Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie 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 slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on hi s bass or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl called Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, know as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
I really only have one word to describe The Replacement and that is weird. The characters were kind of weird, the setting was definitely weird, and the plot was just, well, weird. The Replacement wasn’t a bad book. Just a very unusual one.
The one character that I really connected with was Tate. She knew that her sister had been “replaced” and she wasn’t going to rest until she knew the truth. I really loved Tate’s tough as nails, won’t take no for an answer personality. I wouldn’t really call her a likeable character, but she definitely had a certain charisma that I thought was awesome.
The real strength of The Replacement was in its message. Don’t be afraid of who you really are. There will be people in your life who don’t accept you, but there will always be others who will love you no matter what. By the end of the story that’s what Mackie had discovered. Hiding who he was wasn’t going to change things. He had friends, and a sister who loved him. The REAL him. And that love was enough.
I am still totally confused as to what exactly Mackie was. The book never really explained it. Well it kind of did but it never gave the creatures in the book a definitive name. Not even Mackie really knew what he was. There was one part where he asked “Who are we?” and the answer he got was:
“We don’t really like names. When you name something, you take away some of its power. It becomes known. They’ve called us a lot of things – the good neighbors, the fair folk. The gray ones, the old ones, the other ones. Spirit and haunts and demons. Here, they never really named us. We’re nothing”
So I’m still just as confused as Mackie. Some of them were definitely the undead (but not the zombie type of undead) and others were just creature things. Mysterious beings of creepiness I guess you could say. Like I said this book had a lot of weird stuff.
I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy The Replacement because I did find it rather fascinating. There was an eeriness to it that I’ve never felt while reading other books. It certainly was a unique story and the overall message was a good one. I just had a hard time understanding some of the mythology behind it. I also thought that there was a lot of unneeded profanity which was really distracting. So overall I give The Replacement 3 out of 5 ice cream cones.
It was an okay book but not a great one. If you tend to enjoy books with darker fantasy themes then you would probably really like The Replacement. Otherwise I wouldn't pick it up.