Book Review: Defector by Susanne Winnacker

Monday, September 8, 2014
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: Defector
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Series: Variants #2

Synopsis: "Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. She is trained to use her powers as an agent of the Forces of Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI.
After the success of her first mission, Tessa has made peace with her life as a Variant. Even her love life is on the up...
But when Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?"

My thoughts: Now, I haven't actually read the first book of this series, and so when the second book turned up on my doorstep, I was a little surprised and - dare I say it - underwhelmed. I took one look at this cover, and at the blurb, and assumed I wouldn't like it.
As always, though, I decided I should read the book before giving in to my initial judgments (actually, often wrong...), and I'm glad I did. I ended up really enjoying this book.
It was a fast read, with quite a bit of action. Tessa is an interesting character, who remains quite strong in a confusing world, and who shows her weakness and tries to work through. Occasionally I was a little frustrated with her thoughts (as the reader is privy to them), but overall she kept things moving.
Having little experience with these books and not having read the first one, I was thrown into the deep end a little bit with trying to understand the whole idea of 'variants' and the FEA, and also with trying to understand who each character was. However, despite this, Defector actually stands pretty well by itself, and I found myself ripping through the book in no time.

I think Winnaker does a good job of displaying a teenage girl's mind (I am vastly generalising here, please forgive me), and I felt like I understood Tessa's thought processes. This is a sharp, fast YA that got me out of a reading funk, and I enjoyed it. I am considering checking out the previous book just to bring my knowledged up to scratch!

I received an unsolicited copy of this book from Hachette.

You would like this book if: you like fast YA; you feel like a funk-breaker.

Rating:  6.5/10

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