Author: Susanne Winnacker (Twitter)
Publisher: Hodder Children's
Publish Date: January 2, 2014 (UK)
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
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.
Science fiction is a genre that I'm fairly certain I'll never grow tired of, especially when novels like Impostor make their way onto the market. This book moved at breakneck speed, sweeping us up into a fantastic, powerful and imaginative journey in which we are helpless but to become fully engrossed and invested in the story. Author, Susanne Winnacker, gives us a contemporary setting that is easy to understand and follow, which makes a science fiction novel work better for me. It makes the scene and the setting much more accessible, and as a reader, I can picture scenes playing out.
Impostor was unique to the science fiction genre though, in my opinion, in that there wasn't a hidden message that I could find in the story. It wasn't so much a political subplot or a masked agenda, which made the story more enjoyable for me. Rather than feeling like I was being preached to, as many dystopian and science fiction novels seem, Impostor's setup made it possible for me to enjoy the story and the characters for what they were at face-value, rather than asking me to delve into deep-rooted subplots that actually pertained to real life. Rather, it gave me action, adventure, drama and intrigue - all without asking me to sign up for a subliminal message.
Tessa was an incredible character, too, which is often a rarity in science fiction. Often we have to settle for either characters or plot, but Impostor managed to give readers both, and in Tessa, we find the girl next door kicked up a notch. I worried that her ability to become another person might leave her character feeling muddled, but Tessa was tangible from start to finish, even as she became Madison. Madison's characteristics became ingrained in her, too, but I never lost sight of Tessa or her power. And, yet, she felt entirely real to me despite it all, as well. Take away her powers and you just have a wonderful, rich teenage character.
The only slight qualm I had with Impostor was with Alex, the love interest. Tessa was a strong character, yet I felt like Alex's character almost tried to overshadow her with diminutive comments and an oft-times patronizing demeanor. He was meant to protect her, and I understood that, but when it was reiterated by him time and again, I could help but feel as though he was trying a bit too hard to be this alpha male who, in all honestly, paled in comparison to the power and persona that Tessa embodied.
Overall though, Impostor was a really, really good read, and it was such a welcome breath of fresh air after a string of so-so novels. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where the series goes and progresses, and I'll definitely continue on. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy science fiction and X-Men-type stories.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.