Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5 (maybe 3)
Publisher: Penguin (Razorbill)
Spoilers?: Minor.

Goodreads 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.


I am disappointed. I was expecting to like this, and I did not.
The Replacement about Mackie, a changeling. He’s the baby that replaces the baby that the fairies stole. This, on its own, is a really good idea. That alone caught my interest. And Mackie has lived longer than most in his place seem to, and he’s having a hard time living surrounded by everything human. His family knows, and the town knows this happens but not that it happened to him. And he’s badly affected by all the iron and steel in the world, in cars and in blood. And then he meets people like him, who pull him in and help him, but it’s not that easy. Because someone he knows sister was taken, and it’s just going to keep happening, and he doesn’t like it.
This sounds very good and very interesting, and those things I listed, are. But then there was all this stuff that didn’t need to be there. Mackie and Tate’s relationship for one. I didn’t mind that it happened, and I didn’t mind Tate, even liked her in one scene of the book, but their relationship didn’t work. They fought, and she got pissed off at him, and she was a bitch and yet he still wanted to make out with her, and there was no reason for any of it. He had an attraction to her from the beginning of the book, but there was never any reason for it. It was just suddenly there, for no reason, and wouldn’t go away. And then she would be pissed at him, no reason given. It wasn’t quite insta-love, because it wasn’t love, it was just attraction.
Another thing that bothered me: A lot of stuff wasn’t explained. It was hinted that people knew things, that there were stories told, and that his friends knew things about him, but you never really knew how much. I guess because they never talked about it, until finally they did. With his best friend, Roswell. And with Tate. For some reason, she starts coming to him, bothering him about things, with no reason, and he blows her off, tries to avoid her, and it doesn’t work. But it’s never explained why she hounds him so much, when it’s never really explained that everyone thinks he’s weird. Because, why would everyone think he’s weird and still hang out with him so much? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
And those things took so much time. Mackie took a lot of time with not knowing what to do, wanting something and then suddenly wanting something else. Ignoring something one minute and then trying to talk about it the next. It was like he couldn’t make up his mind, only he never thought of it like that. There was never an in between for his thoughts to change, they just suddenly did.
A lot of the book focused on Mackie and Tate, and then Mackie and his family, and then Mackie and the people like him. With nothing getting done. And then, when things started happening, it took forever. It was so slow going, so anticlimactic. One scene, within the last fifty pages, was exciting and really good, but the rest just took forever.
I wanted Mackie to finally just kick someone’s ass, beat someone up, get it over with already, but he fought so weakly, with no force. It was ridiculous and I did not enjoy it.
I liked: Emma, Mackie’s older sister. Their relationship was done really well. She took care of him since he was young, and so they got to be really close. They were loyal to each other all the way through, and I liked that.
I did quite like Roswell, and maybe even Danny and Drew, but I don’t think there was enough of them to really make it official for me.
I liked the set-up for everything, too. The lore, what Mackie is, what the people like him are like, that was all really interesting. And the writing was good. It was pretty and then disturbing when it needed to be. The ending wasn’t too bad, either. It was just the characters and the lack of action that bothered me; that didn’t keep me interested.
I don’t know if I’m going to read another of Yovanoff’s books. I might give her another try, but I might not, and it might take a while if I do decide to.

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