No one talks about what happens in the town of Gentry. How kids get sick. And die. And especially not about how before the kids die, they change. How something's wrong about them - their eyes are too dark, they cry too much, their fingers are too long, their toes too sharp.
Mackie Doyle's always been on the outside. Skin too pale, eyes too dark, sick a little too much. He's spent his whole life making sure nobody notices that he's a little off. And it's worked - mostly. Nobody but his parents, his fiercely protective big sister, Emma, and his best friend, Roswell, know that he can't set foot in his dad's church - or any consecrated ground. Or that anything iron is deadly poison to him. Because Mackie Doyle isn't really Mackie Doyle - he's a replacement. Something not-quite-human that was left in Emma's brother's crib 16 years ago, something that shouldn't have lived this long, but did.
When Tate Stewart's baby sister Natalie is the next to die, Tate won't let it go. When she confronts Mackie and tells him she knows that the baby her family buried wasn't her sister, his first impulse is to run. Stay under the radar, not stir up trouble, not get noticed. But there's something fierce and stubborn about Tate that Mackie can't ignore.
He also can't ignore that he's getting sicker, slowly poisoned by a human world full of iron. When an unexpected close encounter with steel forces him to the slag heap everyone in town avoids, Mackie is drawn into an dark underground world full of creatures like him. Creatures that need the love and adoration, and the blood sacrifice, of humans to live. Trapped between two worlds, Mackie must make a choice - but how can he choose between life and love?
Damp, chilly fog seeps out of every page of Brenna Yovanoff's debut novel and wraps around your bones when you're reading her creepy, fabulously dark tale. Steeped in atmosphere, this one's for fans of Holly Black and Neil Gaiman. So grab an afghan to keep the chill off, make sure you have something sharp and iron close at hand, stay away from mysterious hills, and start reading The Replacement today!
(still reading The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey, sooo freaky!)
P.S. I had a chance to meet Brenna Yovanoff and get my copy of The Replacement signed last weekend, and she is one awesome lady! For more of her fiction, check out her short story blog the Merry Sisters of Fate that she writes with Maggie Stiefvater and Tessa Gratton.