On the Back of the Book
Mackie Doyle is the Replacement. 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 practise on his bass guitar 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, known as Mayhem.He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.
Pre Read Thoughts
I'm reading this as part of a favourites challenge that I'm taking part in for my Goodreads group, Basically Books! I bought this from WHSmith just after it came out as part of a 'buy 1 get 1 half price' offer. The RRP is £6.99 but if that's a little too much for you I'm sure you could find it cheaper online. The cover is very dull and doesn't really tell me much about the book or attract me to it in any way. The title and synopsis both sound interesting though. I'm looking forward to reading the book and I hope I enjoy it as much as I like the premise.
Post Read Thoughts
I've tried to write this review without spoilers but I can't explain my hatred of this book without them. So if you haven't read this book and want to then I suggest you look away now. However if you want to read what could become a rant read on
I have some major issues with this book and when I say major I mean worse than Cassandra Clare major. This book is a mess. The synopsis tells you that sixteen years have passed since Mackie's abduction, in the book it's fifteen and according to the author's ideas it should be fourteen. Confused? I was too.I'll try to explain, anyway the idea is Mackie was abducted as a one-year-old and was sacrificed as part of a once every seven years ritual. However, if Mackie was replaced either 15 or 16 years ago the maths doesn't work for a once every seven year ritual. It took me all of two minutes to figure it out when the information was given to me. I mean it's a fundamental part of the book and I didn't believe a word of it because the author evidently couldn't be bothered to take the time to plan the novel properly.
Another contradiction from the synopsis is the part about Tate and her sister. First of all, at the beginning of the book Mackie doesn't even care about Tate, he's all about the school bimbo, Alice. When I say that I mean he likes her breasts and thinks she has a nice pair of legs. Really deep. I can see why she suddenly starts to fancy him... not. It doesn't make sense because he's the school weirdo, no popular girl would do it, it'd kill their reputation and those girls live for the admiration. As for Tate's sister, she's actually dead at the beginning of the book. So how she can suddenly go missing I don't know. Also technically she's not a baby, she's a toddler. I hate children and even I know there's a difference there.
I tried to get past the lack of planning and the synopsis that doesn't fit the book but on top of that, the writing just wasn't very good. It was generic, I didn't feel like any effort had actually gone into it. The plot could have been good if it had been executed properly but it wasn't. I was left feeling so disappointed by this. I found the book slow at first but it picked up a bit of speed after a while and that made it easy to read. If it hadn't I probably would've just given up on it because I would've got to a point where I just wondered if it was even wasting huge amounts of my life on it.
Now we move on to the characters or just one character because I've forgotten about the rest. I didn't like Mackie. He came across as incredibly weak and shallow. I had no sympathy for him becuase half of the time he brought it on himself. His obsession with Alice led to him kissing her even though he knew she had a tongue piercing that he was allergic to. Why? What is the point? It would be like me going into a supermarket and buying a load of dairy products and taking them home and eating them. I'm lactose intolerant, doing that would make me ill. So I don't do it. It's that simple. The thing with Tate wasn't much better, I mean he suddenly fancied her and it came from nowhere, I'd like to know where that came from and why he decided to help her when he was dead against it. None of this was explained to me. I want to know why the author thought it was a good idea for someone to ask Mackie if he was okay in every conversation. It just made him come across all emo and if it wasn't for his allergy to iron he would totally be cutting himself. I found the stereotype awful, I mean it's a stereotype I've spent years shaking off. I couldn't have cared less about Mackie if I'd tried, and believe me, I tried.
Overall this book is full of contradictions and plot holes. A lot of what Mackie did to blend in was 'killing' him. His family didn't even seem to care about him. They just wanted him to be 'normal' in case people saw him for what he really is. This seems even more callous when you realise that Mackie's father is a man of the cloth (I can't remember if it was priest, minister or something else). I'm not sure words can describe how much I detest this book. I never rant or spoil a book for others but when it comes to this I just can't seem to stop myself.
A Final Note
There's swearing... quite a lot of it. Also there's a sexy scene where Tate is topless, they don't get to sex though. Not one for younger YA readers.