Monday 18 November 2013

Book Review - Impostor

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Series: Variants #1
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd January 2014
Publishers: Hodder Childrens
No. Pages: 320
Source: Review Copy - Hodder Childrens
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

I have a confession. I was insanely excited about this book. I had rekindled my romance for this book after I saw it on NetGalley. However, this book let me down. For me, this book felt like a runner at the Olympics who'd fallen at the first hurdle. No matter how hard you try, or how fast you run, there's no way you're going to get in the medals, and this is exactly what happened between myself and Imposter. It had a great premise and had ample opportunity to be something great, fantastic even, but I felt the plot was swamped within the sticky mess of 'the romance', if you could call it that, and no matter how interesting the story became, or what plot twists Ms Winnacker weaved, I couldn't get past it whatsoever.

Impostor's premise was a good one, and is what drew me into wanting to read it over a year ago. I had first spotted the book on my Goodreads travels and fell instantly in love with the cover it was issued with, little thinking it was the Hardback cover, and thus my heart broken into millions of pieces. After I had gotten over the heartbreak of knowing that may not be cover I ever own, I moved onto the synopsis and I was blown away. I loved the idea of mystery murder, as I am a huge fan of numerous murder shows, so to me, a year ago, this was the best sounding book out there. However, somewhere between deciding I wanted this book and finding it on NetGalley a week or so ago, I completely forgot about it; only when I had read the synopsis again on NetGalley, thought it sounded familiar and searched it out on Goodreads, did I find it was the same book. The same book I'd been excited about previously. I had high expectations for this book, and Impostor just really let me down.

I felt I may have fallen into a trap after about 50 pages when all that seemed to have been happening was a teenage girl moping over a crush she had a close friend of hers. While I'm all for relationship and romance building within a story, this was just the start of a icky, and quite frankly, boring romance which took over the entire story. I had been wanting some better, more developed action scenes, and some gripping tension, something that would make me want to keep turning the pages, after all, this was all about a murder, mass murders I'll add, but I found myself assigning a specific amount of pages to myself, reading through them and switching off for the night. I could not get past the angst and the moaning of our leading lady. Her character had quite the talent, and she couldn't and wouldn't utilise it to the best of her ability because she was so zoned in her obsessive crush; it really frustrated me, so much so, I would say it ruined the entire enjoyment for me, completely.

I did however like a few aspects covered, for example, the essence of family. This was a big feature throughout, between near enough all the characters, and for a large number of reasons. The characters in the FEA didn't have individual families, but found comfort in one another, which to me, just reiterated the fact that blood doesn't have to bring a family together. Family, in this book, was about much more than DNA (pardon the relevance), it was about unconditional love for one another, supporting and being there for each other, and never letting go. Even within the mess, I could see this one little gem throughout the story shining through, and I appreciate touches like that.

I do believe if Ms Winnacker had spent more time developing the plot and making it more thrilling, then chances are, it would have all come to together and made a pretty fantastic book, but in this case, no. It wasn't fantastic. It wasn't great. It was okay. However, while I was bored and felt the story was pretty vanilla, I feel that in the hands of another reader, it could be a good book. I think I probably had a lot of high expectations with this book, finding it after so long, an interesting and intriguing plot, but in the end, we can't all like the same literature, and this one, just was not for me.


  1. Great review! I've been wanting to read this one for a long time now, but I kind of hate reading about people moping over crushes, so thank you so much for this warning! I'll probably still pick it up at some point, but it's great to know what I'm in for. Thank you very much.

    -Kelsey @ Verbosity Book Reviews

    1. I'm glad I could give the warning! I'd definitely say if you could get past all the moping and moaning, it is a good book and worth the read; I look forward to seeing what you think if you ever read it.

  2. Great review! I understand all your points, I got sick of her obsession with Alec and the romance fell very flat for me. I needed a quick, easy read when I read this and it delivered on that, which is probably the reason I ended up enjoying it. It did have quite a lot of issues though, and if I continue the series, I am hoping the sequel is a lot better.

    1. I think this book does deliver on quick read when it's good, it's easy to fly through in the fast action scenes. I wish you luck when you read the sequel, thank you for stopping by :)


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