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.
This book was given to me by Hodder (Hachette Children’s Books) in exchange for a review.
Everything about this story screamed that it was right up my street. The “If Veronica Mars was in X-Men” blurb on the back, the idea of romance, action and suspense in one 300 page novel seemed just like the kind of thing I love. But there was definitely something that went amiss for me.
Let me start with what I liked. The beginning of this book was absolute perfection. It throws you straight into the action and the main character, Tessa, has a very strong voice that is intriguing and not so annoying that you want to put the book down. While she dislikes being a Variant, she is accepting of her “gift” rather than moaning about it like Claire from Heroes. (You know what I’m talking about…you know…if you watched Heroes…)
The premise for this book was awesome and the style in which it is written is totally engaging. I was on the edge of my seat for quite a few moments in the early stages of the book and the ending was surprising. There are many suspects that you meet throughout the book, all of whom have sufficient evidence against them to be the killer and it is really hard to choose between them. I love that. It keeps you guessing and it keeps you on edge.
I got some major Slated (Teri Terry) and Boy Nobody (Allen Zadoff) vibes from this story. The mystery/suspense aspect and even, to a degree, the way its written put me in mind of those two books that I adored last year. So I should love it right? No. I just like it.
I had a few issues with the book as a whole and one of them was the romance in the book. It came across as quite superficial and, much like a felt in Divergent (Veronica Roth), I wasn’t really buying into it. It was forced. The ending of the book also raised some issues. It all felt a little bit too neat for me. I’m not saying it didn’t answer all my questions because it did, but it all just felt a little straight forward. Also a push for the second book seemed to have been dropped in at the last moment. For me, this would have worked great as a standalone novel rather than a trilogy/series of books.
On the whole it was a fairly good book with bucket loads of potential that it failed to live up to. While it was pacy and, at times, edge-of-your-seat exciting, the book had some major issues that couldn’t be made up for by its action packed nature.