Superpowers and who dunnit – a great mix for the likes of me. I really liked the idea of having to become someone else without being recognised, so when I came across this book I knew I had to give it a try. And it was honestly so much better than I could have asked for. The concept was tight, the premise for the events were interesting and the characters were all engaging. A who dunnit that kept me intrigued from beginning to end.

Tessa is a Variant and able to do amazing things. Not that she thinks they are spectular. She can absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Placed with others like herselfin a secret branch of the FYI, the FEA, after being shunned by her family, she is trained to help solve crimes that potentially involve other Variants. When a serial killer haunts a small town in Oregon, Tessa’s first mission arises. Impersonate a local teen to find the killer before he strikes again.

I was worried at first. Books like these – involving supernatural teenagers can go one of two ways. Either epically amazing as there is more focus on getting to grips with their powers and the adventure that follows them – looking at you, the Lorien Legacies – or the powers become a bit mundane and the focus ends up on being love and the acceptance to be normal, which is never as gripping. I mean it’s a superpower book so that is always an inital go to for me but some reservations set in and I wasn’t too sure why. When the blurb mentioned an inital love interest already I must admit it made me doubt the book for a second. But once I opened the pages and Tessa got stuck into her assignment these fears floated away. Although the start alluded to a pursuit of unrequited love, this wasn’t the main focus which meant that I could fully immerse myself in the story without cringing too much at the idea of a bubbling romance.

I really liked the character of Tessa. She was so diverse and multi-dimensional, i thoroughly enjoyed reading about her development and assignment. She was am engaging character that aided the mystery of the story. She kept it engaging, and I didn’t get frustrated with her ways. There is such a delicate balance in creating a fragile character, but Winnacker got this balance just right. Even when the typical unrequited becomes forbidden romance took hold, the character strength and mystery of the storyline was not wavered.

I love a who dunnit murder, and this one kept me on my toes. There were so many clues, red herrings and suspects I didn’t know who the killer was at all! I felt it changed every other page. Which is brilliant when reading a book like this. Although he was a major suspect from the start, the red herrings completely blinded sided me for the reveal. I loved the tense and dramatic ending. It got me good. And I loved Devon throughout and am intensely pleased with his role further. I adored that this book had a satisfactory ending, but at the same time set up a larger storyline without ruining the whole set up of the book. A wonderful balance here as well!

Superpowers and who dunnit were a perfect match in this book. It was engaging, enthralling and I wanted to read more, just because I loved Tessa and way that Winnacker wrote. I need to get my hands on Defector very soon!


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