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.The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff is different kind of book than I'm used to reading.
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.
Mackie is a changeling. Or a Replacement. Whatever you call it he's not really human. He replaced something human a long time ago and it seems the only one who's ever truly loved him is his "sister". She's more or less what's kept him alive up until the point that the book really takes off, and the one person willing to sacrifice everything to make sure he stays that way for as long as she can keep him. His parents know what he is and while they've done their best to take care of him, he feels like he's never really fit in with the family. But really, who can blame them? Some monster came and took their TRUE son out of his crib when he was tiny and helpless and replaced him with something that looked similar, but was dying... and NOT their son.
He has managed to make a few good friends during his years as Mackie Doyle but when he starts crushing on Tate it kind of sends his world spinning. She indirectly and sort of directly almost brings about his downfall. Something his friends are trying to help him prevent.
Mackie is an interesting character. Kind of a typical stupid guy, in a way. Always going for the pretty girl with no personality instead of the girl with personality to spare but who may be a little bit of a hard shell to crack. He came around though. But it sure took him a long time to get with the program. You don't always see that. A guy who is reluctant to play the hero, even when it means he gets the girl. But Mackie doesn't want to be the hero. He doesn't want to be noticed at all. Even if it means disappointing Tate. Eventually he screws his brain back on the right way though. So he redeems himself.
Poor Tate. We first meet her after her sister's been taken and after the thing that replaced her has died. So she didn't get much of a chance to establish herself as anything but depressed and moody (and rightly so). But I did feel it was kind of unfair of her to expect Mackie to just automatically save the day when he's just as clueless as she is.
Roswell is a perfect best friend. And a seemingly unlikely one. He's popular and outgoing and fun loving. A complete contrast to Mackie. Which, I suppose, is part of what makes him perfect. With Roswell around no one really pays too much attention to Mackie. On top of the fact that he kind of lets Mackie hide in his shadow, he's loyal and understanding and would really do anything for Mackie. Despite the fact that Mackie's different.
When Mackie ventures down in to the Slag Heap it gets a little weird and disturbing. And kind of confusing. But they help him, in their own way. It was kind of hard to tell at some points if The Morrigan (sort of like the ruler of the "otherworldy" and "undead" who lived under the Slag Heap) was really supposed to be a GOOD character or a BAD one. At some points she helps, but then at others she really doesn't care what happens. She has something to gain with Mackie and if he fails to deliver then it seems she washes her hands of him.
It's a weird story, I will give it that. But it was a good one. A quick one. And different enough to keep me interested even when it moved kind of slow. I'd recommend it to anyone (probably 16 and above) who loves paranormal things or dark and creepy things. It fits the bill quite nicely if you're in to that stuff. Go check it out!