Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Impostor

IMPOSTOR
Variants #1
Susanne Winnacker
Paranormal Young Adult
274 pages
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from Media Masters Publicity/Razorbill

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
Impostor is a deeply satisfying start to a new series, balancing romance and mystery perfectly so that we get just enough of each to keep our nerves on edge and our emotions in flux. Many times with murder mysteries there is a blatantly obvious suspect from the beginning, a glaring red herring that we know cannot possibly be the true culprit just from the sheer number of signs that point to them. Our focus then shifts to the person least suspicious, and the game of whodunit becomes less of a challenge. With Impostor, Ms. Winnacker gives us a decent sized pool of possible killers, but instead of any one of them standing out as a red herring or a sleeper suspect, everyone on Tessa’s list is a genuine possibility, and while the identity of the killer at the end is not a jaw-dropping surprise, our keen detective’s eye does spend majority of the story bouncing around from one potential threat to the next.

Tessa possess a very unique and dangerous gift in the context of politics, terrorism and espionage, able to shift her appearance to take on that of anyone with whom she’s physically come in contact. She’s both strong and vulnerable, her training with the FEA preparing her in self-defense, crime scene investigation and various other related areas for a future agent, but her job impersonating Madison is her very first in the field, and we get a front row seat to see just how very different training is from a real mission. Her gift, as she finds out, is not as flawless and reliable as everyone thinks it is, and her time with Madison’s loving family is a stark and painful reminder of the absence of her own family, causing our hearts to hurt for her as the type of life she wants most is handed to her on a silver platter of deceit.

The romance with Alec is a highlight, no insta-love or threat of a romantic third party in sight, just the relationship between two people who have been friends for years but who clearly want to be so much more. Their every interaction is ripe with tension, a delicious sense of anticipation thrumming between them whenever they come in contact, but Alec remains hesitant and repeatedly tries to deny any attraction, citing the difference in their ages as well as the fact that he has a girlfriend who works with both of them at the FEA. While at first the idea that Alec could play with Tessa’s heart when he’s with someone else puts us off, it’s made very clear to us that there is something more to his relationship with Kate than meets the eye, the suddenness of their couple status despite his obvious feelings for Tessa raising many a red flag we can’t wait to see explored in future books.

Overall, Impostor is a book that gives us a complete story in this first installment, but the revelations surrounding Madison’s killer provide this series with legs to stand on, a much larger enemy sliding into place and a new group of FEA recruits that have the potential to wreak havoc on the suddenly fragile bond between Alec and Tessa entering the picture. Those who might be looking for thorough explanations for Tessa and the other Variants' gifts will not find them in this book, their differences from the rest of humanity simply are what they are, but the story and characters are engaging enough to distract from any pressing questions, and it's simply a delight to read on a variety of levels.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Impostor:


Check out my interview with Susanne! 

• • • • • • • • • •
SUSANNE WINNACKER


Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog that looks like a sheep and three bunnies that have destroyed every piece of furniture she's ever owned in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn't writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.
 

• • • • • • • • • • 

 GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Razorbill, I have one hardcover copy of Impostor to give away on the blog today! WOO HOO! I hope everyone loves this book as much as I did. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only, good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

45 comments:

  1. sounds good to me, i might have a try on this book. thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOVE mystery!! It's awesome she handles it well, without making the bad guy obvious:))

    Unique concept and the characters and plot seem very good too:)

    Lovely review:)

    Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just adored this one Christina! Such a fun read:)

      Delete
  3. Imposter sounds like a thrilling new start to a fresh new series. I love the the entire concept, it sounds so different to the books I've seen out there! I also love the sound of the romance between Tessa and Alec, it's such a shame that he has a girlfriend, I can't wait to see how this relationship works out in the next book. I can't believe that I've entirely overlooked this book, it sounds fantastic! Thanks for a brilliant review and for putting this on my radar Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really almost overlooked it as well Jasprit, and I definitely would have been missing out if I had! It was such a pleasant surprise, and now I need book 2 asap:)

      Delete
  4. I've heard a bunch of good things about this one, and I'm totally intrigued. The characters sound really well-rounded, and despite the fact that I would normally have just overlooked this one, I think I might need to give it a go. Great review, Jenny, and thanks for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOVED this book Melissa! It was fabulous:)

      Delete
  5. I loved this book - one of my recent favourites! I loved the mystery and the Tessa/Alex dynamic - it was very Rose/Dimitri at times1 :) Great start to a news series I'll definitely be reading more of! Great review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY!!!! I adored Tessa and Alec, I'm a sucker for the friends-to-more setup, and I thought Susanne wrote it perfectly!

      Delete
  6. I haven't heard a lot about Imposter before this and I'm actually kind of surprised that I'm more interested in getting to know the characters than the story. They sound so good, especially Alec. Even though he's being a little shady around Tessa, I feel like he has a good reason for it and I want to know that. Fabulous review, Jenny! Imposter is now definitely added in my tbr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he definitely has a good reason for why he is the way he is, and I'm absolutely dying for book 2 so I can get more information on him!

      Delete
  7. I have heard good things about this book and have an ARC. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I need to move it up higher in my review pile, especially after reading your review. I love that the romance is a highlight of the story...I'll definitely be reading this one soon. Great review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I hope you make time for it Christina, its such a quick, satisfying read. Loved the characters and the story, and Susanne definitely has a fangirl in me now:)

      Delete
  8. I met Susanne in line at BEA. She's SUCH a sweetheart. I've heard a lot of good things about Impostor and your review only cements the fact that I want it. Awesome review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had gotten to meet her! I think you'll love this one Hannah, you need to pick it up for sure:)

      Delete
    2. Oooh! This one sounds great! I love the whole plot/idea behind the book. I also like how it isn't what I call "fluffy" or anything with the whole love situation. Makes it seem more realistic!(: I've never heard of this one before, but I'll definitely be checking Imposter out.

      Delete
  9. It's such an interesting concept!! Glad you were able to really enjoy it!! I can't wait to read more from this series :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Romance AND mystery? Jenny, you are SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE. Must have.

    ReplyDelete
  11. YES! I loved this book so much and your review reminds me of all the reasons why. :-) I loved Alec and Tess's relationship, it was so sweet and tension filled. I think you're right, there is something going on with Alec and Kate that makes their relationship less emotional and more of a necessity. The leader of the FEA seems to have a big interest in keeping Alec and Tess apart for some reason. What is he up to? I have to know more! Love this review :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This sounds awesome!! And I love the cover!! Mystery, suspense, romance- count me in.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I haven't heard much about this one, but I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'll have to check it out, especially with such a gorgeous cover and sweet romance. Great review, Jenny! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that the mystery kept you guessing and thinking, even if the killer's identity wasn't a 100% surprise. And yay for no insta-love! :)

    Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really enjoyed this story and am wondering what in the world's going to happen next!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Awesome review Jenny! I will be reading this book soon and your review just makes me much more excited to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh I agree with you and I loved that bouncing around trying to figure it out throughout the book. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one as well as I did.

    I swear I don't trust the FEA and I'm not convinced the new "guys" aren't all bad. I'm wondering if even though they aren't good that they may have reason to do what they are doing. Hm... did that make sense? Anyway, I see such potential for so many twists!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds good and the cover is just so cool

    ReplyDelete
  19. AWWW FLIP! I'm not a US resident and I entered four times! I'm realllllly reallly sorry!! It just looked so good and I got so excited.... Is there anyway to rescind my vote? Cause I live in Ireland not the Us... Sorry once again..

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was completely uninterested after reading the synopsis...I just didn't see how the story would work...but after reading your review I am now convinced I should give this one a try. (I think I filled in the gaps from the synopsis all wrong in my head and then judged the book based on that!)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow! Though I've seen the cover around, I've never stopped to read the synopsis. Now, your review single-handedly has me hooked, Jenny! This book sounds incredible. Mysteries are always fascinating and I'm glad this one breaks the mold by having a pool of equally suspicious suspects.

    Tessa sounds like a wonderful character! And though Alec sounds like a great love interest, WHY MUST HE HAVE A GIRLFRIEND! Ah!

    All in all, I can't wait to pick this one up! Lovely review, Jenny. :) Glad you liked it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This book sounds really good. I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have been itching to read this one. I love that there is a great romance no insta love and Tessa sounds like a lot of fun. I also love that it has an X
    men vibe to it! Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been reading such great reviews for this book! Thanks for the great post and giveaway! I'm definitely inching to get my hands on it now :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ohh, I definitely like the sound of that murder mystery! You're right that often murder mysteries ted to have a very cookie cutter layout, so it's so nice to hear that this one diverges from the common mode. I'm very curious about the premise, as well. I'm always a bit doubtful of teens in the FBI story lines, but I still think I could be into this one. Thanks for this review, Jenny! Nicely reviewed indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oooh, friends that turn into more is one of my favorite types of romances! Great review and thanks for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am dying to read this book! I love everything about its premise (I'm a total sucker for a good mystery!) and I've heard such amazing things about it. Thanks for the great review and giveaway!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  28. Looks like an interesting read. Thanks for the giveaway but need to run. Need to work on geneaolagy for the weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Such a great book and a great review!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Haven't read a good mystery in awhile, and the concept looks good! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've been wanting to read this ever since Lauren reviewed it, but I just can't find the time! I haven't finished a book in a week. Stupid finals!
    I just adore X-men-like powers (which is why I loved Hunting Lila) and I can't wait to see how it was done here. The romance also sounds like my vry favorite kind since it seems to avoid all the usual traps I despise.
    Soon, I HOPE! Wonderful review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've been waiting for this book to come out for a while now! Can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Good review. Wow… Totally can't wait to read this! Adding it to my TBR list... Beautiful cover, too! ; ) I love this genre and I always wonder what made the author choose to write in this kind of genre? Thanks for sharing with us and Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I really am looking forward to reading this book!! It looks really good and I love the review!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great review! I want to read this book; it seems really good.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yay! I won! I can't wait to read this book. I sent you a e-mail responding on the day I received it.

    - Beckie

    ReplyDelete