Serial Killers and Absorbable DNA: A Review of IMPOSTOR by Susanne Winnacker

Impostor (Variants #1) 
Susanne Winnacker
274 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher

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.

    A serial killer, gifted people, and a girl who wants nothing more than a happy life, IMPOSTOR is a heart-wrenching thriller that is bound to leave an impression.

   IMPOSTOR asks a couple important questions: if you had the the ability to absorb a person’s DNA and look like them would you use it to find a serial killer? Would you be willing to put yourself in the line of fire?

   Tessa is a Variant working for the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, where others like her – people with superhuman abilities – are sent on deadly missions. When residents of a small town in Oregon suddenly start dying, its up to Tessa to appear as Madison, a teenager living in the town, and find the killer.

    Mystery novels aren’t my thing, mainly because I can’t stand waiting when I know I can just flip to the back and find out. But IMPOSTOR isn’t just a mystery novel, the addition of Variants – people gifted with special powers – made the story interesting. More of a sci-fi action thriller than a mystery.

    Susanne Winnacker had me guessing throughout the book. Every time I thought I knew who the culprit was, she’d point at some else. And so on and so on, I wasn’t exactly surprised when we found out the real killer, mainly because I was already suspicious of that person.

    The characters were a great group – some were plain awesome and others I wished would die right away. Alec, a Variant who works with Tessa and happens to be the main male lead in the book, was annoying through out the book and I hated how Tessa kept going after him even though he was irritating.

    I loved the plot and how Tessa had to impersonate Madison to find the killer. Tessa struggled alot through out the book, she’d always wanted a kind and loving family and Madison’s parents and twin brother are just that. I loved that this aspect of the story had a real-ness to it – it made it easier to connect with Tessa.

    IMPOSTOR was great and a definite must-read, even though the beginning was sort of odd. I can’t wait for the second book.

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Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 15 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a part time pirate and assassin.



  1. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    July 29, 2013

    I really enjoyed this one! Loved the idea of her “super power” and I liked the mystery that ran throughout the story.

  2. Reply

    Ashley @ The Bibliophile's Corner

    July 29, 2013

    This sounds so interesting! I was a little bit confused as to what this was about. The cover is amazing.

  3. Reply


    July 29, 2013

    Glad you loved this one too Hafsah, even if you didn't love Alec as much as I did. That just means I have a better chance with him now that there's less competition ;-) I can't wait for a second book either, I'm already impatient and I have a long way to go yet before it releases!

    • Reply

      Hafsah - IceyBooks

      July 29, 2013

      Actually, it was Asma who read and reviewed this one. I'm not yet sure if I'll like Alec :P

  4. Reply

    Janita @ Book, Interrupted

    July 30, 2013

    I keep forgetting to read this book!! Why?! Your review has made me psyched to read it all over again :)

  5. Reply

    Lea (YA Book Queen)

    July 30, 2013

    This book sounds like a fun story to check out of the library. Sci-fi action thriller? I'm in!

    Nice review :)