Thursday, 5 September 2013

Impostor - Susanne Winnacker [Review]

Title: Impostor
Author: Suzanne Winnacker
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Variants #1
Release Date: May 28th 2013
Pages: 274
Rating: ★★★
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.


This book is the kind of book you like while reading, but will forget instantly after finishing. A nice book, but not anything special.

Short Summary

Protagonist Tessa is a Variant, a shape-shifter. She is still in training with FEA, a secret branch of the FBI, when she is sent to a small town to find a serial killer. She has to impersonate Madison, the killer's last victim and take over her life. Will she find the killer before she loses herself in Madison's life?


The characters in this book were not really memorable. The book seemed more story-driven and took little time to develop its characters.

Tessa was a normal teenage girl, insecure about everything. She had been in training for 2 years, but she still seemed pretty weak and not kickass at all. I sympathized with her when she finally got the loving family she never had (Madison's family..), but she did not have any other likable traits. 

Tessa's crush Alec wasn't likable at all. Tessa constantly reminded us of how hot he was, that was apparently the only thing she liked about him. During the book he was overprotective and he seemed to lead Tessa on, knowing she liked him, while he had a girlfriend. It made me dislike him and of course Tessa only liked him more, sigh.

The other characters were stereotyped and had no development. Bitchy girlfriend of the crush, anti-social nerd etcetera. 


I did not like the romance in the book. Tessa had a crush on Alec, who was her friend in the FEA. He obviously liked her too, but he already had a girlfriend, Kate. It seemed he had some secret reason of being with Kate, because of which he did not break up with her, since she wasn't exactly nice, but this was never explained. As I said Alec kind of lead Tessa on during the book, which is the one of the most irritating kinds of romance you can have in a book in my opinion.
Tessa also seemed to have developed a crush on Devon, Madison's brother (while she was impersonating Madison, that was pretty creepy). I hope there's not going to be a love triangle in the next book, since I usually hate those.


The sci-fi concept was cool, but unfortunately not really explained. Like in many YA sci-fi books, the sci-fi is only a nice basis, while a mystery or romance forms the actual story.
In the book we have people with special powers, who are trained at the secret FEA. We meet Tessa, a shape-shifter, Holly, who can become invisible and Alec (super strength). How the powers, the organization etcetera work is never explained. The concept did indeed share some similarities with X-Men, although I did not find myself comparing the two while reading.


Impostor was a fast paced book. Tessa constantly got new clues about who the killer could be, which made you want to read along fast. The killer and his motive were predictable, this made the end anti-climatic and the mystery simplistic. 
The book was also pretty short, only 274 pages. Such short books are never my favourites, it always seems like there's something missing and the story seems rushed. I'm not sure what the next book is going to be about, since the story was round up at the end.


A quick, light sci-fi/mystery book, nothing special.

Stars: 3 out of 5


  1. I hate these sort of books that are good whilst reading it but it's not a hugely significant. That is me and The Originals by Cat Patrick. I liked it while reading but it's not truly memorable. From the summary I would have thought this was good but I'm reluctant to read it now.

  2. I thought the same thing, that there was some sort of reason for Alex being with Kate. Glad to know I didn't just imagine that. I liked the mystery part of the book. And I agree, given that Tessa had been training for so long, I expected her to be badass. But it seemed like she gets this mission and all of a sudden she has "real" training. What was she doing the past two years?? Anyway, I liked the book, it was a fast and fun read (I listened to the audiobook, by the way) and I appreciated that it didn't end in a cliffhanger. But you're right, this one probably won't stick with me too long. ~Pam

  3. I def enjoyed this one as well, but you are right, I don't remember much at all about it

  4. Hmm, I don't life books where the guy leads on the girl and is really hot, but got nothing else going on. Shame because the premise sounds really cool, and I like the cover as well. Great review Eveline!


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