Impostors is my first experience delving into the other works of Scott Westerfeld, an author whose writing I fell in love with upon reading his Leviathan series. Admittedly, I do feel somewhat like it was a mistake beginning with this novel since I didn’t realize it was a follow up series to one that he’d previously written called Uglies. Supposedly, there are a number of spoilers peppered throughout, but I’ll be fair in saying I didn’t really notice them. However, I do believe that beginning with Impostors over Uglies did contribute somewhat to my feeling that the world building was lacking somewhat in this novel.
And why wouldn’t it, really, if this book was built upon the world of another series?
I really loved the premise for Impostors. Frey’s entire life has been about protecting her twin sister Rafi. Born first, Rafi is the daughter chosen to exist in the public. Only a few select people, at the behest of the girls’ father, know Frey even exists. She’s the bodyguard hidden in the shadows, the stand in whenever a dangerous situation arises. Extreme measures are taken to ensure that Rafi can be the face of her father’s goals and Frey the protection to prevent anyone from using Rafi against him.
There’s a lot of corruption to the decisions of the two girls’ father just from the summary of the novel. No one knows Frey exists and her sole purpose in life is to keep her sister safe, be it by protecting her from assassins or standing in as her double to take the risks herself.
I never fell in love with anything, though.
While the premise had a lot of potential, the execution did fall a little flat for me. It seemed to fit into this formulaic pattern that a lot of YA novels fall into. Frey was honestly incredibly bland in that way, feeling very much like a character I’d read millions of times before. She’s the socially awkward badass girl who can’t recognize love-related cues. And she wasn’t all that memorable? Barring saving her sister, she really didn’t have much of a personality and this didn’t seem to really change throughout the novel.
Perhaps that was the point, though?
I think, ultimately, my biggest issue with this novel lies in the fact that it wasn’t anything special. None of the characters ever really stand out to you. I didn’t feel anything overly positive or negative about anyone. Even the easily hated father didn’t really move me to much. I was supposed to care when he made it clear he only really cared about one daughter, and really more so in how he could use her, but I didn’t.
The romance wasn’t anything special either.
I think it all just felt very bland. And while I enjoyed the story enough to keep reading, the more time I spend away from it the more I realize I just don’t actually care. I think that’s one of the worst things to feel toward a book, really; apathetic. It doesn’t build any love or excitement for the story nor does it result in anger over anything–though, admittedly, depending on the type of anger that one is probably worse.
I want to read stories that make me care. And Impostors just didn’t.
So, that’s that.