Many high school students feel like outsiders, but in this dark fantasy Mackie Doyle has better reason than most to be alienated. Mackie is a changeling, a fairy child exchanged for a stolen human baby. Everyone knows it, though no one will acknowledge it, for fear of upsetting a deal the town made long ago. What, after all, is one baby taken every seven years, in exchange for continued economic prosperity? "Everyone else's unemployment skyrockets, and their tech plants go bankrupt and their dairy farms fail, but not ours," says Mackie's sister, Emma, one of the few who will acknowledge the town's secrets. Mackie, however--sickened by iron, terrified that his neighbors will turn on him--has paid a terrible price, as has Tate Stewart, who is traumatized by the loss of her baby sister, the latest stolen child. Eventually, the two teenagers join forces in an attempt to overturn the town's intolerable status quo. Debut novelist Yovanoff offers well-developed characters, a fascinating take on the Fairy Court, and an exciting story line.
I'd heard great things about this book, and it's been on my TBR list for ages. I finally got around to listening to it via Audible, but my response to it was luke warm. The premise is a good one, a town where every seven years a human infant is replaced with an otherworldly creature so the human can be sacrificed to a rather self-absorbed demonness.
While the potential is definitely there, I felt the story didn't quite reach that potential. However, I did enjoy the odd, creepy creatures who live underground. They alone made the book worth reading. And I think it borders on horror, but not quite, so it is a good selection for teen readers who enjoy stories by Darren Shan or James Dashner.