Review » Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

About the Book


by Susanne Winnacker
Series: Variants, #1

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. Disguised 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 arrives at a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

My Review

What if you had the power to become anyone else in the world with just a touch? That's Tessa's reality. She's a Variant, someone with a special ability. She lives among others like her, all with varying abilities. Tessa is still in training, and struggling to keep her feelings for her unavailable, infuriatingly sexy friend Alec at bay. But then she gets called upon for a mission--there's a serial killer on the loose--one of the victims survived but isn't expected to live. However, everyone in the tiny town of Livingston will believe that Madison Chambers has made a miraculous recovery. Only Tessa and the Variants at the FEA will know the truth: Madison Chambers is dead. And Tessa has taken her place to lure in the killer.

Impostor is a very quick read. It only took me a few hours to get through the book, and it's packed full of heart stopping action, mystery and suspense, as well as some romance. I enjoyed reading about Tessa's journey and struggle to discern between the real Tessa and Madison-Tessa once she's thrust into Madison's life at full-force, and discovering that perfect Madison wasn't at all who she seemed to be. Every piece of information about Madison's life that Tessa received just seemed to open up more mysteries.

It was like telling someone to enjoy a beautiful piece of music simply by looking at the notes. - quote from Impostor ARC

Tessa is someone who's never really had a loving, caring family. Her father left with her brother when she was too young to even remember their faces, and her mother disowned her once she realized that Tessa had strange abilities. Once Tessa became Madison, she was finally shown the kind of love that she had always wished for. Even if it wasn't directed towards the real Tessa, she found herself being drawn in emotionally, sometimes losing the real Tessa in the process. I couldn't imagine how much of a struggle it would be to be in that kind of situation. 

While I was invested in Tessa and her story, there were a few things that I noticed throughout my reading. I found myself wishing that I had gotten more story. I wanted to know more about Tessa's life at the FEA and her training before she was thrown into the mission. I would've liked to have been inside her world for a while so I could've really connected with Alec and her best friend Holly. There wasn't a whole lot to go on with them, other than Tessa had a crush on Alec, but Alec is with Kate so he's off limits, and Holly is her best friend. I wanted to see more of their relationships. I felt that I was pulled in more by Madison's family and her best friend Ana than I was Alec and Holly. Part of me found myself hoping that Devon and Tessa would end up together, even though it would probably be kind of weird seeing as how he's Madison's brother and for a while he thought Tessa was Madison. 

I also kept finding myself thinking of other series while reading Impostor. Tessa's relationship with Alec reminded me a little bit of the House of Night series, in which Zooey fell for a guy who was unavailable and of course there's a mean girl trying to stop her from getting the guy. I was also reminded of Vampire Academy in which the main character is being trained by her love interest. Those things, however, didn't keep me from enjoying the story or having a connection to the characters, though I do feel if I had had a little more time with them, I would have come to care for them a bit more. Especially Alec and Holly and the other Variants. I'm hoping that in Defector I'll get a bigger sense of her relationships with the two of them and maybe I won't feel such a close connection to the people in her fake life as opposed to her real one.

Overall, Impostor is a quick and enjoyable read. If you're looking for a short read and a bit of mystery and suspense, I definitely recommend picking in up.