Jan 6, 2014
Tessa is a Variant with extraordinary abilities. She could be a hero, but all she wants to do is fall in love …
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.
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.
Within the ranks of the FBI lies a secret sector known as the FEA – the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities. The sector seeks and trains Variants, individuals with an abnormal genetic code that allows them to perform various abilities that the normal human being is incapable of.
Tessa is a 16 year old Variant who has been a part of the FEA’s training program for the past two years. Tessa’s ability is one of a kind – she is able to copy an individual’s genetic code and copy their physical appearances. Following a number of unusual deaths in a small Oregon town, Tessa is sent on her first mission: to take the appearance of the most recent victim and to figure out the individual responsible for these killings.
But in Madison’s existence, she finds acceptance and normal life – two things that she has desperately craved for since the moment her mother abandoned her for her abnormality. Can Tessa find the killer in time and stay undercover, despite her growing want for a life just like Madison’s?
I enjoyed reading the first of Winnacker’s Variants series. I thought Impostor was creative and suspenseful – I found it very difficult to put down the book until I was finished reading it. I really enjoyed Tessa’s character, despite that she may seem a bit childish and immature. She’s only 16, and to be put into the position that she is in is extremely terrifying and I loved the bravery and courage that she showed throughout the story. I liked the minor characters that are introduced to Tessa once she reaches Oregon, such as Ana and Devon. I thought each added towards our understanding of Madison and the situation that she was in prior to her death.
My biggest complaint, like with most recent YA, lies in the romance. I found no chemistry between Tessa and Alec. I thought it was forced and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I found Alec’s character a bit irritating as well… I hoped for some development for him but ultimately I didn’t see any improvement in their relations as the book went on. Hopefully this improves in the later books. I also found it a bit unrealistic that everyone believed Madison’s recovery so quickly, but really I just found it crazy that the FEA and Tessa could play with a family’s emotions so easily.
Overall, I thought Impostor was a very solid first book to Winnacker’s Variants series. Tessa is a very intriguing protagonist, I think that there is a lot more development that still needs to be done but I really enjoy reading in her point of view. I will surely be looking out for the sequel to this book. For readers of YA thriller, suspense, and a bit of scifi, Impostor could definitely be a worthy read.