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Archetype (Archetype #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,182 ratings  ·  630 reviews
Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by Dutton
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
He sighs and slows to a stop. “There are a lot of things about the world we live in that you don’t understand. Things you’ll find out in time.”
This is such a strange book. I didn't hate it, but it was just too much, too confusing. This book is like a strange mixture of Gone Girl and The Handmaid's Tale.

For me, this book was so anachronistic. I liked it, and I didn't like it. It was somewhat original while being completely predictable. There was nothing outrageously terrible in this book. There
Mar 21, 2014 ♥Rachel♥ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to ♥Rachel♥ by: Lauren
4.5 stars.

Seduce my mind and you can have my body, find my soul and I’m yours forever.—Anonymous

opens with that gorgeous quote and I find it completely fitting for this riveting story! My emotions were strung up tight and all over the place throughout this read! I read all 384 pages in one sitting because I could not set this book down. I started the sequel which is the final book immediately after finishing, because I HAD TO KNOW what happens!

Emma wakes up with no memories whatsoever

Emma was in an accident that has robbed her of her past. While convalescing she is introduced to Declan Burke, her charming and handsome husband whom she does not remember. Declan is devoted and attentive but Emma is still having a hard time adjusting post-trauma. Haunted by disturbing dreams Emma turns to painting; easily creating lush seascapes that lull her into a false sense of security. When Emma's recovery is deemed acceptable she is sent home to the mountains with Declan. The two fall int
2.5 stars

From the few reviews I'm seeing here, I'd say I'm definitely in the minority. Everyone else seems to love this one.

I didn't enjoy the story, and I had a hard time caring about the main character. Possibly because she had no idea who she was for the first 80% of the book. Without a strong sense of self, she just seemed like a shell who allowed things to happen to her.
Which, I think, is what the author was going for. It just went on too long for my personal taste. If her real pers
TL;DR: Three out of five stars. The book has a really strong core concept and really good writing, but there are significant issues with characterization, worldbuilding, and theme that detract from the novel. Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from Penguin.

I thought this was an interesting book that, while enjoyable, suffers from what I often call "first book problems." The first half of the book is a bit of a slog, but things improve markedly by the end. I think Waters has the pote
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Archetype was not a book I thought I’d like. I mean, dystopian, romance and amnesia isn’t a cocktail I’d normally go for. But this book ended up being surprisingly enjoyable.

We begin with an introduction to Emma, our protagonist who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is. A kind and patient caretaker introduces himself to her as Declan Burke, and BOOM! also drops the bombshell on her that he is her husband. De
Deborah Markus
I read this because a friend reviewed it and I was intrigued by some plot elements she mentioned. And if you’re a hater-troll who enjoys harassing reviewers, please bear in mind that my friend thought this book was just okay and I wanted to read it anyway. And then I ended up really enjoying it. So piss off.

If you’re a hater, I mean. If you’re not, do please stay. Here! Have a cup of tea. Darjeeling or English Breakfast? I’d offer you some chocolate, but I’m hiding it. I MEAN, we’re all out. Com
Archetype is one of those books that simply was perfect for me.

In short it reminded me a lot of the dystopian science fiction movies "The Island" with Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor and "Children of Men" with Clive Owen which was based loosely on P. D. James's 1992 novel The Children of Men, in which two decades of human infertility have left society on the brink of collapse. Archetype explores a future in which fertile women have devolved into a scarce and precious commodity. Water's deb
Meg - A Bookish Affair
I was so excited about this book before I read it! I had heard really good things about this book. Now that I've read the book, I am just as excited but now I'm excited to tell you all about it. If you like sci-fi and dystopian books and you're looking for a really good story to get totally and utterly engrossed in, this is the book for you. Let me put it this way, I started it an afternoon after work and had to stay up late to finish it because I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. This is serious, guy ...more
Five stars: A riveting, can't stop read that blends sci-fi, suspense and thriller, that will leave you pondering on it for days to come.

Emma blinks her eyes. Someone is peeling back her eyelid and shining a bright white light in her eye. Where is she? Who is she? How did she get here? For the next few weeks, Emma is confined to a hospital room. She has no memory of her previous life, nor does she know how she got here. The one bright spot is Declan with his sea green eyes. Declan tells Emma that
With pressure from Lauren, Rachel and Joy to start this series, Rashika and I finally decided to pick Archetype up and let me just say I can totally understand why this book was a favourite for them. I was the worst buddy reader ever (sorry Rashika), I ended up gulping this book in a few sittings, it was that darn good.

I’m always eager to read books that deal with memory loss so I was thrilled that Archetype was one of those books that dealt with this story line brilliantly. Emma wakes up with n
Heather *live on coffee and flowers*
In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .


This book was nothing more than YA dystopia written for adults. And it's only for adults because of the characters' ages and a couple of sex scenes.

Nearly everything the main character does is based on the word of someone else. She has these flashbacks and she can't tell if they'r
Tabitha (Pabkins)
4.5 / 5

Forget everything you've known
Archetype introduces us to Emma and her situation is just that, she knows almost nothing about where she is, who she is, and what events brought her to this place. Basically, all she does know is what's told and taught to her by the people in the hospital she woke up in. A man named Declan claims to be her husband and that she has had a terrible accident. One that has taken all of her memories and practically set her knowledge of life and mundane things back
I love reading debut novels because I want to find the next awesome author that's going to shake up the reading world. And that's what is going to happen with M.D. Water's first book Archetype, coming out in Feb 2014. Twenty pages into the book I knew I wouldn't be getting much sleep until I finished every last page and re-read a few more. It will probably be categorized as sci-fi, and it is, but it's not too far off from the reality we all can understand. Oh, there are some changes, and you lea ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Diana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I only finished it because I was on an airplane. I got it free as an advance copy. A woman wakes up to a life she doesn't remember, a husband who says they've been married for years but seems to know very little about her. She's having dreams-- or perhaps memories?- about a different man, a different life. What's really going on? There is a twist. There are romance-y, hot sex scenes. It's in a dystopian future in which there are few women and almost no fertile women. Whatever. It was better than ...more

I loved it! One of the best dystopias I've ever read, and definitely one of my favourites this year!
4.5 stars

See this review and others like it at Badass Book Reviews!

M.D. Waters has written a stunning debut novel with Archetype. This one held me in its grasp the entire way and I was very upset when that pesky real life interfered with my reading. The story and especially Emma's character grab you right from the first page. This is a complex book to categorize as well. It's definitely science fiction and a bit dystopian, but there is also some romance and a ton of intrigue. Just when you think
“Seduce my mind and you can have my body, find my soul and I’m yours forever.”

Archetype follows Emma as she wakes up and has no memory. She meets her husband for the first time who begins telling her about the life they shared together. She begins to have dreams that contradict what her husband told her. Her dreams are of war, a camp where girls are trained to be wives, and love for another man. As she slowly learns the truth she doesn't know who to trust.

Archetype is a thrilling dystopian scie
Ben Babcock
Huh, so it appears I’m not the only one to liken this to The Handmaid’s Tale . So there goes that idea for a review.

I guess I’ll just have to talk about young adult literature and dystopian fiction and how not liking this book means you hate women.

Just kidding about that last part.

Sort of.

In addition to reminding me of Atwood’s novel about fertile women being the property of men who believe it is their duty to breed them, Archetype reminds me of When We Wake . The protagonists of both novels w
I only discovered Archetype because I ran across the author's signing at ALA. I'm so glad I did, because this book and its follow-up Prototype is an extremely readable and addicting series. I had to know what was going on NOW, and couldn't stop reading until I unraveled everything. This is the type of story where you start knowing something very small and it takes time to unravel the full picture. Of course that makes this book very hard to talk about in advance, but I've done my best to give a ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
“Roughly a hundred years ago,
a civil war broke out and split the
United States right down the middle.
Women in the west live free, while the east
forces women at a young age into society as they see fit.
It's slavery masked as a training center.”

- Chapter 41, page 325

This version of reality is somewhat comparable to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood; but while Atwood's world was clinical and sterile, Archetype relied heavily on computer technology. A lot of holograms and manipulation of the
Lisa Wolf
In this scary, suspenseful, and altogther un-put-downable first novel by the very talented M. D. Waters, main character Emma wakes up in a high-tech hospital with no memories, surrounded by an elite medical team and with a very sexy man by her side, who only wants her to get better so they can continue their perfect lives together.

Problems? Well, there are the nightmares, for a start. Emma wakes in horrible trauma each night after dreaming of being trapped in a tank of water, unable to communica
4.5 Stars

Okay. So I really didn't know anything about this book but it was certainly interesting in the beginning. Emma is easing into life after an accident yet having vivid dreams of another life. It does not take long for the reader to figure out that something is amiss.

Then I started to get frustrated. I read without getting answers and then it picked up again when Noah shows up. But I still want to figure out what's really going on. I won't lie. I'm a peeker. So I peeked ahead so I'd stop
Andy Palmer
I received an advanced copy of this at the Baltimore Book Festival.

Set in a futuristic dystopia where women are rare, and fertile women even more so, Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. As Emma discovers more about herself and her surroundings, and as snippets of memory begin to fill her dreams, the mystery of how she got there and why begins to unfold.

M.D. Waters provides the heroine, Emma, with a believable voice that evolves as she gains more knowledge and self-awar
Reading Teen
4.5 Stars

At a Glance:

This science-fiction/romance/dystopian/mystery novel was full of everything that I love in a book. The plot twists truly had my jaw dropping, the romance had me confused and swoony at the same time, and the writing kept me loving this book from beginning to end.

Wow! What a whirlwind!

A side-note:

I came across this book pretty much by accident. I was browsing the teen/YA section at STRAND and saw this book. I thought I remembered Hannah (Irish Banana) saying that she really lo
Kelly Hager
This review is going to be incredibly vague because I don't want to ruin anything for you. This is one of those books to go in blind for so you can savor every twist and turn. (Well, until you realize that you won't get the sequel until July.) So there's just going to be some gushing and flailing and honestly, you should just go read it for yourself so you can join me in the flails.

This is my first must-read book of 2014 (actually read IN 2014, not just released this year). There are a lot of ea
Original review found at

* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Penguin Canada through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.*

Sci-fi/futuristic can be hit or miss for me with a lot more misses in the last few months than hits. Being that I have not had the best of luck lately in this genre I was a little reluctant to pick this book up and start it. Am I ever glad I did because it just blew me away! I absolutely loved it!

I’m throwing clichés here but I couldn’t come up with a decent introduction, so here it goes: Archetype by M.D. Waters was one heck of roller-coaster ride. It’s too hard to second guess the intentions of the characters. And it was hard to pinpoint who is who, which I after I read the book I’ve realized that it was purposefully made that way.

Emma has no memories prior to when she woke up. Her husband, Declan Burke was filling the gaps for her. But what her husband was telling her was different fr
Charissa Weaks
A brilliant debut from a phenomenal author. I was fortunate to read Archetype while it was being written. The second I read the first line I knew I had to know Emma's story. Not only is the voice of this book so completely unique, but the story itself provides so much internal and emotional conflict that you don't want to put it down. The setting is a futuristic dystopian world where women are a rare commodity. Girls are raised in camps to be wives and Emma has memories of a life like that. Of a ...more
Melinda Collins
OMG! There are almost no words for how much I LOVED this book. And there's no doubt whatsoever that you WILL LOVE it, too!

I've never been much of a science fiction reader, but I do enjoy any and all genres that have fantastic characters, amazing story lines, and delicious tension -- and that is exactly what this book gave us! Action, romance, mystery, tension, likeable heroine from page one, plot twists so good that you'll scream aloud, "Oh, my God!"

M.D. Waters has given readers such a treasure
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M.D. WATERS lives with her family in Maryland. When she isn't snuggling with contractions, abusing her muse, or random dancing, she writes science fiction thrillers for Dutton Books. Her first novel, ARCHETYPE, was nominated for a RT Reviewers' Choice award, on the Texas Library Association's 2015 Lariat Reading List, listed on's The Best Books of 2014, and voted "Best Sex" by the A.V ...more
More about M.D. Waters...

Other Books in the Series

Archetype (2 books)
  • Prototype (Archetype #2)

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“Seduce my mind and you can have my body, find my soul and I’m yours forever.” 20 likes
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