Customer Reviews for

The Replacement

Average Rating 4
( 185 )
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5 Star

(80)

4 Star

(53)

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(30)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Creepy, But Lovable Main Character

The entire town of Gentry knows that their human children are stolen and murdered by monsters, but they seem to be okay with the sacrifice in order to keep their town the happy place it is. This novel creates a intriguing world that is full of mystery.


Mackie Doyle...
The entire town of Gentry knows that their human children are stolen and murdered by monsters, but they seem to be okay with the sacrifice in order to keep their town the happy place it is. This novel creates a intriguing world that is full of mystery.


Mackie Doyle is one of the creepiest main characters I've come across in a while, but I will say he is very likable and he won me over very easily. Mackie has this venerability that makes you root for him even though he's not quite human and was placed in a crib to replace a human baby that had been stolen and sacrificed. While the creatures under the hill may be evil, Mackie isn't, and strives to just be "normal". Iron, even the slight amount in blood, causes Mackie to go into a toxic shock type syndrome, which adds to the struggle to live in the human world.


This novel is a great YA mystery. The kind where you have to figure out exactly what Mackie is why these creatures under the hill suddenly want him back.


If you like creepy YA told from a male first person point of view with a little bit of romance sprinkled in, this one's for you.

posted by Reading-Writing-Waiting on August 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Interesting supernatural twist (from The Tealeaf Review)

Based on the synopsis on the back of the book, I went into The Replacement expecting a cool, almost reverse Labyrinth. But alas, there was no magical David Bowie, and no dance numbers. All I found was the same problem I've been having with a lot of paranormal books late...
Based on the synopsis on the back of the book, I went into The Replacement expecting a cool, almost reverse Labyrinth. But alas, there was no magical David Bowie, and no dance numbers. All I found was the same problem I've been having with a lot of paranormal books lately. I end up liking the world, and a lot of the secondary characters, more than the main plotline and characters. For me, the world that existed below the ground was beautiful, horrifying, and absolutely fascinating. I could picture the House of Mayhem, and the Morrigan, and the living dead girls in such vivid detail, I found myself sorry to return with Mackie to the normal human world. I wanted so much more of this mysterious world. The Morrigan especially! She was so cute and childlike, yet adult and sinister all at once. Her snuggly closeness quickly made her, without competition, my favorite character in the whole book. As for the human world? Well, it was just a whole village full of scared people in denial. Nothing really appealing about it. The best advice you can give your kid is to not be unique, but blend in. However, for everyone so seemingly steeped in denial, it struck me as really strange when some of the characters didn't bat an eyelash at some of the weird stuff going on. Little zombie girl? I'd freak. Doors popping out of garbage heaps? I'd run the other way. A freaky queen who likes to eat babies? I'd check myself into an institution. But no one seems to question the strangeness of it all. Maybe the teens in Gentry are immune to the denial? Or, at least a select few. One thing I really did appreciate, however, was the realism of the way the teens spoke. I liked that there was a bunch of swearing, because it felt so much more real that way. In a lot of YA, it seems the intent is to be a "clean" read - no cussing, no physical contact beyond kissing. Well, The Replacement got it right. The kids swear when they're mad or confused, and there's quite a bit of inappropriate touching and staring. Most books from a boy's perspective (especially those written by women) tend to skim over some details about where their minds are. But no, the author just flat out lets you know Mackie isn't really paying attention to the teacher, he's staring at some girl's boobs. I laughed. And it made me feel like the characters were a little more real. As for the characters themselves? The secondary cast stole the show to me, especially "Them", the underground folk. Mackie annoyed me occasionally - he came off a bit whiny, weak, and pathetic in some scenes. I really found myself just honestly wishing he'd grow a spine and do something. Tate was likable enough, though I felt no chemistry between her and Mackie. She felt like a convenient plot point. No interest in her until her sister vanishes, then suddenly, it's all about her. Something just didn't click with that relationship to me. Roswell was an awesome best friend, though his lack of asking questions and demanding answers about all the weird stuff going on was a little strange. I would have actually liked a little more detail about him and his family, though.
All in all, a pretty good supernatural read. The prose is elegant and haunting, and the world is beautifully creepy. I appreciate that this is a standalone novel, but I think I could have stood it to be a little longer. Some parts ended up feeling rushed. Mackie is a bit of a wimp, but a strong minor character cast make up for it.

posted by LizTea on March 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2015

    Long read

    The concept of the book was interesting, but it was dull and quick to transition. It was a choppy wave, no flow. The end was expected, and very dry. But the concept was very original.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Letdown

    I was somewhat disappointed in this much-anticipated book. The premise of the novel delighted me when I read the synopsis, but the writing itself was lackluster. I found reading The Replacement very tedious. It should have taken me three days to read this, but more realistically, it took almost three weeks. I would say the storyline was interesting enough, but the writing was truly a letdown. 2 1/2 stars, really.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I tried really, really hard to enjoy this book. The plot is int

    I tried really, really hard to enjoy this book.

    The plot is intriguing. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking. For those who remember the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," The Replacement is a similar theme. There is an underground of walking dead and demons. In a small town, one of the demons kidnaps a child once every seven years and devours it. That child is replaced with a sickly child from the underground, who usually dies shortly after. As a result, the demon ensures the town enjoys prosperity and is not affected by natural disasters.

    The main character is a Replacement but because of the love of his sister, who witnessed the exchange when she was 4, he was able to thrive and live into his teens. But now he is getting sick and must finally meet the underground and help them in exchange for his health/life. Since the underground feed off the town's love and admiration, they have a rock band that performs and is very good. As a result, the underground gets the admiration they need to survive.

    Yes, you read that right... a rock band. It is just too cheesy. The author had such a great premise and then ruined it, for me that is. The author could have even kept the rock band as long as it was a part of a bigger picture, like the arts. They feed off the admiration of plays, movies, art, etc. and the field of the arts is filled with the underground. Many of the themes of the works of art could have been the characters and history of the underground. That could have worked. But it took the alternate route, which I thought was a bit too cheesy.

    The writing is not the best, in my opinion. And it seemed very inconsistent. There were parts that were interesting and flowed nicely, but there were a lot of parts that were confusing and just awkward. I re-read many sections, which didn't help, and then just gave up because they didn't seem integral to the story. There were also a lot of typos, which is a little distracting for me, especially when I am having a hard time getting into the book to begin with. I would get to an interesting part, get into the flow and then a typo would stop me in my tracks because I would have to go back and figure out what word should not have been there. It may be nitpicky, but those kinds of things bother me when they are frequent.

    What would have made it better for me- First, the editing clearly should have been better, not just to eliminate the typos or grammatical errors (in some places I'm not really sure which it is), but to smooth out some of the awkward parts or to make better transitions between some scenes. Second, I would have liked to have seen more history of the Underground. Maybe the book could have started with one of the scenes from long ago when a warrior sacrificed himself. The whole first chapter could have been about that and then chapter 2 starts with Mackie. Later, there could be flashbacks or conversations with others that reveal more of the history. Third, I wanted more details on what happened after the Mackie switch. I wanted to see how the parents reacted, how he was treated, how the town reacted, how Emma played a pivotal role in Mackie's survival. I don't know. There just seemed to be so much missing that it left me unsatisfied.

    If executed better, this book could have been a great book for discussion. Is it morally okay to sacrifice one individual to ensure the happiness of many? Why would a whole town just turn their head the other way and not band together and do something? Why would people stay in the town? Is it morally acceptable to treat a Replacement with less care after your own child was taken? None of these were adequately explored. The plot was so intriguing that the author could have fully developed these points of discussion without losing the interest of a Young Adult.

    The reading is very easy and if you get into the book, it's a quick read. I didn't and found myself distracted by laundry, the squirrels playing in the backyard, FB updates that were surely there, etc. This book should have taken me one day to read but I ended up trudging through it. The only reason I didn't put it down is because I wanted it to get better and by the time I was ready to call it quits, I was three quarters of the way through. By that point, it seemed like a waste not to finish.

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    -_-

    Let's start with the cover. I LOVE IT! The cover and the premise of the book were awesome and made me want to read this book. It sounded interesting and like it could be one of the unique...creepy...lovable YA tales.
    Let me state this: I was wrong. This book was so boring that I had to FORCE myself to keep reading. It never got better. It took me weeks to finish this book when it should have only taken me about two days.
    The writing was boring and plain and the main character was...ok. The ending was really a let down. I kept thinking that it has to get better...the ending has to be great. Nope, wrong again. It was, again, a let down and boring.

    All of us have different likes and opinions, I get that.
    Could I put this book down? I did multiple times!
    Did I want to keep reading? No, not really.
    Was the cover nice? Hell ya!
    Could the story have been better? Definitely!
    Could the writing and the way the story was executed been done better? YES!

    All in all...I gave this two stars mostly because of the cover. I love my books and normally wouldn't think about giving any of them away, but this one I am going to. To who? I have no clue yet.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    Spoiler Alert (kind of)

    It was pretty interesting in the beginning, but then it kind of lost its zang when they decided that Mackie's obligation to the slag heap people would be playing bass for the humans... ummm... lame. And then it was okay again, but the whole book takes place over, like 3 months, and it seem like 3 days. I didn't know it was 3 months until the last few pages when a character states it. Ugh. Also, I wasn't in love with any of the characters, and actually found a few of them quite trite. Sad really. The book had such potential, and then it was taken down a few notches by a silly plot line. I mean, if it really just takes metal to kill the evil ruler of the slag heap... why hasn't anyone done it yet? Sigh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2010

    Not Great

    The Replacement was ok. I felt that it took too long to explain what was going on. It was hard to follow in the beginning because nothing was explained. I thought the supporting characters were bland and uninteresting and the plot was predictable. Definitely not one of my favorites.

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