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Paranormal Fantasy | Book Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement is a dark paranormal fantasy story that has a scary cover but NEVER FEAR! It’s not (that) disturbing…

Book Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

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the replacement brenna yovanoff

Title & Author: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Paranormal

Release Date: September 21, 2010

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin

How I Got the Book: Borrowed


“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. ”

Great Concept, Irritating Character

The Replacement is a paranormal fantasy story set squarely in the middle of high school drama. The main character Mackie is a moody teenage boy, but he’s actually got a reason to be. He’s a Replacement (read: changeling) and his aversion to iron and blood make life difficult.

Not to mention his town is super weird and getting weirder by the day.

The paranormal aspect of The Replacement was solid. The backstory of Mackie and the dark fae world of Mayhem was great and I loved learning more about it.

Plus, Mackie’s best friend and sister are great, fully-fleshed characters who have their own arcs – loved them! Then there’s Tate – she’s a grudging love interest for most of the story.

When the action finally kicks in the last quarter of the book, I was relieved that the build-up finally paid off…albeit with some creepy creatures and violent battle.

While I enjoyed the history of the town and the Mackie’s tricky existence, I couldn’t help but feel irritated with him more often than not. Mackie frequently comments on a hot cheerleader’s body (I forget her name, but she’s as mean as she is pretty) and Tate’s lips/other alluring parts.

Maybe it’s because I’m inundated with books with female lead characters, but for whatever reason Mackie’s internal lusting really got on my nerves and drove me to distraction.

This wasn’t a make-it-or-break-it reaction, but it definitely affected my overall enjoyment of the book.

My only other critique is that the magic of the story could have been explained in more detail. Some moments were explained well and others were slightly vague.


This is a solid and atmospheric paranormal story. If you are not bothered by typical high school boy antics, then The Replacement’s changeling set up is a worth a read.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.