Monday, September 20, 2010

The Replacement ~ Brenna Yovanoff review

Thre Replacement
Razorbill
September 21, 2010
352 pages
Buy @ Amazon


Mackie Doyle is not like the other kids at school. The scent of blood makes his world spin, Steel (touching it, being around it) brings him physical pain, he can't step onto the hallowed ground of the church and his eyes are dark, dark black. That's because Mackie Doyle isn't really the minister's son or Emma's brother, he's the thing that, one night when Emma was four, was switched in the crib for the real Malcolm Doyle.

It's something that everyone knows, but doesn't know that underneath the town of Gentry there is dark underworld of creatures that, every seven years, takes children from the town's residents. Some times and some places have given them names, things like goblins or monsters, but here they have no name.

Malcolm, meanwhile only knows that it's important that he not stand out too much at school--no matter how hard that might be. Being outside, able to smell and touch the earth might comfort him, but he can't let his classmates know just how different he is.

Trying to be a normal teenage boy, with a crush on a girl named Alice, a friend named Roswell who gets that he's weird and puts up with it, a sister named Emma who loves him deeply and unconditionally even knowing is secret, Mackie's world is soon turned upside down when a girl in his class, Tate's, sister dies.

Everyone decides Tate simply in denial because she's not grieving, because she's acting like nothing happened, at all. But Tate insists that what died, what's buried under the tombstone with her sister's name, was not in fact her sister. Tate knows that something happened and because she can see that Mackie is different, she wants help from him--wants to know what he knows. But that would require acknowledgement that he's something other than your average, high school boy and his whole life is built around not doing that.


The Replacement is different than most changeling stories because it's focused mostly on the present, modern characters and not just the folklore--it's actually quite a bit like Wicked Lovely the way there's the modern day characters interacting with the supernatural world that's secretly there. The first half to sixty percent of the book was a little slow reading for me, but then once it got into the conflict/resolution and ending I liked it a lot more.

There was a wide array of supernatural characters introduced and they ranged from creepy to creepy but also kind of sad to really pretty sad and pathetic with a side of creepy. All of them, though, seemed to be very unique and well developed.

I loved the relationship between Mackie and his sister, Emma. She took such great care of him, even though seeing what she did at four could have just freaked her out entirely (four's old enough to do that, I think). I really loved that they had that closeness that drove a lot of both of their actions throughout the story. I think it's also great because so many people have siblings and even if you don't always like them so much, you can understand wanting to protect them and identify with their relationship.

The way his parents acted toward him was interesting--and not as flushed out as his relationship with his sister--but grew throughout the book and helped along different parts of the story. I also appreciate novels that do actually involve teen's parents and don't have them just existing theoretically, I think it makes the whole story more believable and enjoyable.

I really enjoyed Breanna Yovanoff's writing in this story and the world she created was exceptionally well imagined and well written. I look forward to more of her writing and hope you'll read The Replacement.


8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...