Sooo . . . I’m upset.
First, I want to say that I’ve read Brenna Yovanoff’s books before and quite liked them. The reason I picked this book up in the first place was because I liked her other novel, Paper Valentine, so much. It was fantastic. (I just might write a review of it at some point).
But this one was different. The plot, hero . . . everything about this book was completely different from Paper Valentine. But to give her credit, all three of her novels I’ve read (Paper Valentine, The Replacement, and The Space Between) were nothing like each other. Which is a huge compliment to give an author, I think.
So don’t read this review and let it discourage you from ever reading a Yovanoff’s novel. Especially Paper Valentine, I would recommend that one out of the three I’ve read.
Mackie (the “hero”) knows that he’s not human, so does his family, and he works hard to blend in. The real Mackie was taken and replaced by the Mackie the reader knows. He’s always sick because of the iron around him, and (for whatever reason) his “kind” doesn’t come looking from him until he’s basically on his death bed. Even though Mackie wasn’t supposed to survive the replacement, but now that he did, he’s a vital asset to his “kind.”
That’s the gist of it.
Anyways, the reason I’m so upset with this book is because I think I expected too much from it. This was Yovanoff’s first novel, I believe, so I have to give her that. But honestly, I didn’t even finish The Replacement.
Wait! Keep reading! I know it can be frustrating to read a review on a book the reviewer didn’t even finish, because maybe it was just slow going and got better near the end, right? But here’s the thing: I was more than halfway through before I quit. I just couldn’t continue. I was confused half the time, the hero takes things waaayyyy too nonchalantly (like, things that should most definitely NOT be taken lightly), and the spirit of the hero (Mackie) left something to be desired.
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (check out my review here: https://obsessivereads.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/gameboard-of-the-gods/) was a slow going book, but I still managed to finish it. And I’m glad I did. But this one . . . No, just no.
I’m fine if the author wants to keep things hidden from the reader for a while. Totally fine with that. But here’s an example on why I lost my patience . . . When Mackie finds out a vital piece of information on the life of a child, as a being with a soul, I would expect him to go running and tell someone about this. But no. Instead he stews over it until the last second.
I didn’t understand Mackie’s family either . . . especially his mom. She’s fine with Mackie, even though he’s not actually her son and her real son is gone forever . . . but, hey, oh well!
I get that she still loves him like a son and that it’s not his fault, but still. There has to be some underlying emotions there.
But on a happier note, try Yovanoff’s novel, Paper Valentine. Read about it here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12109772-paper-valentine