The Last Book I Read

The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff.

My overall impression of this book is that it wasn’t as good as it could have been. It’s a fairy-tale with a twist – written from the point of view of the changeling. What if the parents didn’t notice, or noticed but didn’t care, that their child had been exchanged? The replacement would grow up as a human child, but not belonging to the human world. And what if many everyday items were poisonous to this creature? It would become ill and maybe die, unless it returned to its own world. But what if its own world was so alien to someone who has grown up in our world, that he can’t bear the idea of living there, even if the alternative is dying here? And why was the exchange made in the first place? What happens to the human children stolen away? And what if the replacement child was left because his own folk didn’t want him?

All wonderfully unusual what-ifs, and a unique viewpoint. So what went wrong? It was the characterisation. Mackie Doyle, the main character, is well-written. The author gets right inside his head, and he is fascinating. Yovanoff really makes the reader empathise with Mackie and his situation. The problem is all the other characters. They are flat and lifeless. There are no hints about what makes them tick, why they act the way they do and why they support Mackie, until almost the end of the book, and by then it was too late because I didn’t care anymore. When a book can make you identify with a faerie-boy and not believe in the human characters, there is something wrong. Definitely not one I would recommend.

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