Defector by Susanne Winnacker

Contains spoilers for Impostor
Defector (Variants: Book Two)
Written by Susanne Winnacker
Paranormal, Science Fiction, Romance
Published August 26th 2014
320 Pages
Thank you to Hachette Australia 
Tessa has made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime 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 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.

Finding the truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking at every turn. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

Tessa is back at headquarters, back with Alec and with two new editions that have joined the FEA after her last mission, the one she still bares the scar from. For the first time since joining the FEA against her will, she finally feels at home. Tessa and Alec have barely settled into a domestic bliss when Major announces that they are being sent on a new assignment. Another agent is missing, and the rogue Abel's Army are being held responsible. But joining both Tessa and Alec on the latest mission is Holly, who struggles to control her Variation of invisibility. Tessa must absorb the DNA of a Senator who has gained the rebel groups attention due to his links to organised crime and knowledge of the FEA. The mission is simple, pose as the Senator and deliver his public address, but as the room explodes into chaos Holly is taken by Abel's Army and Tessa is left broken with guilt. 

It seems that Holly isn't the main concern of the FEA, and it's left up to Tessa to find where Abel's Army have taken her. But when a secret about her past, the FEA and Alec are revealed, who can she trust? Tessa flees the compound with an unlikely companion and there is only one person who can help, the woman who abandoned her, her mother. But on the run from both the FEA and Abel's Army can only result in capture, but who will reach the now rogue agent first?

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Impostor, but Defector was explosive. It follows the story of Tessa, abandoned by her mother to the FEA, she's called the compound home for the past two years and has been in love with Alec almost as long. When Tessa seems to finally find her happy ever after, her world is blow apart after a mission gone terribly wrong. If her best friend being abducted by the supposed enemy isn't enough, it seems her life within the FEA has been based on secrets and lies. In Defector we see Tessa break away from the only stable home she's ever known and she's now on the run. She's feisty, fiery and readers will find themselves in for an incredible ride with the girl who's finally had enough. Tessa's character was brilliant, she wasn't the lovestruck and argumentative girl from Impostor, she's now a young woman who is making her own choices and she'll be damned if anyone tells her otherwise, even Alec. We see Devon return, the brother of her first assignment and I admit, that I prefer him as a love interest for Tessa. Alec reminds me of Aiden, from Jennifer L. Armentrout's Covenant series, but without the moody brooding. But given the choice between he and Devon, Devon wins, by a mile.

The storyline is really engaging and I found myself immersed within the first few chapters. Defector is a worthy thriller, that leaves behind the teen angst of Impostor. I absolutely loved it. It leaves readers with a cliffhanger that I certainly didn't see coming and are now eagerly awaiting book three in the series which I expect will blow me completely away.


  1. Not a fan of the cover, but I'm a fan of Kelly, and if Kelly likes it, I'm sure to like it as well ;) But first, I need to get Imposter! Who doesn't like engaging storylines? I've had a few misses and duds recently and I need a good one!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Thanks Faye.
      Completely agree, I'm not a fan of this or the US cover either. I think it's why more readers aren't picking this one up. It's a shame, because it's incredibly entertaining and really well written, book two even more so.

  2. I hadn't previously heard of this one, but you've intrigued me Kelly! :D I'm always happy to read a wonderful thriller, and this sounds like it will fit that role just perfectly. Tessa seems like such a strong and relatable protagonist, and I can't wait to witness her story for myself. Thanks for sharing and putting this under my radar Kelly and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. Thanks Zoe. I think you'd really enjoy this series, even though book two is the stronger of the two releases so far. Loved this one and looking forward to seeing what you think of Impostor.

  3. I've read 'Imposter' (even though it was quite a while ago now...) and I almost forgot that there was a sequel! Glad to see you liked it Kelly, I'll keep an eye out for it :)

    1. Looking forward to seeing what you think of this one Eugenia, I'll have to hunt down your review for Impostor as well. Thanks for popping by.


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