Impostor: A Variants Novel

Impostor: A Variants Novel

4.3 12
by Susanne Winnacker
     
 

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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

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Overview

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—he stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. Disguised 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 superhuman arrives at a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An unpredictable page turner with shades of terror reminiscent of a Stephen King novel."—VOYA

"Fresh and inventive. . . . the strongly-written mystery component takes center stage."—BCCB

VOYA - Tanya Paglia
Working for the FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities) can be life-changing—literally. Tessa is a "variant" with an ability to accurately transform into another person. Her first mission is taking over the identity of a murdered teenager, Madison, whose family and friends believe survived the vicious attack. To catch the serial killer, Tessa, along with Alec, her best friend at the agency, whom she has secretly loved since the day they met, though he is older and has a girlfriend, must pose as high school students. Tessa is not used to having a loving family and Madison's parents are just what she needs but she cannot let herself get too close. She is the "ultimate weapon," but this killer has a few tricks up his sleeve. Tessa suspects he is a rogue variant who may be working for an underground organization that will stop at nothing to get who or what they want. Winnacker knows how to build a suspenseful novel. This is an unpredictable page-turner with shades of terror reminiscent of a Stephen King novel. Winnacker has created an original story with great characters to whom readers will relate, and infused with supernatural elements for an added bonus. Tessa faces an identity crisis in more ways than one and must find a way to trust her instincts in the field and out. Her status as an "imposter" does not define her, though it makes her vulnerable at times. A second novel is hinted at, and highly anticipated. Reviewer: Tanya Paglia
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 7 Up—Tessa has a special skill set: she can absorb the DNA of anyone and become that person. She is one of a group of Variants who use their talents as part of the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities (FEA). Fellow members include a boy who is inhumanly strong and a girl who can become invisible. They are under the supervision of the Major, but they do not know his talent, and Agent Summers, who can manipulate minds. Tessa is pulled from training and put into the field to help capture a serial killer whose latest victim survived, but will not for long. She assumes the form and identity of Maddy and struggles to fit in with the girl's family and friends. With her cover story of amnesia, her questioning uncovers Maddy's affair with one of her teachers, providing another suspect. As days go by, Tessa reads accounts of the murders and notices that there was a fog or mist the nights of the attacks; she suspects that the killer is a Variant who can control the weather. Trying to complete her mission before she totally loses control of her variation leads her into a situation that almost gets her killed when she is told about a group of rogue Variants (the setup for a sequel). The book should appeal to readers who like high-octane novels with a paranormal twist. Be prepared to clear up possible confusion between this and Robinson Wells's "Variants" series (HarperCollins).—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Kirkus Reviews
This attempt at a teen paranormal-thriller/romance novel is about as satisfying to fans of the genre as a cup of weak herbal tea would be to a thirsty vampire. Who hasn't wanted to change places with someone else…someone prettier, smarter, more popular? Tessa can. She's a Variant, born with a special skill, trained by a special--and very secret--branch of the FBI. Her ability to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches allows her to take on the identity of popular, small-town Madison, the latest victim of a serial killer. Tessa takes her form, and the news of her "survival" is leaked to the press. Using a cover story of amnesia, Tessa assumes Madison's life. This includes loving parents, an attractive brother, a close best friend, an ex-boyfriend and all the normal activities of high school--something Tessa's never known and always wanted. It's not long before Tessa feels more like Madison than herself. But the killer isn't about to leave her alone, and it's beginning to look as if this predator may be a Variant, too. There are many undeveloped plotlines that never resolve satisfactorily, and characterization is straight from central casting. Tessa's first-person narration does little to distinguish itself from the many others of its ilk, beyond a refreshing return to the past tense. Readers will probably recall the X-Men universe and wish these characters were as well-drawn. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595146557
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/29/2014
Series:
Variants Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"An unpredictable page turner with shades of terror reminiscent of a Stephen King novel."—VOYA

"Fresh and inventive. . . . the strongly-written mystery component takes center stage."—BCCB

Meet the Author

Susanne Winnacker studied law before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog, and a rabbit 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. Visit her website at susannewinnacker.com and follow her on Twitter @SusanneWrites

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