Once there was a town that made a deal. The deal was made when the town was just a village, a hamlet, a collection of hovels. Now the town is a middle class suburb called Gentry. But the deal still holds. In exchange for prosperity and health, the town agrees not to notice that every seven years, one of their children disappears and is replaced by a sickly thing that is not human and doesn’t live for long. “We take for granted that sometimes you lose a child. And sometimes everyone else gets hit by the recession. Everyone else’s unemployment skyrockets…but not ours. Never ours because if you feed the ground, the ground feeds you back.” Except one time, one of them lives to grow up. Mackie knows he’s different, but his friends and family love him anyway. The problem is, he can’t love himself, not when he knows what he is. Not when he knows who’s rightful place he took. A human boy who’s blood was spilled so he could live. Now Mackie has the chance to save another small soul that will be sacrificed so the town can prosper. But with friends and family in both worlds, is he strong enough to make the ultimate choice that will decide the future of Gentry? Haunting and melancholy, this debut horror novel is full of small, perfect moments of exquisite foreboding that almost made me hum with pleasure (you know if you read this blog regularly how much I love me some scaretasticness) I wish I could tell you more, but I’m afraid of giving away the sick little secrets at the rotten heart of this darkly gorgeous gem. I did feel like newbie author Brenna Yovanoff pulled a few punches at the end when it came to a gruesome character called The Cutter, but other than that, I was wholly satisfied. And while I saw interesting elements of books like The Last Daysby Scott Westerfeld, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and the story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, rest (in peace) assured that this atmospheric tome has a gothy music all its own. A perfect choice for Halloween reading. LOVE!
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff