Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Replacement.

Title/Author: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff.

Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy.

Publisher: Razorbill.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: Mackie, Emma, Tate and Roswell.

Favorite quote: Too many to list!

All in all: Beautiful.

Synopsis: Mackie Doyle 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 fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or 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. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

My Thoughts: When I saw the cover of this book I went nuts. It had to be something dark, mysterious and sinister right? But after I bought The Replacement it sat on my shelf for a very long time. I mean it couldn’t be that great? Right? The characters couldn’t be that compelling or the story couldn’t be that mesmerizing? Right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.

The story is familiar, yet the author’s spin on events makes the plot clever, fresh and exciting. It’s a thriller as much as a supernatural story and I was captivated from page one.

The writing is beautiful, skillful and vivid. Yovanoff uses very little to convey a lot. Her words are powerful and put together in combinations that convey emotions as much as descriptions and surroundings. The feelings that Mackie expresses are complete, sophisticated and dramatic. The teens are conveyed as very realistic in their language and actions. I like the inclusion of mature content without being graphic. The romantic scenes were steamy but classy.

I think what I loved are the characters. Mackie’s voice is strong yet wistful and I could feel his longing and loneliness, how lost he is in his own skin. The way his sister Emma loves him is beyond devotion without being over the top, and Mackie’s realization about the effects of her dedication is breathtaking. Tate, one of Mackie’s love interests is a total badass who is believable. I adored her. She is hard to describe without her sounding cliché, but she is not. She is so real. I also absolutely love his best friend Roswell. He is constant, reassuring, understanding and he always, always has Mackie's back.  All of the characters are vibrant and authentic. There was no eye rolling while reading this book, I believed everything.

Another aspect I really enjoyed is the music.  The author knows what she is talking about.  The scenes and descriptions of watching bands and playing were forceful, beautiful. “The bass was low and inevitable.” “Her voice was like lonliness. It was regret.” Stunning! What I also realized is the performances that mirror each other. In Mackie’s life he is trying to pretend he is normal and fit in and it's an exhausting performance. When he plays in the band it’s another kind of performance, one that frees him.

An ingredient of Fairy Tales is transformation and I loved the flipping of the story.  Instead of someone going to an otherworld, Mackie is placed in ours.  Instead of someone from that world being powerful, Mackie is weakened by ours.  I also loved how he goes through his own transformation and revelation at the end.

I also loved that this is a stand alone book. I went to a book signing where Brenna spoke and she said she felt the story is complete so there is no need for a sequel or trilogy. She felt she told Mackie’s story.  I’m so happy to say that the story is even better than I anticipated and it surpassed my expectations.  I was encouraged by Misty of The Book Rat to read this and now I hope I can encourage you to do so as well.

Other Editions:


Jen | Book Den said...

When I saw the title of your post, I couldn't place what book you were reviewing. Then I saw the cover. THAT one! :) Awesome to hear the story is as great as the cover. I'll have to pick it up now.

Bex said...

Even since I first saw the cover, I've been extremely intrigued by it! But I've never been sure about it either, if it could be as good as it looked. Plus, I'm quite easily scared! Lol. But after your review I'm even more curious about it and I think I'll have to put it on my wishlist for future shopping sprees! You've definitely convinced me it's worth a try. Great review!

Kindle Fever

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

YES! Weren't the characters Brilliant! I love the friendships and the relationship between brother and sister. It was so captivating. And you described Mackie perfectly, wistful, lost in his own skin.

I felt like Mackie's story was complete too, but because I loved the characters so much, I really won't mind reading about them again and again. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

Bookish Brunette said...

I've been wanting to read this FOREVER! I thought there WAS a sequel? No?

Smash Attack Ash said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed this one. I had some issues with it but loved the tone of the book. And the cover is wall-worthy!

Karen said...

I got this at my Borders closing sale, I can't wait to read it!! I didn't know anyone I trusted who had read it so now I'm super excited!!

Misty said...

YAY! So glad you liked this one, and that it lived up to my pushing! =D

Savannah said...

I loved this book! I thinkthe story line just rocked my socks off! Great review!

Small Review said...

I really liked the relationship between Mackie and his sister. I agree, too, it was nice that this was a standalone. Mackie's story felt very complete.

Unknown said...

Very nice review. I've had this one on the maybe pile, but it sounds like I need to go ahead and put it on the wish list. Stand alones are always welcome too in a world of trilogies.

Anonymous said...

I've had this book on the back burner for awhile, but your review makes me want to give it another try. The writing/characters/music you describe make it sound very compelling. Glad you enjoyed it - awesome review.

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