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Impostor (Variants #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,631 Ratings  ·  406 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Razorbill (first published May 23rd 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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actual rating is 3.5 stars!

totally didn't expect to like this as much as I did, but damn, that was really good. X-Men meets Veronica Mars, definitely. Although the variations/mutations aren't wholly original, since many are featured in X-Men, the training and discovering who has which powers, etc was a lot of fun. If Mystique were to solve a crime, I'd imagine it'd be very much like this book, and that's a good thing. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of, aside from some other tiny qualms, was
Natalie Monroe
1.5 stars

This was me for the entire book.

Imposter is what Splintered would read like without the awesome world-building. You know, if we just had the love triangle, Jeb and his dickish tendencies, and Al from Unhinged, who is perfectly okay with sticking her head in the sand and letting a whole world die if she can be normal, goddammit!

Tessa is, hands-down, one of the most annoying heroines I have ever met. She's a Variant, which means she has a special power (i.e mind-reading, telekinesis). How
Whitley Birks
See this review and more on Whitley Reads

My Reaction: Does anyone remember the Agent Cody Banks movies? Or the Spy Kids movies? Remember how, even though they were silly, the appeal came from the fact that it was kids doing spy stuff? Running around, jumping off helicopters, fighting bad guys, investigating shit, being awkwardly suave, and – most importantly – ENJOYING BEING SPIES?
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Yeah, this book is nothing like that. Tessa may be an agent of the federal government, but fuck if you’
Khanh (the Grinch)
X-men meets Agatha Christie. I seriously got a LOT of X-Men feels out of this book, but this is not a bad thing. I really liked this book.

This was a fast, enjoyable read. It's a light YA sci-fi that does not aspire to more than it is. So many books of that category I've read lately have overreached or have been overambitious in their plot and premise, this does not. The setting is contemporary and easy to understand, the concept of the Variants is well-explained and does not go into so much deta
Experiment BL626
A girl who can take on anyone’s form takes the place of a victim to hunt the serial killer who killed her? What an exciting blurb! I’m all in.

Woah was the blurb was somewhat misleading. Half of the book was about the heroine’s boy troubles. Ew.

+ the characters

Tessa spent the first quarter of the book, i.e. the ENTIRE beginning, bemoaning about her unrequited love for her friend, Alec, who had a girlfriend. But wait, it’s okay for Tessa to pine for Alec because his girlfriend, Kate, was a bitch a
Neil (or bleed)
I like Impostor. I like it because even with X-men-like characters, the book didn't have a larger-than-life plot (e.g. throwing down the government, saving the world, etc.) but focused on a specific one, i.e. murder mystery. Which, in my opinion, has been delivered convincingly.

The first few chapters was kinda off-putting and didn't put me in sync but later on, it got better. The romance/love triangle, in those few pages, made me think that this book will just ruin the plot. But, alas, it did no
3.5 stars

Also reviewed for Addicted2Heroines

There's lots of comparisons to the X-men in the reviews that others have written on this, and it's easy to see why. You have (basically) a school for children with mutations, only it's run by a shadow agency in the government instead of Professor X. These kids are trained to go out on missions to uncover crimes committed by other 'evil', Variants.
So. Yeah, I can see the X-man angle.

Tessa's mutation allows her to absorb anyone's genetic cod
For more reviews, check out my blog Reading in the Dark

Imposter by Susanne Winnacker was very underwhelming and disappointing for me. I was initially drawn to the cover and blurb and I was highly anticipated for its release. At first glance it seemed that Imposter could do not wrong. Awesome abilities? Check. A murder mystery? Check. Action and suspense? Check. I really wanted to like this book. It started off on very strong foot and I was engrossed during the first chapter. In the first scene w
Susanne Winnacker
Jun 14, 2012 Susanne Winnacker added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my new book, a YA thriller! And I love it soooo much. It's a bit ridiculous how much, really.
If you want to know more, take a look at my inspiration board for IMPOSTOR on Pinterest!
Veronica Morfi
Jun 26, 2014 Veronica Morfi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 5/5

Let me begin this review by saying that the love I have for this book is endless. Impostor hit the trifecta for me: a suspenseful mystery, a beautiful love story and a kick-ass heroine. What's not to love?

So, this is the story of Tessa. Tessa is a Variant and like others of her kind she has special powers and lives and works in the FEA, a kind of FBI agency but with Variants. When a serrial killer hits a small town in Oregon, Tessa is sent there to take the place of his latest victim,
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Jul 04, 2013 Savannah (Books With Bite) rated it it was amazing
Ms. Winnacker is quickly becoming my favorite author. I went into this book expecting a typical YA story and instead I got something much deeper. It came with secrets, calculated plots with lots of twist and deaths.

Plot: You know a plot is written well when your reading it and all of sudden you have to put the book down cause of the nerves that are racking up your system. The plot is done well you actually feel like you are in the story, experiencing every moment in Tessa shoes. Each chapter bui
Jodi Meadows
Feb 16, 2013 Jodi Meadows rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-blurbed
My official comments:

With its compelling mystery and intriguing characters, Susanne Winnacker's IMPOSTOR kept me reading late into the night. I really enjoyed it!

My unofficial commets:

This book is so fun I can't even!!
Jun 03, 2013 Isamlq rated it it was ok
Moments of this could be so frustrating because outside her taking on someone else’s body, this is really just another book of a girl who doesn’t fit in. So, frustration? There were many: I hated how she kept on droning on and on and on about what a hotty Alec was. My frustration’s made worse by the moments of clarity on her part when she’d see how she could be (pathetic?). Plus, there’s also no real explanation to why Alec was the way he was. When it came to her he’d be hot then cold then hot… ...more
Actual Rating: 3.5

There was happiness, there was love, and there was the impostor who didn’t belong.

The concept of this book was really captivating; a girl taking the form of a dead girl to catch a killer? You got me.
I just really find the seial killer thing fascinating-- says the girl who wants to study criminology--adding the powers Variants have... it was perfect.
All the elements played out perfectly, though the way the killer turned out being-- a suspect that was crossed out of the list an
May 06, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This book was so great! I received it after winning a giveaway, and it is WONDERFUL. I picked it up and realized I couldn't put it down. It's one of those books that hooks you in; Tess is a wonderful character, the plot is amazing, and the writing is tense and intriguing. It's the perfect blend of romance and thrills to keep you craving more! Definitely a must read!
May 31, 2013 Mitch rated it it was ok
Man this was dull.
Mar 11, 2014 Aimee rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a good mystery

I applaud all authors that manage to make me use my brain while reading my books. I'm a really lazy person, and it's a miracle whenever I really rack my brain for answers, even if I never manage to guess anything correctly.

This book was about Variants--a group of people with special abilities. Tessa's Variation is shape-shifting (so cool), and her first mission is to pose as Madison (a dead girl) to find the killer that roams around a small town in Oregon.

Reading this made me think of Teen Tita
Bèbè ✦ the Ryski  ✦
**Copy received from the publisher for an honest opinion and does not influence my review in any way.**

Real score: 3.5 Stars

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Super girl with special powers that can transfer her into anyone that she wants? And she works for Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. The summary sounded so good and I could wait to start reading this.

I wouldn't say that the story disappointed me but I expected a little more from it. It's a well written story but there is nothing memorable ab
Mar 02, 2015 Miriam rated it it was ok
Disappointingly immature and poorly plotted. Way too much teen-girl-dreaming-of-kissing-boy and way too little kick-ass government secret agency investigating a serial killer. These uninteresting and unintelligent children don't seem to have any more skill than the average silly teen.
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
I like the premise, I mean a girl who can make herself look like anyone else, working with other variants, all with unique powers. It is X-men meets a shapeshifter, but like one of my buddies said-- shapeshifter type named Tessa, dejavu anyone? But she is different enough that it def doesn't feel like I am reading Cassie Clare.
I was also a little confused about Alec. It was obvious that Tessa liked him, but he has a girlfriend so I don't know what he was thinking. I know they are really close
Tessa is different all right. She is a professional Imposter .... her variance is shape-shifting.

However, having been more or less estranged and orphaned by her family because of her abilities, Tessa now lives and works fulltime in a very secret division of the FBI called the FEA (Forces with Extraordinary Abilities). The FEA is an exclusive organization much like in The Incredibles or the X-Men .... and each of the members in this club have some sort of really cool and unique, super-human abil
Jul 01, 2013 Nessie rated it really liked it
I have to say I'm kinda of biased for these types of books. I really love the whole undercover-live-in-someone's-life plot, it always seemed interesting. But this plot doesn't shy away from the mystery of the story. Even undercover at a home of a dead girl getting answers is harder than it seems. Every time you think you know who the killer is, it's someone else.

But what's the most confusing thing for me is the Tessa's relationship with Alec.
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Apparently they're suppose to be good f
After slogging through a sub-par novel (coughthetruthaboutyou&me), I was pretty desperate to finally find one, JUST ONE, freaking ARC that I had requested that didn't make me want to punch myself in the face. Impostor was the book that restored my faith that not all of the novels coming out soon for young adults are absolute and utter shit.

Impostor is the grown up, less whiny, less annoying, less of a pain in the ass and all-around-just-better-without-really-having-to-try older cousin to Ki
Kim (Book Swoon)
Jul 24, 2013 Kim (Book Swoon) rated it really liked it
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker is a fun and suspenseful young adult story that combines fascinating elements of Sci-Fi and romance with the page-turning ability of a thriller. It involves some great action, a world inhabited by super-humans with really unique powers known as Variants, just the right amount of romance, and a murder mystery involving a serial killer that kept me guessing until the end.


When I read the summary for Impostor, I knew I had to grab it up. Being a fan of X-men
Tessa is different, she is a Variant! Once she touches someone she absorbs their DNA and can turn into them. She mimics everything about them. Her mum abandoned her to the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a supernatural branch of the FBI, when she was little. They are her family now and they hone her unique abilities.

In a small town in Oregon where everyone knows everyone, there has been a rash of killings. The police suspect a serial killer but the FEA think it could be a rogue Variant. Th
Parallel Worlds
Dec 04, 2013 Parallel Worlds rated it it was ok
Intended Audience: YA

Sexual content: Mild

Ace/Genderqueer characters: None

Rating: PG-13 for violence, death, and language

Writing style: 3/5

Likable characters: 2/5

Plot/Concepts: 3/5

All Variations are unusual, but Tessa’s is particularly useful for detective work. When a girl named Madison becomes the third victim in a string of murders, Tessa is ordered to use her shapeshifting abilities to take Madison’s place and help find the killer.

Maybe it’s because superhero movies are so popular in America,
bello come l ultima volta che l ho letto *-*
In alcuni libri mi capita di andare contro ship cioè di non shippare assieme i personaggi che l autrice ha deciso di far stare assieme, i protagonisti di questo libro sono l esempio, Alec non mi piace, troppo ossessivo, l allontana, le fa del male nel senso emotivo e poi" ohhh Tessa sei tutto per me"
Alec fatti curare il tuo essere bipolare...
infatti Tessa io la shippo con Devon... i miei disagi.
Imposter has a great story line. Plenty f mystery and suspense - nail biting at times. But Tessa the main character is what makes this book. She's got a tremendous gift, a Variation that allows her to shift into other people. On her first mission using her Varation that she's spent years training to control ad use for whatever missions she is sent on, she's sent to take the form f a girl who was the victim of a serial killer.

Tessa's struggle to maintain her own identity and figure out who Madis
Mar 15, 2016 Ileana rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2016
Alec is seriously annoying, but another than that, this was a good read!!
Jun 04, 2014 Ceres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quel page-turner!!! Je l'ai dévoré en une après midi! J'ai beaucoup aimé ce thriller YA. Il est très bien construit, posant les bases d'une histoire que je soupçonne bien plus importante encore. Je me suis beaucoup attachée à Tessa et j'ai apprécié la suivre. Le style simple et fluide est très agréable et on lit le livre d'une traite. Vivement la suite!

Review complète:
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General Questions, Comments, and Complaints 6 16 May 20, 2014 02:28AM  
Character sounds like another character from another series.... 4 35 Feb 01, 2014 05:17AM  
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Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog and three bunnies 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.
Her YA thriller IMPOSTOR will be published on May 28, 2013. It has been optioned for TV by Warner B
More about Susanne Winnacker...

Other Books in the Series

Variants (2 books)
  • Defector (Variants, #2)

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“You always do that, you know,” Alec said.
I swallowed a gummy bear. “Do what?”
“Bite their heads off first.”
I shrugged. “It’s the nice thing to do. If you could choose, would you rather be eaten alive starting at your feet or would you want it to be over quickly?”
“outstretched hand. A sniff revealed it as beer.” 0 likes
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