‘Have you not noticed that everyone in this town is desperately committed to pretending that nothing is wrong?’ Thus Emma Doyle at an early moment in Brenna Yovanoff’s novel to her 16-year-old brother Mackie, the ‘replacement’ of the title. As the boy’s first person narrative proceeds it becomes clear that in this small American town called Gentry something is very ‘wrong’ indeed; the central question of the unravelling events will focus on Mackie’s role in attempting to put things right. He has come to merit the ‘replacement’ label as, some 16 years previously, he had been made to exchange places with a human child, having come from Mayhem, the underground world existing beneath Gentry’s slag heaps. He has survived, in spite of his various allergies, much longer than would seem to be the case with other Gentry changelings and now that the young sister of Tate, a girl to whom he is attracted, has apparently vanished he embarks on a return to Mayhem in the hope that she might be waiting to be rescued there. It is all totally preposterous, though not without its entertaining moments – there are two rather good teenage party scenes, for example – and Mackie, its central character, has undoubtedly a certain ethereal charm. Fans of the paranormal will respond favourably to the book’s ghoulish and macabre aspects, best seen in its portrayals of Mayhem’s distinctly weird inhabitants. If there is anything serious intended in all this, it has probably to do with the need to accept the ‘otherness’ within our society and not to be too easily seduced by superficial appearances.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2011-05-01 00:00:212022-02-08 17:32:27The Replacement