Published: October 1st 2010 by Simon & Schuster
Date Finished: 16th October 2011
Shelf Recommendation: Borrow
Rating: 3 Stars * * *
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.
The Replacement’s was painfully slow to begin with. I wasn’t digging Brenda’s writing style at all, and I found myself skipping over the description many times. There were so many sub concepts that got tangled that I found myself putting it down every chance I could get. I will admit it took a long while for me to get used to it and until midway through I was constantly confused about what was happening and who knew the truth; then things started picking up and the story really took off.
Brenda has created a wonderfully, unnerving and highly engrossing world in and off itself and as a town Gentry felt more like a character to me. The background story, mythology and the division between above and underground was handled quite provokingly. As is a lot of the background history surrounding the town, its stories and the people who have suffered through the harsh reality that each relies on to survive- Or do they?
I really did feel for a lot of the character in this book, but felt a lack of sympathy for several, including Mackie’s mother, despite her own experiences with the underground folk. Brenda handled the desolated and haunted emotions superbly and it was one of the traits that made this book so enthralling. However I would have liked to see more expression from his friends and more story on Roswell’s family.
I loved Emma and her relationship and dedication to Mackie and nearly cried when I found out her secret and regret. I wanted to pull her close and tell her it wasn’t her fault. Her selfless attitude and commitment to study was intriguing and out of all the characters I really enjoyed getting to know Emma, even more than Mackie.
To me it was a little oversaturated with flowery descriptions and scenes that didn’t really add to the overall plot except to enhance strangeness, and it didn’t really need to, this book was delightful eerie. Would I read it again? I’m not so sure. In a town like Gentry you only really want to go there once. Overall it was a promising read and I would recommend it for readers looking for a more intense horror read.