Review: Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Review: Impostor by Susanne WinnackerImpostor by Susanne Winnacker
Series: Variants #1
Published by Razorbill on May 28, 2013
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 274
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?

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 training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. 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.

One of the tough things about blogging is those unsolicited sequels. I only searched out Impostor because Defector arrived. Sometimes I would just pass it along to someone else, but I was just intrigued enough to put the effort in. Largely, this was because Blythe (Finding Bliss in Books) read them both really quickly and was impressed. Blythe and I often have different taste, but she told me some things that made me curious to try the book. I actually had to get my dear librarian bestie to interlibrary loan Impostor since my local library didn’t have it. Turns out the struggle was worth it, because Impostor was just my sort of book.

Two subjects that fascinate me are humans with powers, because come on evolution I want one, and serial killers. I’m not going to think too hard about why the latter is so interesting to me, but it’s the exception to my general disinterest in mystery novels. Impostor has both. I really don’t know how this book wasn’t on my radar when it came out, since it’s such obvious Christina-bait. Basically, I love the plot of this book. It is perfectly up my alley.

The heroine is Tessa, who has the power to change her appearance to look like other people. She lives with a bunch of other Variants in a government facility. What’s cool, though, is that this would normally be a dystopian evil government control thing, but they’re all happy there. They’re the only people who have ever understood her and supported her, because her mom sure didn’t. She has friends there and all of them chose to work for the government with their powers, in a special branch of the FBI called the FEA.

At the start of Impostor, Tessa gets her first mission: to impersonate a victim of the serial killer. See, this girl Madison survived barely but never made it out of a coma state. As soon as she dies, her body will be saved in the morgue, Tessa will take on her form, and they’ll pretend she had a miraculous recovery. Then, Tessa will try to find out who murdered Madison and three other people. This involves some rather convoluted pretense to selective amnesia, but I was totally willing to roll with it because the plot was so much fun.

The mystery worked pretty well for me. It’s not one of those where you don’t suspect the person who turns out to be the one who did all the murdering, but I also wasn’t sure who it was. The thing is that there are so many shady people surrounding Madison that it was not an easy call to make. Basically, it met my main qualification, which is that I don’t want the resolution of the mystery to make me roll my eyes. It didn’t blow my mind, but it was creepy enough to make for a good read.

The novel tries to get into some of Tessa’s emotional struggle in being someone else. She comes to enjoy being Madison, what with having a family and a normal life. I like this in theory, but I don’t think enough time with the family to really sell her connection to them. There was definitely more telling than showing on this part, which I think is a shame, since it could have been really powerful. I wanted to feel her loss when she had to leave town at the end of the mission and I really didn’t.

The other aspect that I didn’t care for was the romance. Tessa has this long-standing mega-crush on Alec, who is dating the gorgeous and bitchy Kate. The romance element with him pretty much goes how you would guess it would. He’s over-protective and flip flops between the two and I really do not care for this guy. He may be hot and strong, but he is boring and the girl needs a better ship, which I’m hoping is on the way. I have a ship, but it would have been super creepy if it happened in this book, so I’m crossing my fingers.

Impostor was a total surprise. It was one of those books that my intuition told me wasn’t going to work for me and then I had trouble putting it down. I’m very much looking forward to getting to Defector now!

Favorite Quote:

“You always do that, you know,” Alec said.

I swallowed a gummy bear. “Do what?”

“Bite their heads off first.”

I shrugged. “It’s the nice thing to do. If you could choose, would you rather be eaten alive starting at your feet or would you want it to be over quickly?”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif pretty little liars surprised smile

2 responses to “Review: Impostor by Susanne Winnacker”

  1. Soma Rostam says:

    xD I adore you GIFs, they are so to the point and this one is lovely!
    I have been reading reviews of Imposter for ages now, and it sounds so good. Exactly my kind of read.
    GREAT review, deary
    As always!
    Your reader,
    Soma R.
    Soma Rostam recently posted…ARC Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy HallMy Profile

  2. Dragana says:

    From your review it seems to me that large focus of the book is on murder mystery and I usually don’t enjoy those sort of books. Also no ship so…
    Still, I’m glad that Impostor turned out to be worth the trouble for you. I hope Defector is even better!
    Dragana recently posted…Book Review: Jala’s Mask by Mike Grinti & Rachel GrintiMy Profile

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