YRCA 2013 Review: The Replacement

Okay, next up is The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff.

So this book is about Mackie. Mackie was switched as a baby by fae-like creatures. Think changelings of folklore. And he is the changeling, not the human. And he is not so slowly dying from exposure to iron. Also, he knows there is something wrong in his town. Periodically, children are going missing or dying and no one in the town makes a big deal of it. But when Tate’s baby sister is the latest child to “die,” she gets angry and starts demanding answers. Mackie is torn between helping Tate and not drawing attention to himself.

I liked this book. I liked how Mackie knows that he is different and that his family knows that he is different. At first, it seemed odd that his family accepted and protected him so easily when they apparently knew that he was a changeling from the beginning but it made sense as more backstory was revealed. Mackie has a suspicion of what he is but only in a very general way and, because no one in town talks about what is happening to the children, he doesn’t have any way of finding out. I should point out that the word changeling is only used once in the book. And this is where the book gets a little vague. I feel like the author left the mythology unclear on purpose. There are hints of more than one source, although they all seem to be celtic-ish. The most obvious reference is to the fae/ fair folk but there’s also others, like the one head creature being called the Morrigan who, I believe, in Irish mythology is a goddess of battle. I’m sure there’s others that I just don’t have the background knowledge to understand.

My favourite part? This book is a standalone. At least, the author has no plans for a sequel at the moment, although she hasn’t ruled it out completely. Don’t get me wrong. I like series sometimes but it was starting to be annoying that it was pretty much a given that every teen book you read would be part of a trilogy at a minimum. So it’s refreshing that the story is complete and not all set up for the next book.

Will this book win the Senior Division? Maybe, maybe not. So far,  I wouldn’t be upset if it did. We shall see.

What I’m reading now: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, The Cardturner (audiobook) by Louis Sachar, Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake.


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