Every once in a while I stumble upon a book that takes me completely by surprise. I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but decided to take a chance on it because of the interesting synopsis and creepy cover art. I am so glad I did, because this was hands down one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I have had all year.
On the surface, Mackie seems like an average teenage boy. He goes to school, has a crush on a cheerleader and feels alienated from the adults in his life. But Mackie is a Replacement, a changling left in the place of a human baby that was stolen from it's crib in the middle of the night sixteen years ago. Because of his potentially fatal reactions to iron, blood and consecrated ground, each day is a struggle just to survive.
In Mackie, Yovanoff has created a truly wonderful character. The reader can't help but be captivated by his story. His sense of longing to live a normal life...to just belong somewhere, is heartbreaking. And his absolute devotion to his sister is just one of the many reasons I love him so much.
I loved just about every aspect of this book...from the smart dialogue, to all the truly creepy characters Mackie meets in the Underground world called Mayhem, to Mackie's best friend. The ONE thing that I was not so thrilled with was the female lead, Tate. She was just too...harsh for my taste. She didn't seem to appreciate everything that Mackie ended up going through to help her. And her hot and cold attitude toward him was frustrating. But in the end, that was just a minor annoyance that is easily overlooked.
What a wonderful surprise this turned out to be. Such an amazing story with truly unique and unforgettable characters. Loved every word!!