed up with Mackie's crap.  She's tough.  So that was my understanding of her character.  Then Mackie finds out that Tate's sister is still alive.  Now, if someone told me my baby sister who I figured was already dead was in fact alive, my first question would be, "Where is she?" quickly followed by how could I find her.  Tate never asks where her sister is. She leaves Mackie to take care of it.  It seemed so completely out of character for Tate.  She was hardly the kind of person (I had been lead to believe) who would sit around and hope that someone else took care of things for her.  So that was really weird.

The other thing I didn't really like was how it turned out it was incredibly easy to take down the big scaries that everyone has been too afraid to challenge.  Like, amazingly easy.  One of the reasons that no one crosses the Lady (the bad fairy or whatever they were) is because she has this guy, the Cutter, who relishes in torture and everyone is horribly afraid of.  It turns out all you need to do to make him back down is hit him a few times with a crowbar.  Which Tate does, and then he's out of the picture.  Seriously?  That was our scary villain?  But that was so...simple.

And then while the Lady is sucking out Mackie's blood when he's offered himself in exchange for Tate's sister, he stabs her once with his knife.  So.  There we are.  It was all a bit anticlimactic I guess is what I'm saying. 

I liked that it was different from the other supernatural and fantasy books I've read lately.  It had a really interesting concept.  But the pacing and inconsistencies and the ultimate feeling of "Oh, that's it?" lead to a general feeling of disappointment.


  1. Gee. I really loved this book. I didn't even notice the inconsistencies...I guess I wasn't reading that carefully. Goes to show you how subjective reading can be. Sorry you didn't like it more, but I appreciate your take on it.

  2. Did you know she's coming out with a new book soon? It's called The Space Between. I think it's out in November.

  3. I loved the Replacement, it has been my all time favorite book since I bought it. I love the reaction when people pass my desk from my peers at the front cover, I love Mackie, I love how the idea has never really come up. I hate having to look at the young adult section and only see vampires, witches, and high school crushes. The inconsistencies made me think it was a bit more real, that maybe it could actually happened. I hate it when books make it sound so impossible with some Mary Sue villain. Just generally. Whether they actually kill it or not. I also hate seeing good characters die, though in this book she could have killed Mackie, since she called it a short story, so that was obviously the end. Hopefully she ends up continuing it. I don't really look forward to The Space Between, it just doesn't sound good, but I love how she isn't going to sink into the stereotypical young adult Vampire category. I'm still definitely getting it.
    I'd defend it more, but it's simply difference of opinion.
    I'd bring up evidence, but it's been a few months, plus my horrible memory equals a high risk of false evidence.
    The one thing I love about this book is that I'm probably going to go home and read it, and still love it. This'll be my 6th time reading it since I got it.

  4. When I met her publisher I thought it was interesting that she said that The Replacement was marketed toward a niche market. She felt people either loved it or hated it. The Space Between was written for more of a general readership. I wrote a review of it here, and really liked it. Brenna Yovanoff has a real talent for description. Definitely read The Space Between, and let me know what you think!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...