Impostors

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Impostors Book Poster Image
All action and cool tech in Uglies Quartet spin-off.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids can imagine all the high-tech stuff in this futuristic world like hovercars and hoverboards, sneak suits, spy dust, and specialized weapons. Some explanation of how hovercars/boards work and how they charge and more on how tech is used for surveillance and protection. Some quotes and references to Machiavelli and Sun Tzu. Mention of using a Trojan horse.

Positive Messages

Shows the stark difference between leading people and keeping control of them. Those who lead allow for the privacy of citizens; those who insist on absolute control run a police state with constant surveillance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Frey barely has a separate identity when the story begins. She's simply the bodyguard of her twin sister. Her freedom from her father allows her to choose her allies, choose to be merciful -- though it's not what she was taught -- and eventually choose to fight against her father who oppresses his people.

Violence

Tons of hovercars are shot down and crash in chases and battles, injuring and killing many. Missiles destroy a town and its leader, who is close to one of the main characters. Futuristic weapons can do a lot of damage, especially the pulse knife, which vaporizes a man from the waist up -- his legs stand for a moment by themselves before they fall. Mines that move kill two in explosions. Flying metal becomes weaponized, causing injuries and deaths. Mentions of the death of a mother and brother by assassins.

Sex

Kisses. Some skinny-dipping.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Sixteen-year-olds drink champagne at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Impostors is the first book in a spin-off to the future-set Uglies Quartet. You don't have to read the Uglies series first to enjoy this book, but it helps to understand some of the backstory and the cool tech. As readers explore two futuristic cities in Impostors, they're shown the stark difference between leaders who lead their people and leaders who control people. When these cities and rebels begin to fight it out, there are lots of causalities: hovercars shot down, missiles, mines that move, and more. There's not a lot of gore, except for a scene where a special knife vaporizes the top half of someone's body. There's also not a lot of other mature content: some kissing, and 16-year-olds drink champagne at a party.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynicolearnold September 12, 2018

about

a wonderful book, read in one breath

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What's the story?

In IMPOSTORS, no one in the town knows that Rafi, the first daughter of Shreve, has a twin sister. Frey is hidden away by their father, trained to fight since the age of 7, and doubles for Rafi in crowds and public appearances whenever there's danger. And there's always danger. When the girls are 15, Frey saves Rafi from an assassin. No one likes their father, a greedy man who takes strict control of his town. The leader of Victoria especially despises him, but enlists his help to stop rebels from stealing metal from their rusty ruins. To ensure the Shreve army doesn't take more than what's agreed upon, they demand the first daughter of Shreve as a hostage until the army departs. So, of course, Frey jumps into the role in Rafi's place, as she was born to do. She makes her first trip outside of Shreve to a city so unlike her own.  

Is it any good?

This page-turner set in the world of the Uglies Quartet is high on action and low on character development. Impostors starts out with the flashback of an assassination attempt, sets up the idea of the "spare" warrior twin, and offers her up as a hostage before we even hit page 30. That's ideal for impatient readers who want the action to start immediately, and action with cool flying cars and high-tech chameleon suits -- there's plenty of that.

But readers who want to know more about characters' motives and personalities will feel like much is left out. Frey ponders only briefly her whole difficult childhood of being hidden and loved only by her sister. There's a lot more to explore there, and with the secondary characters as well. How did Yandre become a secret rebel? Where did Dr. Leyva and Boss X come from? And Zura is on the page long enough in various attacks that she deserves a little bit of a backstory. Why is she a Special when that's out of fashion now? Here's hoping the next book in the series slows down the action just enough to make these characters more memorable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the two different governments in Impostors. What makes a government dystopian? Why are dystopian novels so popular? What do they tell us about our own society? 

  • What do these futuristic people think went wrong with the "Rusties" -- us? What are they trying to do right?

  • How does this book compare to the books in the Uglies Quartet? Will you read the next book in this series?

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