Wednesday, 1 January 2014

14:25 - No comments

Book Review: Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Impostor (Variants, #1)

Title: Impostor
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Release Date: January 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books

Buy the Book: Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tessa is a Variant with extraordinary abilities. She could be a hero, but all she wants to do is fall in love ...

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she's spent the last two years with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. There she trains with other Variants, such as long-term crush Alec, who each have their own extraordinary ability.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. Tessa hates everything about being an impostor - the stress, the danger, the deceit - but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she'd do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

(I received an advance copy from Hachette Children’s Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Impostor, by Susanne Winnacker, centers on the detective adventures of Tessa, a girl with the ability to change her appearance into someone else. She is sent on a mission to investigate a murder by a group of people with unique powers like hers. Her task is to transform into the recently murdered teenage victim named Madison and pose as her to find the person who killed Madison and two other people.

I was immediately intrigued by this storyline, it starts strong and continues so throughout. I love the idea of having a group of people, each with unique powers, come together to form an organization dedicated to solving crimes, like the Avengers in a way. The book opens with Tessa training at the organization that she has called her home. Winnacker describes the setting of this book so well, I was able to picture it with ease. She also describes the relationships and character dynamics with a strong and clear voice. Her writing style is straight forward and to the point. However, I wish she had elaborated on the supporting characters at the organization. Nevertheless, said supporting characters only appear at the beginning of the book and they don’t have much of an effect on the remainder of the novel where she enters Madison’s high school life. The plot then begins to thicken and more characters are introduced.

I haven’t read many books with a high school setting, however, I really like this one. Experiencing it through the commentary of an outsider who has never been in that kind of environment, but having to act like she has grown up around it, was a really fun twist. I love how Tessa tries to figure out how to be a “normal” teenager while trying to catch a murderer. However, much like the supporting character at the organization, I felt that Madison’s friends could have used a little bit more development. A large portion of the book is spent with Tessa trying to cope and fit into Madison’s former life. Since I really liked the supporting characters at the high school, I wanted to read more about them.

When the murderer is revealed I was actually quite surprised to find out who he/she is. The entire ending sequence caught me off guard and I really enjoyed reading it. I also love how strong Tessa is while the ending unfolds. To me, she really proves herself as a hero in that sequence.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would have liked to have read more about the supporting characters and their personalities. Perhaps Winnacker will touch on some of the returning characters more in the next installment. I look forward to reading Tessa’s next mystery and how she handles it. I would recommend this book to someone who is a fan of contemporary novels, but with a twist of mystery.

I give Impostor by Susanne Winnacker 3 out of 5 stars. 

Is Impostor on your to-read list this winter?

Come back on Saturday for this weeks edition of Stacking the Shelves!

Hope everyone is having a happy new year!

Stay nerdy,


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