The Replacement

( 183 )

Overview

Mackie 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 slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to ...

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Overview

Mackie 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 slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us. He just wants to play bass guitar and find out more about an oddly intriguing girl named Tate.

But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem.

He must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

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  • The Replacement
    The Replacement  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many high school students feel like outsiders, but in this dark fantasy Mackie Doyle has better reason than most to be alienated. Mackie is a changeling, a fairy child exchanged for a stolen human baby. Everyone knows it, though no one will acknowledge it, for fear of upsetting a deal the town made long ago. What, after all, is one baby taken every seven years, in exchange for continued economic prosperity? "Everyone else's unemployment skyrockets, and their tech plants go bankrupt and their dairy farms fail, but not ours," says Mackie's sister, Emma, one of the few who will acknowledge the town's secrets. Mackie, however--sickened by iron, terrified that his neighbors will turn on him--has paid a terrible price, as has Tate Stewart, who is traumatized by the loss of her baby sister, the latest stolen child. Eventually, the two teenagers join forces in an attempt to overturn the town's intolerable status quo. Debut novelist Yovanoff offers well-developed characters, a fascinating take on the Fairy Court, and an exciting story line. Combined with wicked cover art, this book has the makings of a success. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Booklist
Yovanoff’s unsettling villains and intriguing moral ambivalence make this effort shockingly original and frequently breathtaking.
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
High schooler Mackie has learned the lesson well that his father has emphasized since he was a baby: don't do anything that would cause him to be noticed. This lesson is hard to follow, however, because the sight and iron-like smell of blood make Mackie sick. Furthermore, he can't attend the funeral of the younger sister of his mysterious classmate Tate because consecrated ground makes his skin blister. Although he yearns to be the normal boy his best friend, Roswell, seems to assume he is—to get to know Tate, date Alice, and play the guitar—he has to hide his differences, especially the fact that, having been traded years ago for a real baby, he's not even human. Mackie is a Replacement. As almost everyone in the town of Gentry knows, many children seem to die and get replaced. His sister, Emma, then four, saw the replacement happen and, remarkably, wasn't afraid. No one discusses these secrets until Mackie's mother kicks Emma's best friend, Janice, out of the house because she, too, is a Replacement. His mother, then, reveals her own twisted relationship with the Lady, the Morrigan, and other demons who rule the town, explaining that she had tried but failed to protect the baby Mackie replaced by hanging scissors and knives over his crib. Mackie's family realizes they need to save Gentry, a decision that initially leads to catastrophic results. This dystopian novel quickly establishes a whole and convincingly creepy world. The suspenseful story, set in a seemingly normal town that is suffused with complicated, odd characters and weird happenings, will keep fantasy-lovers reading through several scary nights. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
VOYA - Karen Sykeny
In this contemporary horror-fantasy novel, protagonist Malcolm "Mackie" Doyle is a changeling in the town of Gentry. The townspeople know something is wrong when their young children seem different and die too young; however, they all pretend nothing is wrong. Malcolm leads an isolated life since he must keep his secret and not get too close, except with his family, who knows what he is but accepts him. His best friend, Roswell, knows too, and his family has always been unaffected for hundreds of years. Tara, an angry girl at school whose sister was just taken, is attracted to Mackie because of his difference and thinks maybe he can help. Mackie cannot go on sacred ground, and the smell of blood causes pain, as does any contact with iron. He meets underground dwellers, led by Morrigan, who explain how they have always been around and taking babies as sacrifice. Mackie is fourteen years old and has already lived longer than he should, which makes him valuable among his kind, who try to help him stay healthy. This story is interesting in the popular horror genre, but the fantasy world and its mythology building is a little confusing and weak at times. It has an engaging first-person narrative and interaction among teen characters. Mackie's internal struggle wanting to fit in, be normal, and choose the right side in an ancient struggle are the most attractive parts of the novel. Reviewer: Karen Sykeny
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Being a teenage boy is difficult enough, but Mackie Doyle has a secret that sets him apart from other teens in this novel (Razorbill, 2010) by Brenna Yavanoff. Mackie is a nonhuman replacement for a human baby that was stolen. He from the ugly, rotting world of Mayhem that resides under the town. All Mackie wants to do is be accepted at school, stay under the radar, and attempt to kiss a girl. But all that changes when he becomes very ill and is approached by creepy people who say they can save him if he will go underground to his own kind. Then another child is stolen and Mackie befriends the grieving sister to retrieve her from the underworld. This eerie story is a modern version of a changeling tale. Teens will find it exciting and identify with the normal teen angst set in this supernatural world. Anime actor Kevin Collins does an outstanding job of making the voices of Mackie and all the secondary characters believable. A deliciously intriguing listening experience.—Jeana Actkinson, ESC Region XI, Ft. Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Mackie's nauseated by the scent of blood, is burned by cold iron and would die if he entered a church. None of this helps him avoid notice in his hometown, where close-mouthed neighbors hang horseshoes and leave milk in the garden. No quaint old-world superstitions, these; in the town of Gentry, a child dies mysteriously every seven years. Mackie's been raised to avoid notice, so nobody will recognize him for the changeling his parents and adoring sister know him to be. But with another baby apparently dead and blood and iron all over town, Mackie's having a hard enough time staying upright, let alone under the radar. Soon the sickly boy meets the Morrigan and her court: a mishmash of Celtic mythology with British folklore, elfpunk music and adorable Tim Burton–esque horrors. There's romance and rescue (though mercifully no Edward Cullen types to replace the tale's endearing original couple). Some of the urban-fantasy elements get dropped in the crowd partway through, but enough grotesque goodies remain to keep this a fast-paced, dark delicacy. (Urban fantasy. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441888440
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 9/21/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 9 CDs, 10 hrs. 30 min.
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenna Yovanoff

Brenna Yovanoff is a debut author who has been published in various journals. She is one third of the Merry Sisters of Fate, along with Maggie Stiefvater and Tessa Gratton, three women writers who post creative flash fiction regularly at http://community.livejournal.com/merry_fates. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Read an Excerpt

I don't remember any of the true, important parts, but there's this dream I have. Everything is cold and branches scrape the window screen. Giant trees, rattling, clattering with leaves. White rain gutter, the curtain flapping. Pansies, violets, sunflowers. I know the fabric pattern by heart. They're a list in my head, like a poem.

I dream about fields, dark tunnels, but nothing is clear. I dream that a dark shape puts me in the crib, puts a hand over my mouth, and whispers in my ear. Shh, it says. And, Wait. No one is there, no one is touching me, and when the wind comes in around the edges of the window frame, my skin is cold. I wake up feeling lonely, like the world is big and freezing and scary. Like I will never have anyone touch me again.

They were sticking students in the cafeteria, over by the trophy cases.

They'd hung a curtain to hide the blood-draw station, and it came down almost to the floor, but everyone knew what was behind it. Needles going in, tubes coming out. A butcher-paper banner was stretched over the west entrance, announcing the blood drive in giant Magic Marker letters.

We'd just come in from lunch. Me, the Corbett twins, and Roswell Reed.

Drew Corbett was digging through his pockets for a quarter to show me how he could fix a coin toss. It sounded complicated, but he had a way of taking any trick or sleight of hand and making it look easy.

When he tossed the quarter, it hung for a second and I was sure I could see it flip over, but when he showed me the back of his hand, it was still heads. He smiled a wide, slow smile, like we'd just exchanged a really good joke without either of us saying anything out loud. Behind us, his brother Danny-boy was in this ongoing argument with Roswell about whether or not the only local band that was any good could ever get radio play or score spots on late-night talk shows.

From far away, you could look at the twins and get the idea that they were the same person. They had the same long, brown hands, the same narrow eyes and dark hair. They were good at the same things, drawing and building and fixing stuff, but Drew was more relaxed. He listened better and moved slower. Danny was the one who talked.

"But look at what sells," Roswell said, raking a hand through his hair so it stood up in messy tufts, rust colored. "What makes you think that the same people who get all frantic for power chords would even appreciate a rarified talent like Rasputin Sings the Blues?"

Danny sighed and grabbed my arm. "Mackie, would anybody really take something that fundamentally sucks over something good?" He sounded impatient, like he already knew he was winning this one whether I backed him or not, so why were they still talking about it?

I didn't answer. I was looking at Alice Harms, which was a habitual behavior, kind of like a hobby.

Danny yanked harder. "Mackie, quit acting like a complete stoner and listen. Do you really think someone would pick the bad thing?"

"People don't always know what they should want," I said without looking away from Alice.

She had on a green shirt, cut low so it showed the tops of her breasts. There was a yellow blood-donor sticker stuck to the front of it. She tucked her hair behind one ear and the whole thing was sort of beautiful.

Except, I could smell the blood—sweet, metallic. I could taste it in the back of my mouth and my stomach was starting to feel iffy. I'd forgotten all about the blood drive until I'd walked into school that morning and been greeted by the festival of hand-lettered signs.

Drew hit me hard on the shoulder. "Here comes your girlfriend."

Alice was crossing the cafeteria, flanked by two other members of the junior-class royalty, Jenna Porter and Stephanie Beecham. I could hear the scuff of their sneakers on the linoleum. The sound was nice and reminded me of shuffling through dead leaves. I watched Alice but not in any really hopeful way.

Girls went for Roswell, not me. He was tall and knobby, with a wide, straight mouth. He was freckled in the summer, the hair on his arms was reddish, and he never got his sideburns even, but he was likable. Or maybe it was just that he was like them.

I was the weird one—pale, creepy. Blond hair might have been a strong point on someone else, but on me, it just made it harder to get away with how dark my eyes were. I didn't make jokes or start conversations. Sometimes, people got uneasy just looking at me. It was better to stay in the background. But now here I was, standing in the middle of the cafeteria, and Alice was coming closer. Her mouth was pink. Her eyes were very blue.

And then she was right in front of me.

"Hi, Mackie."

I smiled, but it felt more like wincing. It was one thing to look at her from across a room and think about maybe, possibly kissing her. It was another to have a conversation. I swallowed and tried to come up with any of the normal things people talk about. All I could think was how once I'd seen her in her tennis uniform last spring and her legs were so tan I thought my heart would stop.

"So, did you give blood?" she said, touching her yellow sticker. "You better tell me you gave blood." When she pushed her hair back from her face, I caught a flash of something silver in her mouth. She had her tongue pierced.

I shook my head. "I can't do needles."

That made her laugh. Suddenly, her hand was resting on my arm for no good reason. "Aw, that's so cute! Okay, fine, you're off the hook for being a huge pansy. So, are your parents all completely freaked out about the latest drama? I mean, you heard about Tate Stewart's sister, right?"

Behind me, Roswell took a sharp breath and let it back out. The twins had stopped smiling. I fumbled around for a way to change the subject but couldn't come up with anything on the spot.

The smell of blood was sweet and oozy, too thick to ignore.

I had to clear my throat before I answered. "Yeah. My dad's been pretty cut up about it."

Alice opened her eyes very wide. "Oh God, do you actually know them?"

"His dad's doing the service," Danny said in a flat voice.

He and Drew had both turned away. When I followed their gaze, I saw they were watching Tate, who sat alone at one of the long tables, staring out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the sky.

I didn't know her. I mean, I'd gone to school with her my whole life, and she lived down the block from Drew and Danny, and I'd had at least one class with her every semester since junior high. But I didn't know her. I didn't know her sister either, but I'd seen them together in the parking lot at my dad's church. A chubby, smiling little kid named Natalie. Just this normal, healthy-looking kid.

Tate scraped back her chair and glanced in our direction. Her hair was dark brown and cut short, which made her face look strangely bare. From far away, she seemed small, but her shoulders were rigid as she stood up, like she was ready to take a punch. Until two days ago, she'd had friends. Maybe not the whispering, giggling, inseparable kind like Alice, but people had liked her. Now there was an empty space around her that made me think of quarantine. It was unsettling to realize that it didn't take much to make you an outcast. All you needed was for something terrible to happen.

Alice didn't waste any time on Tate. She flipped her hair over her shoulder and suddenly, she was standing much closer to me. "Just, you never think about little kids dying. I mean, that's so sad, right? My mom's kind of been going crazy with the saints medals and the Hail Marys since she heard. Hey, are you guys going to be around on Saturday? Stephanie's having a party."

Roswell leaned in over my shoulder. "Cool. We might stop by. So you guys got suckered into the blood drive, huh?" He was looking at Stephanie when he said it. "How was exsanguination? Did it hurt?"

Stephanie and Jenna both started to nod, but Alice rolled her eyes. "Not really. Like, it hurt when she was putting the tube in—but it wasn't bad. It actually hurts more now. When she pulled the needle out, it kind of tore and now it won't quit bleeding. Look."

She held out her arm. There was a cotton ball taped to the inside of her elbow, covering the needle mark. In the middle, starting under the tape and spreading out through the cotton, there was a red splotch that grew and grew.

Iron is everywhere. It's in cars, kitchen appliances, and those big industrial machines they use to pack food, but most of it's mixed with other things, carbon and chromium and nickel. It hurts in a slow, exhausting way. I can take it.

The blood iron was different. It roared up through my mouth and nose, getting in my throat. Suddenly, it was hard to focus. My heart was beating very fast and then too, too slow.

"Mackie?" Alice's voice sounded thin and fuzzy, coming from far away.

"I have to go," I said. "My locker… I forgot this thing and I need to…"

For a second, I thought one or two or maybe all of them were going to follow me. Alice started to reach for me. Then Roswell put his hand on her arm and she stopped. His expression was tight, like he was pressing his lips together to keep from saying something. He jerked his head in the direction of the hall, just barely. Just go.

I made it through the maze of tables and out of the cafeteria without stumbling, but my vision was starting to tunnel and I could feel my heartbeat in my hands and in my ears. It was better once I got away from the sweet, suffocating smell of the blood drive. I took deep breaths and waited for the dizziness to ebb off.

The lockers in the junior hall all looked the same—five feet tall and painted a light, flaking beige. Mine was at the far end, past the hall to the math wing and the doors out to the courtyard. As soon as I came around the corner, I knew something was wrong with it.

On the locker door, at eye level, there was a red smear the size and shape of someone's palm. Even before I got close, I could smell the blood. It wasn't as bad as Alice's puncture wound. That had been warm, horribly metallic. This was cold and sticky, just starting to dry.

I looked around, but the hall was empty. The doors leading out to the courtyard were closed. It had been raining all day and there was no one on the grass.

The smear was a dark, gummy red, and I stood with my hands against my forehead. It was a joke, some kind of mean, stupid trick. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to come up with it—you wouldn't have to guess. I am notorious for being the guy sitting on the ground with my head between my knees when someone gets a bloody nose.

It was a joke because it had to be. But even before I moved closer, I knew deep down that it wasn't. Someone had gotten creative with a paper clip or a key. They'd scratched the word Freak into the congealing mess.

I took my sleeve and scrubbed at it, feeling sick and out of breath. I got most of the blood off, but Freak stayed right there on the door. It was scratched into the paint and blood had settled into the letters so the word stood out dark against the beige enamel. Looking at it made the rush of static sweep in again. I backed away and almost fell. There was just my slow, stuttering heartbeat.

Then my hand on the wall, feeling for the door, the empty courtyard, the fresh air.

I was in kindergarten the first time my dad told me about Kellan Caury.

The story was short, and he told it over and over, like Winnie-the-Pooh or Goodnight Moon. When my dad told it, I could see the important parts like scenes from an old movie, flickering and grainy. Kellan Caury would be quiet and polite. A grown-up, maybe in his thirties.

He was like me. Mostly. Except that he had an extra set of joints in his fingers and I always pictured him in black and white.

He ran a music repair shop on Hanover Street and lived above it in a little kitchenette apartment. He couldn't tune pianos because he couldn't stand to touch the steel wires, but he was honest and fair and everyone liked him. His specialty was fixing violins.

When kids started to go missing, no one thought that much about it. It was the Depression, and no one had enough food or enough money, and kids were always disappearing. They got sick or ran away, or died from accidents or starvation, and that was too bad, but no one really got suspicious or asked that many questions.

Then the sheriff's daughter disappeared. This was in 1931, just before the end of October.

Kellan Caury had never hurt anyone, but it didn't matter. They came for him anyway.

They dragged him out of his little kitchenette apartment and down into the street. They burned out his shop and beat on him with wrenches and pipes. Then they hung him from a tree in the churchyard with a bag over his head and his hands tied behind his back. They left his body there for a month.

The first time my dad told me this, I didn't get what he was trying to say, but by the time I was in first or second grade, I was already starting to understand.

The moral of the story is, don't attract attention. Don't have deformed fingers. Don't let anyone find out how amazing you are at tuning strings by ear. Don't show anyone the true, honest heart of yourself or else, when something goes wrong, you might wind up rotting in a tree.

Everyone has a point of origin. A place they come from.

Some people's places are just simpler than others'.

I don't remember any of this, but my sister, Emma, swears it's true and I believe her. This is the story she used to tell me at night, when I would climb out of bed and sneak down the hall to her room.

The baby in the crib: crying, in that anxious, fussy way. His face is shiny between the bars. The man comes in the window—bony, wearing a black coat—and grabs the baby up. He slips back out over the sill, slides the window down, pops the screen back in. Is gone. There's something else in the crib.

In the story, Emma's four years old. She gets out of bed and pads across the floor in her footie pajamas. When she reaches her hand between the bars, the thing in the crib moves closer. It tries to bite her and she takes her hand out again but doesn't back away. They spend all night looking at each other in the dark. In the morning, the thing is still crouched on the lamb-and-duckling mattress pad, staring at her. It isn't her brother.

It's me.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 183 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(53)

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(30)

2 Star

(13)

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(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 184 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Unique

    I loved every word in this book. The story was magnificently creepy.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    extremely dark horror tale

    Sixteen years ago in Gentry, the tattooed princess sent Mackie Doyle as The Replacement who took the place in a crib of a newborn human baby. He is not the only Replacement in the town, but the locals are unaware of the switches and besides the changes has proven profitable for the ignorant but blissful townsfolk, other nearby places have collapsed. Mackie leaving Gentry to go to the underworld tunnels of Mayhem is dangerous for him but by staying he has allergies to iron and blood that can kill him. The girl he likes Alice donates blood and has silver pinned on her pierced tongue; he also cannot walk on sacred earth though his dad is a pastor with a church.

    However, the strange death of Natalie has shocked every one. Natalie's family attends the church of Mackie's dad though the lad does not know her or her older sister Tate who attends his school. The grieving girl obsesses over learning the truth about her sibling's death, which places Mackie in the awkward situation of choosing life above ground or below as he comes to know Tate.

    This is an extremely dark horror tale that grips the audience from the moment the teens are introduced and never slows down until the final confrontation. The Gentry high school students makes the story line seem plausible as most behave with reckless abandon with sex, drugs, cigarettes and alcohol prevalent; the teens challenge the adult authority. This is a strong novel that uses the Doppelganger Replacement as the premise of an exhilarating novel that warns readers to look beyond the glitter to insure there is no monster; like Tate is doing with no allies until Mackie joins her quest.

    Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    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 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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    delightfully creepy

    If you want creepy, goosebump inducing and a little bit of teenage angst, this is the book for you.

    Cover - Look at this cover! When I first received the book, I thought the cover was very horrific, I wondered why there were sharp instruments hanging like a mobile over the pram...then after reading the book I understood. There is a reason for this - to keep the baby-traders away. It totally fits the novel, along with the stark and gray background. One of the best covers ever for a young adult book - no dramatic face shot with pouty lips...I love this cover.

    Until The Replacement, I haven't ever read a book written from the point of view of a changeling (of the fair folk). It's an interesting concept, and not only does Ms Yovanoff write a changeling, but she gives us a teenage boy changeling - with all the mixed up feelings and desires that a young teen male can experience. Not only THAT, but this story is also about acceptance....and avoidance.

    The town of Gentry has been dealing with changelings for years, and Mack is the only changeling that has survived to be a teen. No one talks about it...I don't want to give too much away by saying more. This story gave me goosebumps and chills. There are some seriously creepy moments, woven in with the anger and resentment that some of the characters feel. One of my favorite moments is when a friend of Mack's (a girl) gets in a fight with another girl....getting hit and bloodied just makes her more determined to win the fight. For some reason, I love those kind of scenes...(bloodthirsty? Me? come-on...LOL).

    Anyway, the basic premise of this book is that Mackie is a changeling left in a crib to replace a baby stolen 16 years ago. This happens regularly in Gentry, only no one admits it. But usually, the replacements only last a few years. Mackie has lasted 16 years and his family has grown to not only accept him, but to love him. Unfortunately, Mackie doesn't realize how much his family loves him (something that a lot of teens have a problem with). When the book opens, Mackie is feeling pretty rotten. He's in pain, weak and feels like he's slowly dying. The replacements don't usually last as long as Mackie has because they all have allergies to blood, iron, and church grounds (consecrated areas). Mackie's father also happens to be a preacher.

    Things come to a head when Mackie's sister tries to help him by getting help from a fae, and at the same time the girl I previously mentioned, Tate, doesn't believe that the baby sister who has recently died is really her sister.....

    I recommend this book to anybody who likes a chilling fairy tale. There's just a few instances of kissing and one makeout session, a few mentions of blood and gory things, and yet the whole book had this creepy, scary feel to it. It's a great book to read around Halloween. The narrative is from Mackie's pov (first person) and the dialogue between the characters feels real. The dialogue from the Fae was good, arrogant and believably threatening. It's a good all-round novel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Refreshing changeling lore

    Malcolm (Mackie) knows he is not normal. In the small town of Gentry, he has to keep everyone else from knowing he is not normal too. His father is the local pastor, who tries his best to keep up appearances that nothing is wrong with the town. But things are about to get a lot more difficult to hide. Mackie's condition starts to worsen by the day, and he knows he will have to come to terms with the dark truths he's always known were there a lot sooner. Plus, a girl named Tate has been sniffing around, asking Mackie a lot of questions about her dead baby sister and who he really is. If Mackie hopes to save his town and get the girl, he is going to have to toughen up and go back to the ugly place he originally came from.

    I liked this book! Changeling stories are one of my favorites. It is both exciting and scary to think of babies being swapped for troublesome little creatures from another world! Mackie speaks and thinks wise beyond his years, a fact that made this book very enjoyable to read. I also really liked Tate. She was such a rough and tough girl, so assured of herself! Very refreshing and sexy! Mackie's older sister Emma was also a fresh character. A sister who loves and cares about her brother - imagine! And this review would not be complete without mentioning how awesome Mackie's friend Roswell is. We all should be so lucky as to have a friend like him. The changeling lore was fun and I liked that Brenna Yovanoff never actually named the other beasts. Honestly, I was expecting there to be a lot of loose ends, but all my questions were answered by the climax, and not in an overly rushed way. I am definitely looking forward to more from this author!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Joan Stradling for TeensReadToo

    Mackie's hometown of Gentry isn't like other towns, but he's not like other kids, either. He's not even supposed to be alive. Mackie is a Replacement, left in place of a human baby. He was supposed to die, like all of the replacements do, but he didn't, though he may not live much longer. When the baby sister of a friend is taken, Mackie finds himself drawn into the world beneath the city, a place known as Mayhem . . . his place of origin. Mackie will have to decide where he really belongs and which side of the fight for Gentry he wants to join. His choice will determine his future - if he has one at all. Yovanoff weaves a deliciously dark tale of love, betrayal, and acceptance no matter who (or what) you are. I couldn't get enough of this book. Mackie, Emma, Tate, and all the other characters, both dark and human, made this book a thrill ride from start to finish. Eerily creepy and intensely enjoyable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Not my favorite...

    I just grabbed a book off my shelf one day before school, out of my many from book sales, and ended up with the Replacement. Honestly i never really liked the book... but i think it may just be the genre for me... Mackie.i foind was way to.hard to relate to and the town of gentry was too hard to invision... the book overall seemed to drag on with the same details and happenings over and over agian. Its all aboit Mackie and his problems with being a Replacement himself and his trying to get back a.girl in his schools.sister from a dark underworld. I ended up giving it a three because.even though it didnt please.me i dont want to completely discourage people who really like this type. Of book from reading it...the one thing id really warn you about is theres not that much action.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    OMG

    Creepy but amazing!I also kinda have the same problem as him ) :

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The Replacement is one weird, disturbing and beautiful novel. W

    The Replacement is one weird, disturbing and beautiful novel.

    When i heard about The Replacement and the plot, i was a little bit happy and creeped out at the same time. The whole replacing a baby with another baby that is not human is kinda psychologically disturbing. The world of The Replacement is described as grim yet enthralling. You can't help but feel counfused and understanding of the town of Gentry.

    The book was creepy yet enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    From what i read..

    I didnt get a chane to finish to finish this book.. but from what I read i loved it! This is so beautiful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Original

    You either love or hate the characters. A very original story line. If you like zombies id give this book a chance. :)

    #review by a 17 year old girl

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Great book!

    I'm a very picky reader. I either love a book and finish reading it within 2 days or I hate it and don't bother finishing it. I read this book in 1.5 days. I couldn't put it down. Well written, great description of characters. Nice flow in the story line.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    I Absoulty Love It

    Great Read. Recommend To All.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Loved it

    Dark.. but it was amazing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Really good book

    This book was a great mix of odd and magical and it was fantastic

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Mackie Doyle doesn't remember any of the true, important parts. But his older sister Emma does. She remembers getting out of bed one night and looking into her brother's crib only to find something else inside. It tried to bite her but still she stayed watching.

    The thing watched back.

    Sixteen years later, the thing would be called Mackie Doyle.

    Sixteen years is a long time to live in a place that's slowly killing you.

    Allergic to iron and blood, unable to step on consecrated ground, Mackie should have died years ago when he was first traded for that human child in the small town of Gentry. He's dying slowly right now.

    No one wants to talk about the strange things that happen in Gentry. Not Mackie's best friend Roswell, not his parents, not even Emma.

    No one except Tate Stewart.

    Tate wants answers about her sister's death. After years of trying to be invisible, all Mackie wants is to be left alone to play his bass and forget his troubles. But Mackie is dying and if he's willing to look at the ugly things that lurk beneath Gentry he might be able to find some answers about Tate's sister and about his own place in Gentry in The Replacement (2010) by Brenna Yovanoff.

    Atmospheric and sometimes horrible, The Replacement is a story about monsters and things that come out after dark. It is also a story of fierce affection where even monsters can find a place and, perhaps, earn redemption. Yovanoff's writing is haunting and strangely enchanting. Mackie is an unlikely hero but one that will charm readers with his breezy style and honesty.

    Everyone can tell you about how this book sets itself apart as a horror story. A lot of people will mention how cleverly Yovanoff interprets the changeling folklore in her debut novel. But what I really want to underscore is how much this story is about the power of love and friendship (even if the deliciously creepy cover with illustration by Jonathan Barkat and design by Natalie C. Sousa might suggest otherwise).

    The Replacement is a fantastic fantasy that is sure to be going places. Definitely one to watch (and one of my favorites) from 2010.

    Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, The Blue Girl by Charles De Lint, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, The Last of the High Kings by Kate Thompson, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, "The Stolen Child" by the Waterboys

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Eerie and Awesome!

    An eerie, haunting story that will make you wonder why anyone would want to live in Gentry.

    We start off with Mackie Doyle, who knows he's different from his family and his friends. He has super dark eyes, can't stand being near any kind of iron, and is forced to keep a low profile. He's not the only thing off in his town though, and everyone seems to know that Gentry is a eerie place to live. When Mackie starts to get extremely sick, and his friend Tate's sister is pronounced dead, Mackie will have no choice but to dig into the twisted underground of Gentry.

    I have to say, I originally bought this book when it was first released, but I kept putting it off. As more and more reviews came out, the jury seemed very mixed on the story, so I kept putting it off. Well, I shouldn't have because I really enjoyed The Replacement! It's a very different story, unlike anything I've read before. It was eerie, dark, twisted, and intense. It also had amazing quotes, and that's a huge plus for me!

    I adored Mackie's character. He knows he's different, he feels like he's never belonged, and he tries not to stand out because the town would hate him if they knew the truth. In reality, Mackie always belonged, he proved that you can be different and still be normal. Mackie is so real for me in the way he pins after hot girls, hangs with a certain group of friends, plays bass, but ends up in love with one tough chick. I loved him and was rooting for him till the end.

    Tate... Oh man Tate is a tough little cookie. She's almost like a pitbull but still shows love to those who actully mean something to her. I also loved Roswell... Now he is a TRUE friend. One I would most certainly always want on my side!

    I also loved the scary town and mysterious underground that the author created. I personally would never want to live there, but it was oh so intriguing to read about!

    I thought it was a fabulous story and very unique. I love how there's romance, and it moves like a real love life, but it's not the main story. I also loved the darkness of it all, books like these fascinate me. If you're on the fence about this one, I suggest giving it a shot! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Replacement

    Mackie feels like a lot of high school kids do, a freak. Except in Mackie's case, he really is a freak. He is only there as a Replacement to the real Mackie that was taken from his crib as a baby. A fact that no one will admit, except for Mackie's sister. Mackie is also allergic to iron, a problem he has to try and hide from the town. Until reading The Replacement, I had no idea exactly how much iron we are surrounded by every day. Mackie also has to stay away from congregated ground. Not a big deal, right? Just stay away from churches. Except... Mackie's dad is the town's pastor. Mackie a was a character that I quickly felt for. He was the perfect mixture of normal teen and something else.


    On the outside, Gentry seemed like your average small town. But you could tell something was up with the town of Gentry from the get go. What I love about this story was you only knew that in the subtleties. The author didn't just come out and tell you, she added crafty little snippets for the reader to pick up. Like Mackie's neighbor, smiling brightly like the whole world is fine as she hangs up an iron horse shoe over her door. Little things that let you know something bigger is happening.


    I felt like Gentry was two worlds in one. You have the town of Gentry, then you have what's underneath it. Mayhem. Oh my God, Mayhem was one of the freakiest places I have read about. Seriously, I got shivers just hearing the descriptions of some of these underground creatures. But in some weird way, Mayhem was also a beautiful place. It sort of reminded me of The Nightmare Before Christmas in that way.


    Besides Mackie, Tate was my favorite character. When her sister supposedly dies and the whole town goes on excepting it, Tate doesn't. Her eyes are opened to this silent agreement the town seems to have. She fights for answers about what really happened to her sister. I always admire those characters who go against what they are told to believe and find truth.


    Overall, The Replacement has a solid and original plot, intriguing and likable characters (even some of the creepy ones), and fantastic writing. I really enjoyed this one, and I will definitely be reading more from Yovanoff. If you are looking for an original and creepy YA, you are going to enjoy this one.

    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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