Spooky Saturday is an original weekly meme to spotlight a spooky book!
I haven’t been reading many spooky books lately because I’m trying to save all the ones I currently have for my September/October “Spook-A-Book-A-Thon” (what an awful name… I’m working on that, though!). So, for today’s post I am dipping into the archives of my goodreads to pull a fantastic spooky read that I enjoyed in 2015.
THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff is a delightfully spooky book that still retains its humor along the way.
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.
Before I picked up this book, I had heard pretty awful reviews about it. People insisted the author’s earlier works were much better but I was new to this author and I’ve always been intrigued by the premise of changelings, so this book felt like it was right up my alley. And I was totally right.
I think what I liked most about this book is how Yovanoff paints the Monsters of this book. In most horror novels, the monsters are bad and do horrible things to unsuspecting humans. However, Yovanoff does a fantastic job of reminding the reader that monsters exist outside of human morality and what feels right and wrong for us isn’t the same for them because we live in two literal different worlds. Sometimes the monsters do bad things and sometimes they do good things but regardless of any of that, they exist on their own plane and aren’t concerned with what human morality thinks of them. It was interesting to see monsters in varying shades of “good” and “bad” rather than just the plain evil we’re accustomed to in horror novels.
While the romance in the book was a little odd to me, what really sold me on this story was the relationship between Mackie and his older sister, Emma, and Mackie and his best friend, Roswell. I am such a sucker for sibling dynamics that kind of tear my heart out and best friends that are loyal through everything. Since it’s not a spoiler (because it’s stated in the synopsis), Emma watched her biological brother being taken away and replaced by the changeling that grew up to be Mackie… and she still loved him fiercely anyway. And when Mackie reveals what he is to Roswell by telling him that he is just like the monsters invading the town, Roswell says “Don’t be a jackass. There’s no one like you.” SWOON SWOON BEST FRIEND SWOON.
This book is so atmospheric. Yovanoff creates this gloomy little town full of secrets that makes you just want to unravel them from every corner possible. So many horror novels lack that good atmosphere that sets a story up for the Ultimate Spook and I was very impressed with how kept up the rain theme throughout the story.
And the secondary characters! Rotting girls and a tattooed princess and A Big Evil lurking around. I don’t care what anyone says, this book pulled off some great side characters.
I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a little YA spook!