Review // Imposters

Title: Imposters
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published: September 2018
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Science-Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $19.99 AUD

I received a copy of Imposters from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In a world full of social and military tech, power struggles, dictatorships, surveillance, intrigue and the ever-present threat of treachery, Frey is sent on a potentially deadly mission. Impostors is the first book in a new quartet – a thrilling return to the world of the New York Times bestselling Uglies series.

Frey was raised to take a bullet.

She’s the body double for her twin sister Rafia – the precious heir of the first family of Shreve – and her existence is a closely guarded secret. So while Rafi was schooled in poise and diplomacy, Frey was drilled in weapons and combat. Her purpose: to protect her sister from their tyrannical father’s many enemies.

When Frey is sent in Rafi’s place as collateral in a precarious business deal, she becomes the perfect impostor – as elegant and charming as her sister. But Col Palafox, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As layers of deceit peel away, can Frey become her own person, and risk everything in a rebellion?

Master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a brilliant new series set in the world of his bestselling Uglies series.

When I first heard about a new book in the Uglies world by Scott Westerfeld, I was kind of ambivalent. I’ve heard plenty of good things about the series, but I’d never read any of the other books before and I didn’t think I would be able to read Imposters without reading the original source material. Then, I began to read about the book and it being set after the events and that new readers should be able to pick up the story and I heard more about the synopsis and I was intrigued, so I requested it from the publisher.

I’m so glad that I did. There are so many things in Imposters that I really enjoy in a young adult book that it was honestly a pleasure to read it. It’s only my second Scott Westerfeld book, too, so I know I’ll probably dive into some of his other works in the near future as well.

Imposters follows the story of Frey, who is the younger twin sister of the heir to the Shreve throne. Her father is something of a tyrant, ruling Shreve with an iron fist and little patience for anything beyond his power and his oldest daughter, Rafi. Frey’s been raised in secret, the perfect body double for her older sister, and trained to protect Rafi all her life. When her father negotiates a business deal with a neighbouring town, Rafi is to be kept as collateral, and Frey is sent in her place, an imposter to upkeep the tenuous alliance. When everything goes wrong, Frey must decide who she can trust, and whether her own life – and her own feelings – can be just as important to her as the life of her sister.

Westerfeld’s narrative story telling is everything that I enjoy in young adult (and adult) fiction: it’s fast-paced, has short chapters, and once the action starts everything happens at break-neck speed. I also appreciate the amount of dialogue in the story. For some, this could probably be a negative because it does stop some more detailed world-building and descriptions, but I love dialogue in stories, especially when there’s good banter. There is some romance in it, and at first glance it’s a bit insta-love-like, but it’s also highly complicated and due to the political nature of the story and the characters involved, it’s hard to tell where personal alliances lay, which makes it all the more interesting.

Frey, as a main character is compelling and likeable. She’s the daughter who’s spent her whole life hiding, her entire life a secret that can’t be revealed lest it derail her father’s plans, and she’s never questioned it up until now and watching her work out who she is independent from her sister is really interesting.

I did feel, at times, that some events and solutions were explained away in a very convenient fashion, and there were definitely times when I thought I’d missed something (I went back and checked, I hadn’t), but in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t detract from the story overall.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, dystopian/sci-fi story with a strong female character, Imposters is definitely worth a read.

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