My Catchphrases

Friday, 27 May 2011

Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Books
Publication Date: 6 Jan 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon
Mackie Doyle is a replacement - a fairy child left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago, to replace the baby when it was stolen away by the fey. So though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie's real home is the fey world of tunnels and black, murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. Now, because his fey blood gives him fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything just to be normal, to live quietly amongst humans, practice his bass guitar and spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably back home to the fey underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem, where he must face down the dark creatures, rescue the child, and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.


I have to say it took me ages to get around to reading this one, I pushed it to the top of my TBR pile when a Year 12 informed us that she thought the content may be unsuitable for younger pupils. I therefore, had to check for myself. I will say that there are two incidences of what can be classed as ‘heavy petting’ but nothing graphic or untoward. I have blocked it for Year 7 pupils to be on the safe side.

I love the premise of this book; the changeling story is exposed from the outset. The story is told in first person narrative from Mackie’s perspective. He is the changeling. His family is aware and helped cover up the fact that Mackie is far from human. Revelations surrounding his family situation and the retribution inflicted by the fey, added depth to the plot. I must say I had never really thought about the iron in blood affecting fairies. This fact however, is contradicted by the blood worship of the Morrigan.

The Morrigan in traditional Celtic Mythology is the Goddess of Battle/War, commonly depicted as a crow. It was difficult for me to reconcile the traditional image of the Morrigan with the character depicted in this book. Yes, she is cruel and vengeful but the blood drinking had shades of vampire imagery that did not work for me.

Two separate fairy courts at odds with on another is something used quite often when dealing with stories about fairies. The use of the undead as part of one court was however quite surprising and occasionally gross.

What stood out about this book for me is the way in which Mackie’s relationships are depicted. He is insecure and nervous from having to always hide who he really is. He doesn’t think he deserves to be loved or have friends. Yet it is Mackie’s relationships that have provided the means for him to survive in the human world. The relationship with his sister, Emma, is touching and co-dependent in a non-creepy way. His friends are accepting, caring and loyal; supporting Mackie both physically and emotionally. No matter whether you are a changeling or a human there is nothing more you could ask for than that.

I adored the way in which the mean girl was portrayed as having her tongue pierced, which of course is poisonous to Mackie. Taking the meaning of venomous words to another level.

There is lots of atmospheric tension aided by the fantastic music references. The guitarist portrayed brought to mind images of Slash from Guns ’n’ Roses which I am pretty sure was intentional.

This book has taken aspects of a few different paranormal stereotypes and molded them together, for me; this did not connect very well in my imagination. It is a very different
story with multi-themes but if I am honest it didn’t fully live up to my expectations.


  1. I'd heard a lot of good things about this book before I read it, but I just couldn't get into it at all. Not a favourite of mine either!

  2. I won't rush to read this one then. LOL. Even though I just received it. Sigh!

  3. I keep hearing conflicting views on this book. Some people hate it, others love it. It is still on my TBR pile, but maybe I will read it if I finish all of my other books (which will never happen)


  4. Thanks for your review on this one! I have it on my list, but am not in a hurry to get to it at the moment. Thanks for sharing your honest review!

  5. You are so good at posting honest reviews. I always end up sounding like a wench when a book doesn't resonate with me :P

    The only reason I'd want to read this now is that Morrigan is featured. I <3 her myth and am completely in love with the "Dragon Age" character.

    *Geeky girly swoon*

  6. Really interesting review, Emma. I actually really liked this one - I like my faerie stories dark - but I can totally understand how it might not work for other readers. Also I'd never heard of the Morrigan before so I wasn't encumbered by any existing knowledge of that mythology. I totally agree about Mackie's relationship with Emma - that was a standout part of the book for me.

  7. This book sounds awesome. I'm sure I have it, if not it's going on my wish list. Thanks for the great review. x

  8. This book sounded good and I'd heard good things about it but I won't rush out to buy it. Great review :D


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