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Thursday, June 26, 2014

[Blog Tour Review + Giveaway] Defector by Susanne Winnacker (Variants #2)

Today I'm really excited to be a part of the Defector Blog Tour! Impostor, the first novel in the Variants series, was amazing! You can read the review here. I hope you enjoy Defector as much as I did and don't forget to scroll to the bottom to enter into the tour giveaway!

Title: Defector 
Series: Variants #2
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 26, 2014 // Pages: 288
Genre: YA Fiction – Thriller
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and my own. – review policy here.


Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and long-time love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

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?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield any results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Everyone in her life is harboring secrets: Alec, her estranged mother, even the father she never knew.

The truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking everywhere. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for—even if it means going against the life she thought she wanted. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

At the end of Impostor Tessa was settling back into life at FEA with Alec by her side and the mystery of Abel's Army looming ahead. Luckily for us there's not a lot of downtime before the action kicks up again. During Tessa's first mission back her best friend Holly is kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity. This leads Tessa to start digging and begin her journey to find Holly and the truth about her family. 

I really, really enjoyed Defector for a number of reasons...

It's not your typical "bridge" book in a series. Bridge books or book two is notorious for being slow, a possible journey of sorts and nothing really happening. So yes, Tessa goes on a road trip but we're moving and quickly, not to mention all of the information being unveiled as she turns over some rocks. With less than 300 pages Winnacker balances plot, character development and word building to keep you on your toes minus the whiplash. 

I love the Variants. Each Variant has their own power and as alluded in Defector even a possibility of more than one. In Defector we learn about new Variants and see just how unique each one's abilities are. I'm invested in each character, their back story and trying to figure out they're FEA or Abel's Army. 

The Swoons. Yes, there are swoons. On one hand you have Alec who is perfect for Tessa. He's her rock, or is he? Remember Devon from Impostor? Yeah, he takes a spotlight role and there's definitely some chemistry there. Adore them both but trust neither. 

The Villain. It's sooo not clear and kind of confusing. With each reveal there's a power move fueled by betrayal and distrust. Between the Variant powers, the history of the FEA and Abel, and the mystery of Tessa's family you're constantly guessing and the only team you can be on is Tessa's. 

This ending. WTF? was the exact reaction. There's so many ways this can end. With an unclear villain and cliffhanger combination there's no telling where the chips may fall in book three. 

Honestly, the second book has me wound up and ready to go for what can only be an epic conclusion. 

My advice to Tessa: 
Girl, I know you want to be loved, but RUN!!

Fav Quote
"Was revealing the truth worth losing everything I'd held dear? I would find out soon enough." - Tessa
- page 122, quote is subject to change in final copy

4 Stars – Buy It. Read It. Live It. Book three isn't out for another year so there's
plenty of time to re-read as well. You'll thank me.

Author: Susanne Winnacker

Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog that looks like a sheep and three bunnies that have destroyed every piece of furniture she's ever owned 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.
You can find her on Twitter and on facebook.

Week One:
6/16/2014- Jump Into BooksReview
6/16/2014- Literary MeanderingsGuest Post
6/17/2014- YA Story TellerReview
6/17/2014- Supernatural SnarkInterview
6/18/2014- Crossroad ReviewsReview
6/18/2014- The Cover ContessaGuest Post
6/19/2014- Book SwoonReview
6/19/2014- Bittersweet EnchantmentInterview
6/20/2014- The Storybook KingdomReview

Week Two:
6/20/2014- Fantasy Book AddictGuest Post
6/23/2014- Shayna Varadeaux Books & ReviewsReview
6/23/2014- Fire and IceInterview
6/24/2014- FiktshunPromo Post
6/24/2014- A Dream Within A DreamGuest Post
6/25/2014Such a Novel IdeaInterview
6/26/2014Becoming BooksReview
6/26/2014Addicted ReadersGuest Post
6/27/2014Library of the SeenReview
6/27/2014Mom With A KindleInterview

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