Friday, June 7, 2013

Impostor (Variants #1) by Susanne Winnacker with Giveaway!

1st in a series
288p.
Available Now
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Media Masters Publicity for review
Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?

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:
This is a variation on the theme of kids finding out they have incredible powers and solving crimes. I usually love those kind of stories and this was no exception.

Tessa is a sensitive young girl who has had a life that was anything less than perfect. Rejected by her parents she finds a sort of home in the government program who identifies and then exploits their talents to solve federal crime, often those with other "variant" powers. Tessa is sent on a mission before she is mentally mature enough to handle the consequences, but decides that catching the killer is more important than her issues with posing as a dead girl. This is where I think the author shines. She does not shy away from Tessa's sensitivity but embraces it and shows how vulnerable this can make her. How this would affect someone who hasn't yet fully developed their own personality first.

As for the rest of it... what happens... you'll just have to read it to find out. *evil laugh*

I do have one niggle that bothered me from a sci-fi POV: How did she absorb scars and environmental "defects" when absorbing the DNA for the shift to another person? This wasn't addressed and I'm quite curious to the explanation. Perhaps I will get it as the series progresses. I hope so!

I give this book 4 stars. I think the mystery was done well, but what shined to me was the characterization. I liked the vulnerability of Tessa and the way she learned to do what was right for herself in the end. I'm so leery of her "handlers" and that is a great thread to have open for the next books in the series. Are the good guys really the good guys? ;) The main mystery is wrapped up so there are no cliffies, only threads that you would expect in a series that can go in several directions. Sign me up for that! :) I recommend it to those that enjoy a fun adventure reminiscent of the X-men.

Where to buy:

Hopefully I have peaked your interest because:
Media Masters Publicity is offering this book as a giveaway! It's open to those that have US or Canada snail mail addys! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

33 comments:

  1. I've heard a bunch of good things about this one now, and I have to say that I'm totally excited to read it, too. I love sci-fi-esque stories involving unique gifts, and a 4-star review is pretty dang strong. Great review, Melissa, and thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I think you'd really enjoy this one. I enjoy those kind of stories too!

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  2. Reading lots of good things about this, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. Unexplained sci-fi bits would probably bother me too, but I'm a huge fan of X-men powers and kids solving crimes. It's a personal weakness and I'm always excited when a new story comes out. I already have a copy on its way and I can't wait to read it.
    Thanks for the fab review!

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    1. It wasn't a huge bother and I'm a sucker for those kind of stories too! Hope you review it, would love to know what you think!

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  4. Ohh the cover alone looks cool

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  5. Like you, I'm never sure just how these characters do what they do, but it sure makes for fun reading. :)Enjoyed this review.
    Between The Pages

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    1. I agree! I just enjoy the fun-ness (it's a word!).

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  6. YEAH MELISSA!!!! I really enjoyed this one as well! And it was so nice to reach the end and get a complete story, no cliffhanger, just room for the series to move forward. I adored Tessa, and I agree that her vulnerability was a highlight of her character. SO GOOD!

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    1. Loved that there was no cliffie! I really did enjoy it. :D

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  7. I'm going to have to say that I don't think this agency is all good. They may *claim* to be on the side of right but you're right to be leery. I think they're pretty shady, especially in the way they handle the kids. HUM. Interesting to see where this series goes!!

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    1. I am so curious if I'm right. Probably not, but still so leery about them. :)

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  8. Great review- I don't think I've really heard much about this one. Sounds like something I'd enjoy, so that's awesome. Love the premise and that the characterization was done well. :)

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    1. Oh I do think that you would enjoy this one. I thought it was a great start to a series.

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  9. I totally want to read this book, I am reading some great reviews on it, and I love the X files vibe. The scar problem sounds like it is a bit perplexing. So agree about handlers you never know what their true motives are! All entered and fingers crossed!

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    1. There might be a good explanation, but there wasn't one in the book. Just curious and it really didn't bother me to suspend belief for entertainment. I think you'd enjoy it. :)

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  10. Sounds like a great book! Gorgeous cover. :) Great plot!

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  11. Oh yes I heard great things about this one, it sounds intense.

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  12. Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one too. I'm with you, handlers always make me super suspicious, ever since the pilot of Alias. TRUST NO ONE. :-) I didn't even think of the scars and defect absorption as being strange until now. *mind blown* You are clearly a more discerning sci-fi reader than me. I was just like, derp, X-men powers, derp, awesome!! :-) Lovely review as usual!

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  13. This has been getting really good reviews and Tessa sounds like a great character. I do love detective agency type books..awesome review and I hope the next book explains those powers!

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  14. I'm glad to have read your review because now I know enough about Impostor to be excited to read it. :D

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  15. I have been hearing amazing things about this book! I'm glad you really enjoyed it and I'm dying to get my hands on a copy!

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  16. Thanks for the great review and giveaway! This book keeps popping up every where and it's definitely caught my interest :)

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  17. If a book has great characterization, I am right there. Great review. I can't wait to read this.

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  18. I've heard so many great things about this book. It's now bumped to the top of my TBR pile. And btw, the cover is dynamite! Thanks for the chance to win :)

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  19. Ohmigosh. I so want to read this book now. I mean, I wanted to read it before, but they way you described it REALLY makes me want to read it.

    I definitely like this sort of premise too, and the way you aid everyone is characterized just gets me so excited.

    Brynna

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  20. The review has me intrigued since my favorite stories have the most interesting characters.

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  21. This sounds like a really great book! Thank you for the review and giveaway.

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