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Archetype #1


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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 . . .
In the stunning first volume of a two-book series, Emma wakes with her memory wiped clean. Her husband, Declan—a powerful and seductive man—narrates the story of her past, but Emma’s dreams contradict him. They show her war, a camp where girls are trained to be wives, and love for another man. Something inside warns her not to speak of these things, but the line between her dreams and reality is about to shatter forever. 

372 pages, Paperback

First published February 6, 2014

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About the author

M.D. Waters

4 books239 followers
M.D. WATERS lives with her family in Maryland. When she isn’t writing edge-of-your-seat science fiction thrillers, abusing her muse, or random dancing, she's writing USA Today Bestselling romances as MISTY D. WATERS.

Her first novel, ARCHETYPE, was nominated for a RT Reviewers' Choice award, on the Texas Library Association's 2015 Lariat Reading List, listed on Popsugar.com's The Best Books of 2014, and voted "Best Sex" by the A.V. Club's Pages Most Likely to Succeed: Our Favorite Books of 2014 (so far). Her other works, ANTITYPE & PROTOTYPE, are available now.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 757 reviews
February 27, 2014
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's a love triangle that didn't bother me at all because for the latter 50% of the book, I was like...dafuq am I reading? D:? The last half of the book was a journey into what-the-actual-fucks-ville.

I'm just so utterly confused. This book reads like a contemporary but it turned out to be a dystopian. It started off fantastically. The first 25% held my attention rapt. But sadly, this book didn't live up to its initial promise.

It's a little difficult for me to express my exact feelings on it, so allow me to describe it to you through the use of Digimon.

It starts off interestingly enough. There's an egg! You don't know what it holds! Oh, the possibilities!

The egg is cracking open!! Oh, it's so interesting! How neat! You, the reader, are intrigued. However will it evolve next?!

AND WE'RE ON A MOTHERFUCKING HORSE! YEAH! YEAH! This is going to be a hell of a ride. It's hard to believe that this thing hatched from just a tiny little egg, right?

Wait. What the actual FUCK?! How the hell did we get from a horse to...THIS?!

The Summary: Emma doesn't remember anything. She has been in an accident. Nobody will tell her what happened. She has to relearn everything. Her handsome husband tells her what she needs to know. Emma repeats and believes what she is told. Declan, her husband, is so kind, so loving. She just wants to please him.
“You are my husband, Declan Burke. I am your wife, Emma. We were married in a small ceremony with only our closest friends atop our mountain.”
“Yes, Emma, that’s right. You were absolutely beautiful.”
Emma is attracted to her husband, but Declan is strangely reluctant to touch her. He rejects her advances. Emma feels safe in his embrace.
His arms wrap around tight and hold me as if I would run away and he could not bear it. But I will not. Not ever. I want to be with him always.
Emma undergoes tests after tests. She doesn't feel like a patient so much as a lab rat. She absolutely hates these tests. Emma has nightmares, she has flashbacks, in which she is someone else. After these nightmares, doctors try to question her about them. Emma always lies; there's a voice inside her head that tells her not to trust these people. This voice is called "her," "she." Emma and her mind are at war.
I told you to lie, She says coolly. You don’t understand yet, but you will.
I only understand that I am at war with myself, and I do not know why. One way or another, I will win.
Her days are a litany of tests, medication; for some reason, the doctors feel that Emma needs to be restrained.
When I look down, I find I am bound to the table by Velcro straps. Instinctively, I jerk and the bindings burn and pinch my wrists.
“What are you doing?” I ask, panicked.
“I’ll remove them when I think you’re no longer a danger to yourself.”
Nobody will tell her what happened. What is this accident? Why did Emma lose her memories?

Very soon, we realize that something's rotten. Something's not right. This is not our world, as we know it. There is strange technology.
Those take you out of the building, She tells me. Probably to other floors, too. They’re teleportation units. Teleport. Teleporting. Teleportation. You know, teleporters.
They split you into a million different pieces and send your bits to your destination. You tell it where you want to port and it sends you there. Get it? Tell—a—port.
Stranger still than the existence of teleporters is the slow buildup of knowledge that something is deeply wrong with this world.
I recognize the acronym from one of my earlier dreams with Toni. “WTC?”
“Women’s Training Center. Where all our young women are prepared for marriage.”
There are so many questions here. There are no easy answers. Who is Emma? What is her husband hiding from her? Who is the mysterious people who appears in her dreams? Why is she in danger?
“You know what I am talking about. Why do you insist on keeping my past a secret from me? If you are trying to protect me, stop. I do not need your protection. I need the truth before this gets any worse."
The Setting: This is a rather unconvincing dystopian setting. There is absolutely no info-dumping at all, but it doesn't feel entirely convincing. It started off feeling like a contemporary, but we're slowly given the buildup that this world is not what it should be. Slowly, we uncover the details. It's intriguing, it is. Here we are, presumably in the future. We have teleportation technology, we have huge-ass television screens...and we have an issue with female infertility?
“The women who are fertile these days,” he continues while he stands and moves to one of his bookcases, “are only fertile into their late twenties, early thirties at most. It isn’t disease or genetics, just the unfortunate way things have progressed.”
This world is extremely vague, and I don't quite understand it. The background is pure telling, not showing. We're expected to believe that this happened, that that happened, without much of an explanation. Part of the frustration comes from the narrator, because of her amnesia, and her innocence and placidity and acceptance of everything as fact.

The world itself is very two-dimensional. We have vague laws tossed out without much of a backdrop.
He slaps his hands to his knees and stands. “I’m afraid you don’t have a choice. Birth control is illegal. Abortion is illegal, with a very severe punishment. Emma, pregnancy is not a choice. I’m sorry.”
We have inconsistencies in technology and medical advancements. Her finger is healed with lasers...
A couple of nurses arrive, take our vitals, and clean up our scrapes and cuts. One uses some kind of laser to heal my knuckle.
While there's still trouble with using blood thinners to fix a hemorrage. We have teleportation technologies, but we're still using phones and tablets and 21st century technology. I mean, these days we're starting to have Google Glass, and etc., don't you think in a future where we can teleport around, telephones would be obsolete?

The Characters: I had a lot of sympathy for Emma in the beginning, because she is so innocent, so trusting, so naive. My sympathy for her had severely diminished before the first half of the book is through. Emma makes everything feel underwhelming. She just doesn't feel like a real person with human emotions, to me. Emma ended the novel like she started, a pretty doll, slightly beaten up.

The Plot: I have a problem with the flashbacks. We are pelted in every single chapter with memories, flashbacks. I get that these are important, but it felt like I was reading two separate books at the same time, without knowing what exactly was going on in either. There was no infodumping regarding the world, but there was a massive amount of infodumping regarding the characters in the flashbacks and dreams.

The story itself became intriguing, to uh-oh, we're not in Kansas anymore, and then quickly turned into a clusterfuck of tremendous proportions. The book completely lost me around the 50% mark.

The Romance: Very unbelievable, since from the very beginning, we are set up to hate and distrust one of the love interests. I didn't have a problem with the romance because it was unconvincing, it had no subtlety. It, like the book itself, is completely predictable. A good love triangle works because the emotions are convincing, the characters are likeable, and the reader is caught holding his or her breath to see who will emerge the victor. There was no question as to who would win in this book, it was that obvious.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,855 reviews846 followers
August 31, 2016
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, the only thing she knows is that she’s Declan’s wife. He’s kind and patient, and Emma has no reason to question him, except her inner voice and dreams. Emma has dreams and nightmares showing another life contradictory to what Declan and Dr. Travista tell her. She dreams of a Noah, a man who scares her; she dreams of happy times on the beach in the arms of a man who she desperately loves, a man who is definitely NOT Declan. She also dreams of growing up in a Women’s Camp and being treated like merchandise or worse.

Emma questions what she can trust, and struggles as memories and dreams keep coming. Still, everything Declan does seem to show he loves and cares for her and Emma tries to shove everything aside and let the attraction she feels take over, settle into her life and move on. When Emma meets a living, breathing Noah, she knows that she hasn’t conjured up some of these scenarios, and must sort through what is real.

It is really hard to write a review and express my thoughts without spoiling things, but I’ll do my best.

is set in a futuristic world but one I could easily picture. We already have the beginnings of some of the science described now, making this world believable to me. On some levels the type of injustices done to women that are described are happening today, which is completely disturbing and made my skin crawl with the possibilities.

I felt for Emma and she brought out my protective instincts from the get go. I wanted to shield her and punish anyone who dared to harm her! There were times I wanted to shake her and say “look at the truth in front of you!” but then I’d put myself in her position, and I really couldn’t fault her. Emma really showed strength and courage, and kept it together while I’d probably have been an incoherent, babbling mess! Plus, not is all as it seems to Emma or the reader! For much of the book I thought I had things figured out, and I did have some of it right, but I was surprised and thrown for a loop when all things were revealed.

Declan seems so very nice, patient, and perfect, which immediately stirred my suspicions. Even with my doubts it was evident that Declan did really care for Emma, but this is the kind of book where you suspect everyone, so I was still on high alert. I’m not sure what I could say about Noah without spoiling anything, so I let you figure him out when you read this.

It’s evident from the description there is a love triangle. I DETEST love triangles, but this one did not upset me. I was more upset by the revelations about Emma and how it related to the romance I was rooting for. There is an obvious choice, IMO and I think the reader is steered in that direction throughout much of the book. I have to say my heart ached for Emma by the end *sniff*.

I can’t write this review without thanking the lovely Lauren @ Love is Not a Triangle for recommending this series to me! I can’t believe this is a debut novel. Bravo, M.D. Waters! This story was amazing and I’ve been consumed with it for the last two days! I’m almost done with Prototype. While this doesn’t end with a cliffhanger per se, I felt very fortunate to have book two on my Kindle so I could start it immediately.

You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Krys.
736 reviews170 followers
February 3, 2015

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 into an easy partnership with one another but something is off. Emma's dreams still undo her; dreams of the WTC and of a man named Noah. She begins to wonder if her dreams are only that or if they could mean the destruction of her entire world.

This book redefines the phrase "trophy wife". Archetype poses several frightening views of a possible future were women are bought and sold like merchandise. Every mandate about what they do with their bodies is strictly regulated by men. As such a woman's body does not belong to her. It belongs to her husband and he is within his legal rights to do whatever he wants with his property. It is a grim outlook of a future that could someday become reality.

Archetype is a dazzling debut, a very sharp book. It has such a dignified air to it, a beautiful poignancy in the writing. But the beauty is a skin deep mask threatening to expose itself at any moment. Beneath the surface is a haunting, corrosive tension that eats the reader alive. It makes the reader nauseous in the best possible way.

This is one of those books that seeps into your consciousness. It breeds discontent. It forces one to ponder the possible "what if?"… What if this book was true and this grim outlook implied a probably future for women? What if this is what our genders have to look forward to... the selling of sex in the most literal way.

This book... this book.

There are no more words for this book.

5 out of 5 stars.

- review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com
Profile Image for Anne.
3,920 reviews69.3k followers
October 22, 2013
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 personality had emerged sooner, I think I would have been able to get into the story a bit more.

Then there's the fact that I hated her true love and her husband. Not so much at first, but by the end of the book I was hoping there was going to be another option besides either of those guys.

The writing isn't bad at all, but I was really bored the entire time I was reading this. However, I think this is less a case of Awful-Book, and more a case of Not-My-Type-Of-Story.

Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this ARC.
Profile Image for Ashley.
237 reviews20 followers
January 16, 2014
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 potential to be a powerhouse genre author, but in _Archetype_, she sometimes overreaches herself.

This book’s biggest strength is in the quality of the writing. Waters has a strong, unique, and distinct authorial voice; though it took me a bit to get used to her style, I certainly thought it worked in terms of tone and tempo. I was also very impressed with the way Waters handled the temporal narrative transitions. That is a difficult technique for even seasoned writers, but Waters handles it with aplomb. The shifts were smooth, easy to follow, and enhanced the story’s flow rather than hampered it. I also thought Waters’ language was lovely and appropriate; it set the perfect tone for a sci-fi dystopia. From the sentence structure to the word choice, Waters deftly uses connotation and denotation to color the narrative.

Beyond that, I thought the book was tight considering its plot arc. The actual sequential pacing works (though I think the book opens unnecessarily slowly, but more on that later) and shows the hand of a deft editor. Additionally, Waters has an intrinsic understanding of tonal and pacing shifts; the way she writes fight scenes strongly differs from scenes where Emma is alone or contemplative. This was *such* a breath of fresh air—it gets tiresome to read sci-fi novels that lack nuance. Structurally, Waters’ decision to use a first person perspective enhances the feeling of disquiet within the story itself. I was initially a little concerned about the choice, but within a few chapters, it had grown on me. By the end of the novel, I found Emma’s limited perspective to be essential thematically.

That said, there are some issues with the story, some minor and others significant. On the smaller end of the spectrum, as much as I loved the language of the story, there were times when it could cross the line from powerful to overwrought. For example, there’s a moment where Other Emma recollects that “With each passing day, I grew to regret the sunset no matter how progressively beautiful the atmospheric effects became” (97). Not only is that statement a mouthful, but it’s a goofy mouthful; a more powerful sentence might read something like this: “With each passing day, I grew to regret the sunset, no matter how beautiful [it was].” Again, this isn’t a systemic problem. Because the writing is so good on the whole, these moments stick out like a sore thumb.

The book’s most significant issue comes in the form of exposition. It is often clunky, like when Toni says, “I’m Toni Reece and I’m about to make your life here a lot easier” (29). It’s an unnatural piece of dialogue, and the fact that it comes so early in the story is off-putting. More to the point, necessary narrative exposition is often *missing.* Knowing what Emma thinks and feels is essential for creating sympathy with the reader, and the decided lack of useful or relatable exposition in the early parts of the book are a real stumbling block to that end. For example, Emma doesn’t freak out given that *there is a whole separate person speaking to her in her head.* She clearly knows enough about the human condition to understand that disembodied voices aren’t normative, and yet she seems comfortable (or, at least, unperturbed) that she’s talking to herself. Likewise, Emma’s love for Declan is never quite believable. It lacks depth—if you compare her descriptions of the way she feels about Noah to the way she feels about Declan even before she discovers the truth, there’s much less power. She just sort of loves him without any real justification to the reader. That internal narrative is so, so important. If we are going to believe that Emma has to make difficult choices by the end of the book, we first have to believe that she feels strongly for Declan in spite of herself. Likewise, we need to *feel* what Emma is feeling throughout the first two-thirds of the story, not just after she discovers her deep, dark secret. The story’s plot twist is interesting (in fact, the whole book improves markedly after that reveal), but it could be earth-shattering for the reader if he/she only cared about Emma more. The best way to do that is by making the reader feel what Emma does, and you do that through more expository descriptions.

That issue leads to another problem: the love triangle feels contrived. Rather than being invested in Emma’s right to choose whom she loves, which is an important thematic point for the story, Declan is very obviously not the right choice from page one. Waters is too heavy-handed in pushing the reader toward Noah, so when Declan declares his affection for Emma, it already rings hollow. Likewise, Declan’s fate at the end of the story also lacks power since he goes from being slightly unlikeable to completely unsympathetic. A lighter hand with more emphasis on the grey areas of both Declan’s and Noah’s lives would serve better here.

And that leads me to the last two significant issues, which are actually fairly major for a science fiction novel: worldbuilding and themes. The worldbuilding in _Archetype_ is surprisingly weak. Although I understand Waters’ decision to only reveal information to the reader as Emma herself discovers it, its actually quite unfortunate. Even after finishing the book, I’m not sure I understand the machinations of the world behind the WTCs and the Resistance. It’s hard to figure out whether we’re dealing with futurism or an alternate reality; likewise, it’s difficult to know why the Resistance is…well…resisting. What do they want? What is their goal? And more to the point, why do WTCs exist outside of maintaining patriarchal power? There were also significant holes in terms of technology. For example, Emma’s broken finger is healed with a laser, but her body hemorrhages and there’s no advanced medicine for this? People can teleport, but we still use tablet computing? Cell phones still exist in any iteration? I mean, we can already implant people with optical cameras; you don’t think that telecom technology will be seriously altered in one hundred years? Even if you’re making up the world, you still have to consider that social, economic, and natural forces still exist. Thus, the world in _Archetype_ isn’t really believable because it doesn’t really exist—it’s just a two-dimensional backdrop for the characters and themes. I’m not saying that there needs to be pages and pages of description. I would actually point to _The Road_ by Cormac McCarthy as an example of a book that does the same thing Archetype does. It reveals the qualities of the world in small, concise chunks, but the reader still closes the book with a total understanding of McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic landscape.

Thematically, I found Waters’ use of cognitive dissonance at the beginning of the story to be clunky and ineffective. Waters could stand to look more strongly at Lacanian and Freudian ideas of identity acquisition; people establish their selfhood the same way they always do, futuristic society or not. What Waters is trying to do with her discussion of humanity, autonomy, gender, agency, and selfhood is interesting, but she never fully realizes these ideas. Instead, she tries to address too many themes at once. Doing so makes her never fully flesh out any of them; in fact, she often introduces contradictory messages. For example, we are clearly supposed to see cloning for fertility as an ethical abuse. Obviously, what happens to Emma is wrong, but what about Lydia’s choice? How is that different from suicide? Beyond that, teleportation seems to be a parallel issue. If Emma steps into a teleportation tube and is reformed with completely new molecules on the other side, is she still Emma? This is inherently the same question that Waters poses with cloning, but she offers a different answer. Another much more troubling example is the way Waters handles rape. When Emma believes she was raped and tortured, she is completely emotionally overwhelmed. She feels violated and questions how she could ever forget such a heinous act. However, when Dr. Travista essentially medically rapes her, Emma wakes up completely unfazed. Thus, Waters offers contradictory evidence about how women should feel about the invasion of their bodies. Again, this is because Waters is trying to do too much with too many themes; though I think her discussion of identity is much more impactful after Emma’s “big reveal,” there is much more potential for strong and important commentary in this story.

All in all, this book was entertaining if not a bit thematically overreaching. I will say that I enjoyed it much more after the significant plot twist, and I’ll be interested to see how Waters refines and/or enhances her plot, world, and characters in the series’ next installment. I’d give this book a comfortable three out of five stars.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,032 reviews2,604 followers
November 14, 2014
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/11/14/r...

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. Declan helps with her recovery, filling in more blanks, but Emma finds herself having strange, vivid dreams of a traumatic past. Sometimes, her subconscious mind also remembers happier times with another man, a man who is not Declan – and these dreams fill her with both love and fear.

Emma tries to put it all behind her and get her life back on track, assured by Declan’s presence and protection, until one day she comes face to face with the other man in her dreams. And just like that, the illusion is shattered.

The dystopian future of Archetype is believable and well written, with several features that make it sufficiently intriguing yet disturbing. Humanity is on the path to extinction, with fertile women being a tiny minority of the population. This has led to serious social implications, especially for women, who are guarded very fiercely and in many cases are treated like rare commodities to be bought and sold.

But while this provides a fascinating backdrop for the story, the setting – and in fact the world-building in general – is probably not the novel’s strongest aspect, nor do I think it was meant to be. Instead, the focus is on characterization, particularly when it comes to Emma’s personality and the way she deals with her amnesia. The main draw of the story for me was the progress of her recovery and regaining her memory. Her transition from a scared, trusting newly awakened patient to a wiser and more questioning skeptic made her feel very real to me, because I imagine these are the logical steps someone in her position would go through. Towards the end, Emma is no longer content to take everything at face value or accept Declan’s words as the truth, especially when the inconsistencies start piling up. Declan is also much too perfect, which raised alarm bells for me early on, and Emma eventually begins to grow suspicious as well.

I probably wouldn’t call Archetype a Romance, or at least I don’t believe it fits in the traditional sense of the genre, even though much of the story is charged with very passionate feelings and there are a couple very hot and heavy sex scenes. Needless to say, the relationship dynamics between the various characters are paramount to the plot and its themes. It made for an emotional novel, and that along with the fantastic development of Emma’s character had my heart going out to her at as certain revelations came to light in the climax and conclusion.

Granted, this is not a terribly complex book, and despite the many dream sequences and flashbacks, the plot and themes don’t vary too much. But for all of that, it worked for me. The world building and probably wouldn’t be enough for hardcore Science Fiction fans, and not surprisingly there were many moments where I was left wishing there were more details about the technology and history of the world of Archetype. Still, Waters wrote a great book here, and it’s my feeling that she was not aiming for hard sci-fi, instead going for atmosphere and a more character-driven novel. What you end up with is a straightforward book that knows where it wants to go, and I thought it was actually quite effective. I am looking forward to the conclusion of this two-book series in the sequel Prototype.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
August 29, 2016
Initial reaction: I'll admit I enjoyed so much of this novel, and I felt for Emma's experiences throughout the novel. Sci-fi mystery/futuristic thriller with quite a few WTF moments.

Full review:

"Archetype" might be one of my favorite stories of recent memory for the kind of story it portrays. There are elements of it that are familiar to stories I've read, but M.D. Waters captures Emma's experiences with a vibrant, vivid, and sensual. The story revolves around Emma having no memories in a futuristic environment, where she's established as the wife of a very wealthy, yet secretive husband (Declan). She's said to have been in an "accident" that left her in horrible shape, but as Emma starts wading through the fog of her dreams and teasing internal clashes, she realizes there's not only another person whom she holds closer to her heart than Declan, but also there's more sinister actions behind the people who are supposed to be her allies and loved ones. It takes the novel a bit to reach the point where Emma starts to put the pieces together, but I'll admit the journey watching her get to that point and then act against the forces pushing against her was well worth the wait. The novel has more than a few curveballs to throw at the reader. Some of them I definitely saw coming, but there were others that even threw me for a loop as "Archetype" marched to a stunning conclusion. I went back and forth on my rating of it, but in the end, it's the kind of sci-fi story that completely pulled me in and I loved for what it offered. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the follow up book. Excellent audio narration from one of my favorite readers Khristine Hvam.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Heather *sad DNF queen*.
Author 19 books462 followers
March 16, 2014
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're dreams or memories and it's SO FRICKIN' OBVIOUS. Predictable is too mild a word. You don't even have to read this book to know how it turns out.

The romance was SOOO BOOOORINGG, which is unfortunate because all the drama hinged on it. This book had so much potential but it was so unbelievably shallow, with a phoned-in plot and meh writing. There was absolutely nothing convincing or compelling about this book.

I'm not at all interested in the sequel.
Profile Image for Didi.
865 reviews288 followers
December 4, 2015

What a fantastic book! This is a combo of sci-fi and dystopian fiction, but also very much a romance. I loved everything about this book. It was fast paced, intelligent, thought provoking and considering the topic at hand, easy to follow.

I found myself trying to figure out everything right along with the heroine, Emma. I don't want to get into the plot because this truly is a book worth jumping into. The synopsis is more than enough going in, so don't read too many reviews and spoil the awesome sauce this book was coated in.

What I loved was how we slowly get painted a picture of what is going on. It was a genius move on the authors part because by the midway point, you can't put his down! Actually, within a few pages I was hooked. The last third was incredibly tense and had me panicking over all the possible outcomes. This does end in a cliffy, but have no fear, the sequel, Prototype, is already out.

I'm immersed in this futuristic world and am diving right into said sequel. The only thing, only thing I wanted more of was world building. I wanted details of how what we know as North America, had been fragmented in such a way. Anyways, this was awesome, a fantastic edition into the sci-fi/dystopian world. And again, for you romance lovers out there like me, there's a plenty.
Author 5 books588 followers
March 23, 2014
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. Completely. Sorry.

Anyway. This book.

It grabbed me and pulled me through and kept me up too late until I emerged, blinking in the sunlight.

I realize there are weak spots in the plot. The world-building is weak, although that can perhaps be forgiven in a story narrated by an amnesia victim. I liked the frequent flashback visions, but I can understand why my friend found them annoying. And there’s at least one scene in which the main character is face to face with the man who can answer all her questions and she doesn’t ask him anything.

I’ve been running into this a lot lately, and it makes me want to smack someone. Stop being lazy, authors. And don’t think readers don’t notice this sort of thing. Unless your name is Jane Austen, you’re not allowed to write a book that would be over in two pages if the main characters had one blunt, straightforward conversation. And if those characters do find themselves alone together and it would be inconvenient for your plot if they have a heart-to-heart chat, don’t have them start talking about the weather, or the interesting color the sky is this time of year. Throw a hand grenade in the room with them or something.

But none of this ruined the book for me. I found the story absorbing. I loved one scene where the author made it look as if the narrator would need a big fat deus ex machina or at least some manly man to save her (and gave a broad hint as to whom that dude might be), and then – surprise!

And I love that the writer had enough faith in her readers to include a really odd detail without ever directly addressing it. I’m a word-nerd, so it struck me right away that the narrator never uses contractions. I thought this might be her way of implying the future – have you ever seen that in science fiction? Everyone speaks very formally, because apparently that’s what we’re all headed towards. But in Archetype, all the other characters speak normally, contractions and all, except the narrator. Call me a dork with adorable blue eyes, but I loved trying to figure out what the heck was up with that. And I love that the author doesn’t answer that question in so many words. She just supplies enough information for readers to be able to figure it out for themselves.

I was worried when I learned this book was the first of a projected two-parter. So many authors seem to be starting their first novels with intriguing questions, spending the book reminding you of how mysterious it all is, and then saying at the end, “Boy, I’ll bet you really want some answers NOW, don’t you? Better buy the next book!” And I never do, because I hate that.

This book ends when it ends. I really want to know what the main character goes on to do, and how much she ends up able to remember. I already have the sequel on hold at the library (and I’m first in line, woohoo!). But the author answers the big questions while leaving plenty of room for a next novel.

So take that, trolls. Negative reviews sell books.
Profile Image for Kathylill .
162 reviews173 followers
February 11, 2014
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 debut novel features Emma waking up to dystopian world and having forgotten everything about herself. As does Ewan McGregor in The Island, Emma in Archetype struggles to fit into the highly structured life of her husband and the world she has to live in.

Set entirely on hospital grounds the first half of the story has a spare and creepy feeling to it. Publishers Weekly described it as an absorbing gothic thriller in science fiction trappings. Emma’s dreams and flashbacks, her interior dialogue with the other voice in her head add a surreal quality to it. In the second half the story shifts into a more or less high-tech action adventure. Both halves work together well and the story flowes at a great pace.

Like in those movies the world the protagonists live in has a clear futuristic appearance but the science fiction elements of the setting like innovative technology are downplayed to a minimum shifting the story’s focus on the thriller and mystery components. As a reader you are not distracted by the future, not transported into another reality. With the future in mind, the author instead maintained a steady gaze on the present raising questions about ethical issues and individuality without being too obvious about it. Archetype is not a moral play, but it satisfactorily comes full circle and does what the best science fiction does: using the future as a way to critique the present.

The romance (with something of a love triangle) is an integral part of the story, but the story doesn't center on it. Emma falls in love with her husband Declan after waking up in the hospital because he is there for her and cares for her. But as time goes by there are a series of events that unfold when she questions how truthful that world and her husband really were. This book is full of stunning revelations, not the least of which involves Emma’s true identity. The plot evolves masterfully and will surprise you with its turns and twists.

As a reader I was very much interested in finding out the truth of what really happened and the mystery behind Emma's identity. What really had me engrossed was not the romance but a very well told mystery where each chapter provides you with new insight and tidbits of information. Warning: Once you get started, you will not, you cannot put this book down! Archetype offers a chilling vision of a future in which anything is possible if you’re willing to pay the price.
Profile Image for Meg - A Bookish Affair.
2,445 reviews192 followers
October 23, 2013
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, guys.

Oh, there are so many twists and turns in this book and it definitely kept me on my toes. I love being surprised! I loved the world in the book. It's definitely not someplace that I would ever like to live. Ms. Waters really brought this world to life for me. The world Emma Burke is one where women are a hot commodity. There aren't enough women to go around so each woman is an incredibly precious resource and meant to be protected by their men. Infertility is a huge problem in this world. Only fertile women are allowed to be married. In this world, women go to camps as girls in order to learn to be good wives to their future husbands. It's a fascinating setting but also a little bit scary! Even though this is a fictional world, it is definitely a thought provoking one.

Emma knows she was in an accident. She isn't sure what happened but when she wakes up in a hospital, she's told that she will eventually be better but in the meantime, she has horrible nightmares about places that she isn't sure she's been before and people that she isn't sure whether or not she has met them before. The nightmares feel real and it isn't long before her waking life and her nightmares come crashing together in such an amazing way.

The writing in the book is good. The book is told from the point of view of Emma, which really brought me into the story. We get to see first hand what she is feeling and thinking and we're able to put together the pieces of what happened to her alongside her. She's a really good character and I am eagerly awaiting the companion book to this one, which will be out later in 2014, I believe.

I really need my own copy of this book as I know that it's one that I'm going to want to re-read, especially since I've been through all the twists and turns once. This book is truly a treat for sci-fi and dystopian fans and I fully recommend it.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews153 followers
May 14, 2015
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 he is her husband and that he loves her. At night, Emma is haunted by nightmares. When the doctor questions her about her dreams, an inner voice urges her to keep quiet. This strange inner voice grows stronger and stronger every day as Emma begins to recover her memories. It seems she had another life, and she loved another man, but how could that be possible? The more Emma learns, the more she begins to question who she can trust. Will Emma find the truth?
What I Liked:
*Archetype was a book I picked up thanks to the recommendations of fellow bloggers. Once I read the first chapters, I was hooked. I couldn't put this one down. This is a book that blends several genres. It is a futuristic sci-fi story as well as a thriller and a suspense mystery and a bit of dystopian all blended into one fast and furious read that will have you on the edge of your seat until the shocking finale. If you need an exciting, suspenseful read, look no further, grab Archetype and set aside some time.
*I loved the way the story was presented. Picture an empty table, where a large jigsaw puzzle is dumped out. Slowly pieces are sorted and placed into the puzzle randomly, just as it is in the book. A piece is picked up and inserted in the story line, in no particular order. In the story, you get all these flashes of memory from Emma's previous life, and you scramble to analyze each piece of information and figure out where it fits into the story. I liked that I never knew from one page to the next what I was going to uncover. There are so many surprises all leading up to those final, all important pieces, and once they are clicked in place, everything comes together and makes sense. I was completely blown away not only by the story and the execution but by the plot twists and the reveals. This is definitely not your average read. It is smart, complex and so thrilling. It is a must read.
*At the heart of the story is Emma. She starts out grappling like a newborn child. She has to learn to do things all over, and she has no memories of her former life. She is a blank slate, open to the suggestion of her doctor and her husband. When she starts to have flashes of another life in her nightmares, and then in her waking hours, she figures out that not everything is at it seems. As the story progresses, she gets stronger and stronger as she learns to find her way, and she gains her footing. She becomes strong and fierce, far removed from the frightened, malleable girl we meet at the beginning. I admired her ferocity and her courage, especially when she learns the truth.
*I wish I could explain how awesome and unique this story is. There are so many mysteries to figure out, and then the shocking big picture is laid out, and I was awestruck. I wanted to know so much more. I loved how it all came together. The suspense and mystery are top notch. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good, challenging, intelligent and suspenseful read. Just do yourself a favor and try it.
*This is the first in the series, and I was expecting a cliffhanger, but I was satisfied with the way the book ended. There are some questions still needing answers, but I have enough of the big picture that I closed the book satisfied. There is a terrific tease at the end setting up the next book, which I thankfully have ready to go.
And The Not So Much:
*I have to be a bit vague in this part of the review as I don't want to give anything away. Once I understood what had happened to Emma, I had questions on the how it all went down. I am not clear on how the doctor was able to do what he did. How did he access her? Even though I wasn't certain on the supposed science of what happened to Emma, I honestly didn't care because I was so amazed.
*Even though I loved the way the story was delivered, one bread crumb of information at a time, I was left with some blank spots. I am so curious to know what happened to Emma around her eighteenth birthday and beyond. How did she get away and how did she make contact with the resistance? That part of the story is unclear. I am hoping that it will all come clear next time out.
*This is a futuristic sci-fi book, and the one area I thought it faltered was the world building. The reader has very little information about life in this era. At the end, there is a brief mention of a civil war in the U.S. and how it is now divided into East and West. Fertility is a huge issue, but no one understands why. The details are so sparse about the world, I was left wanting to know so much more. Normally, that would be a strike against a book for me, but the riveting story line made up for the shaky world building.

Archetype was a book I picked up on a whim thanks to recommendations from fellow bloggers, and I am certainly glad that I gave this book a read. It was a book I couldn't put down as it was a thrilling read from beginning to end. This is a book that blends the sci-fi, dystopian, mystery and thriller genres. If you want a story that will stun you and leave you thinking on it for days, I urge you to give this novel a try. It is one of the best books I have read in awhile. Just do yourself a favor and go get Archetype.

I borrowed this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.

Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews748 followers
May 11, 2015
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 no memory of who she is, she’s told she’s been married to successful billionaire Declan for the last eight years, but Emma has no memory of this, she’s been told by Declan and her GP that this is all because of the accident that she’d had, but neither of them tell Emma a single thing about the accident, they say she isn’t ready for it. But how come Emma has these strange dreams of another life and of loving somebody else who isn’t her husband? So what is really going on and who is telling the truth? I had an inkling of what really could be happening, but when the truth was revealed it was certainly something that I never expected. I was really torn with what life I wanted to be real for Emma. There was Declan her husband who was always looking out for her, he would step in when Emma would voice her concerns over Dr Travista and he was willing to offer her anything she wanted. Although things didn’t seem right at times I could believe that he genuinely loved Emma. Also did I mention he was hot? *fans self* guys who wear suits tend to do it for me these days, especially ones that have buff bodies that fill up these suits nicely and have floppy sort of hair, that always tend to droop over that you constantly want to push it back into place (okay you can tell me that I’ve been imagining all the time). Also his scenes with Emma were hot; he made you forget this other person Emma had been dreaming about. I’m not going to say whether my feelings change or not regarding Declan as the book progresses, but there were quite a lot of major developments that Waters likes to throw your way that make you want to take a step back and take a whole lot of things into consideration. And then when this other person was thrown into the picture I was all like Declan who? I liked the way that Waters introduced this other character into the picture, by giving us snippets of him from Emma’s memory, it was clear that Emma and him really cared for one another, but how and when could have their love for each other taken place if Emma has been married to Declan for the last eight years? It just doesn’t make sense. And then the more and more memories Waters throws our way I thought I knew what had happened, but Waters then would throw a horrible blow our way that would have my heart and head reeling.

I really felt for Emma, she had no explanation as to what had happened to her and no one was really trusting her to give her any explanation. On top of that she had a voice constantly in her head telling her things, on occasions this voice would be helpful but then at other times Emma didn’t want to hear any more. And the thing was I was pretty torn up too about what Emma should believe, I was hoping that certain things would be true, because in my mind that would have been the better ending for everyone, but even that was twisted upon its head. I’m probably not making a lot of sense right now, but there’s not a lot I can say without giving so much away. This book really messes with your head in the best way with the endless twists and turns along the way. And the romance, my gosh I didn’t think my heart has recovered, especially by the last few pages, I had hoped that things would end up okay in book two Prototype, but when I read the last page of this book, I don’t know what to think. Readers who haven’t read this book yet, all I can say is listen to the hype, this book deserves all the five star ratings and so much more!

On the side note I actually ordered book two Prototype before I started Archetype, I had a gut feeling that I would need it straight away, but being the dufus that I am I didn’t realise that I would devour this book so quickly, so now I just have to sit here twiddling my thumbs for my book to arrive. I don’t think I can read anything else until I know what goes in Prototype.

This review can be found on: The Readers Den
Profile Image for Kara Babcock.
1,923 reviews1,258 followers
February 2, 2015
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 wake up in an unfamiliar world—Emma as a result of amnesia, Tegan because she has been on ice for a century—and are at the mercy of people who might not be on the level with them. Consequently, they are more reactive than proactive at first. Many of the same criticisms one might level at M.D. Waters could also be directed at Healey.

But one book is YA, the other is not. Some people seem content to cut YA slack, but if they decide a novel is “not YA,” then they are happy to slaughter it. Because teens don’t deserve quality fiction too? It’s not that I have an antipathy towards YA: I am harsh on it because I have high standards. And yeah, I totally agree that, in many ways, Archetype feels like a YA novel. But criticizing it for that reason demonstrates the harmful effect of categorizing our literature in such artificial ways, particularly when this action comes with implications about gender as well.

Let’s examine why Archetype seems so YA. What is it, exactly, that makes a book YA? Of course, standard disclaimer here that this is my entirely subjective view—your mileage may vary, and maybe you don’t see the parallels at all and don’t get what the fuss is about. That’s fine; move along.

At its basic level, I suppose, literature is for “young adults” if they are the intended audience. But how can we know that? Are all books with young-adult protagonists automatically YA because young adults will identify with them? That certainly seems to be the mould of the form these days: young adult protagonist with a highly individualistic streak, usually from first-person, stream-of-consciousness perspective, has an adventure in which they discover virtues of self-esteem, etc. The book “speaks” to the young adult reader about the issues they struggle with in early, late, or post-adolescence in way that older readers might recognize but not quite understand any more.

That seems like a smokescreen to me. Archetype doesn’t have a young adult as its protagonist. So why does it seem so YA? In reality, most YA literature gets labelled because we think it’s less complex, less sophisticated, less robust than “real literature.” This is certainly the argument behind Ruth Graham’s invective against adults who read YA, a polemic so riddled with literary and genre snobbery that it makes Northrop Frye look like just some guy who wandered in off the street. Graham is willing—oh-so-generously, oh-so-magnanimously on her part—to leave YA to the teens, who need to “earn” their way into “the adult stacks” (I wonder who policed her library as a kid, because my librarians never questioned my beeline into the adult stacks, though someone probably should have warned me about reading the first three A Song of Ice and Fire books when I was in Grade 7…). We adults, on the other hand, have to put away our toys and read “proper” literature—i.e., complex and not always with “satisfying” endings—because, if we don’t, our poor kids will see us reading “their” literature and never want to grow up as readers! The horror!

I think what Graham and many who pan YA are tapping into is a general discomfort over the erosion of adulthood ongoing in pop culture. But that isn’t YA’s fault, and it doesn’t mean YA is inherently good or bad, or that adults should or should not read YA. (For what it’s worth, my two cents here and ultimate rebuttal to Graham is that, if we think our kids should be reading it, we should be reading it too: after all, shouldn’t we try to empathize with and understand them as much as is possible?)

Archetype’s YA vibe is a result of Waters’ writing style and the plot structure. Emma is debatably a young adult (she is 26, nearly my age, and to be honest I still feel like a young adult, even if most YA literature targets people younger than me). Moreover, her amnesia means she doesn’t have the same experiences you and I might have that help her describe her surroundings or react to other people. So she seems a lot younger than 26, in some ways. The narration has a simplistic quality to it, with bold and transparent telegraphing of how Emma feels to the reader, which definitely resembles what one sees in a lot of YA. Combine this with antagonists whose motives are only ever partially explored and a dystopia that is only barely sketched, and you have yourself a YA novel that happens to have some hot-and-heavy sex in the middle of it.

Indeed, if I lay all my cards on the table, I’d argue the sex scene is maybe the only reason this novel can never be labelled YA in any marketing sense. I can see an editor having a conversation with Waters—not saying it probably happened, but I could see it happening—in which they try to persuade her to cut or trim the scene in such a way that it’s more acceptable for a younger audience. “We’ll sell a thousand more copies,” they say, “because we can market it to the young adults at the upper end of the spectrum as well as the regular reader.”

It’s unfortunate, too, that we seem to have so thoroughly associated dystopian fiction with young adult literature in the present decade’s critical consciousness. It’s not like they were always one-and-the-same—no one, no one is going to argue that The Handmaid’s Tale is YA—except that many, including me, feel it’s one of the best books to teach in an English classroom, and I’d heartily recommend that any young adult, just becoming aware of those fraught issues of gender politics and women’s autonomy over their bodies, read it. And yeah, I’d tell them to read Archetype too. Yes, it has sex in it. If you think teenagers aren’t reading stories with explicit sex scenes … good. You keep thinking that. Because you are adorable.

Ultimately, YA is, of course, little more than a label that serves as a marketing gimmick. It’s a way to sell more books, just as the trend to market YA to adults by way of mainstream pop culture is just another way to sell more books. That is why I’m so distrustful of criticism that attacks a book on the basis of its YA status (or lack thereof): it’s a red herring, critically speaking. There is no YA and non-YA: there is just literature. And yes, some of it is absolutely terrible. Archetype, in my opinion, is not.

The fact that one might criticize it based on its resemblance to YA troubles me. Dianna Anderson’s thoughtful somewhat-rebuttal to Graham’s article explores the idea that YA’s only defining characteristic is, as I said above, the protagonist’s age. And she argues in favour of taking YA seriously as literature, because doing otherwise is, as her title implies, sexist. If you disagree out of hand, then bear with me for a moment, and allow me to walk you through a thought experiment.

Suppose we reverse the genders in Archetype. Suppose Emile wakes up with amnesia, only to have a woman doctor and a woman claiming to be his wife tell him that he was in a terrible accident. Suppose Emile gradually learns that not everything is as it seems, starts having flashbacks that seem to be someone else’s memories of fighting in a resistance—of nearly dying—and of having a lover who isn’t his wife. Let’s add in another wrinkle: most men in this world are sterile, so the government of East America passed a whole bunch of laws in which men who can get women pregnant are legally required to stud, whether they want to have children or not.

Would we ever dare mistake this for YA?

No. This sounds like the plot of a weird-ass science-fiction novel to me, but definitely fare for adults (and by adults, I mean anyone mature enough to read adult-level prose, regardless of age!). Portraying Emile as a former resistance fighter now captured and at the mercy of the enemy would, to most readers, conjure images of butch action heroes—thanks, Hollywood. We would automatically ascribe Emile a sense of agency and action that we don’t grant to a woman character, even if he remains just as inactive and useless as Emma is at first. (I actually like the extent to which Emma takes charge later in the book, even if I recognize it might not be as well described or fleshed out as some might like.)

Part of the inherently sexist nature of our society is the way in which we infantilize women—something Sady Doyle talks about in her piece on adulthood, linked above. Anderson argues this is an inherent problem with blanket criticism of YA as non-literature, because of YA’s popularity with women and its status as a field dominated by women authors. I’d go further and argue that, having encouraged older women (and men) to read YA, the ouroboros of censure is now looping back around and establishing a double standard in which older women reading YA is yet another sign of their frivolity and insincerity. As always, women are simultaneously expected to and dismissed for appearing youthful. It’s not a coincidence that women dominate the YA field while we hold up predominantly men as examples of “serious literary juggernauts”—and it’s not a coincidence that so-called “chick lit” bears a less-than-subtle resemblance to the “satisfying” and trite story structure that Graham so detests about YA.

I was all prepared to dismiss Archetype. I was sceptical when I plucked it from the New Books shelf at the library: I had exactly the same initial reaction that many people had after reading, namely, that it sounded like an adult version of YA dystopian fiction that would be too sketchy to be satisfying. But I was wrong, and I realized that almost from the beginning—well, at least, after devouring the first 120 pages in one sitting. That might have something to do with how easy it is to read the book—the narration and prose are not very dense—but I’d like to believe that it also has something to do with my ability to feel sympathy for Emma’s predicament.

It feels a little bit like sacrilege to draw parallels to The Handmaid’s Tale, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels the similarity. Atwood’s novel is such a complex masterpiece, both in the technical and emotional sense, that to liken it to a debut novel in which the main character and setting are both so under-developed seems disrespectful to our own Canadian juggernaut. But the proof is in the plot: the parallels are inescapable. Both novels are harrowing because their depiction of a dystopia, however unlikely, is merely the backdrop around which they portray the powerlessness and cruelty of a woman experiencing a lack of autonomy. The kicker being, of course, that these books are not so much morality plays or cautionary tales as they are, deep down, critiques of our own presently misogynistic culture.

Look, in the way I presently identify and perform my gender, I’m not a woman. So I’m not trying to speak for women here. But from what I read, from what I see, it seems like this is a society that has it out for women’s autonomy and women’s control over their bodies. It’s true that, unlike Atwood, Waters doesn’t explain much about the origins of the fertility issues or the decline of America into civil war and its bifurcation into the free West and the oppressive East. But she doesn’t have to: Emma’s suffering is enough. The terror that she feels at the prospect of pregnancy, the pressure that she feels from Dr. Travista and Declan—and their language and treatment of her, of course—is enough to make the message clear. Through a quirk of my biology, I happen to have the privilege of never having to worry about this. No one will ever tell me I am expected to carry a child. No one will ever tell me I am bound by law to carry a pregnancy to term. No one will claim me as property and brand me like breeding stock.

Yet Archetype hit a nerve for me, because I see echoes of this behaviour in our society today. In the United States, that nice little sweater that Canada wears, the predominantly male political bodies are very interested in regulating women’s individual bodies, including their access to affordable birth control and their ability to terminate pregnancies. Pretty much they want to consign women to lives of poverty “for the children” (which doesn’t seem very nice, personally), and they aren’t afraid to take away women’s freedoms and autonomy to do it.

So if you’re a dude who was sympathetic enough to shudder when reading Archetype or The Handmaid’s Tale because you hope that future doesn’t happen … look again. Because too many women have to worry about living in that world in the present. (And that’s just the developed countries.)

Look, I agree that there is plenty about Archetype that doesn’t pass muster. Noah is unpredictable to the point of feeling like a caricature of the grieving husband (and, to be honest, the softness of the science surrounding the twist in the second act gives me misgivings). Waters does a little better, in my opinion, with the subtlety of Declan’s attitude towards Emma: he does seem to care for her genuinely, albeit on his own twisted terms. Yet for a book so interested in playing up the ambiguity of amnesiac Emma’s situation, the drama and mystery surrounding her missing memories is resolved fairly neatly and quickly and, yes, predictably.

So for all those reasons, it’s fair to criticize this book. Aforementioned comments aside about not liking this book implying a hatred of women, there are totally legitimate reasons not to like this particular book—up to and including “I just didn’t like it.” But let’s not dismiss it because it feels like YA—that’s a troubling indictment both of YA and books that, like this one, embody and articulate the precarious attitudes in our present society towards the issues of women’s autonomy and agency.

Archetype is a story about a woman who is trying to find her voice. This would be a powerful narrative in any time and place. It is even more powerful here and now, in our present time and present culture, which is striving so hard to co-opt feminism, to tell women they are free and empowered, when in reality their autonomy and their voices remain fragile things. Waters might still need to hone her skill, but her aim is squarely on the target: these are serious, weighty matters, and Emma’s story is of a calibre and quality high enough to handle them. I didn’t love every moment of Archetype; it has plenty of technical flaws—but I love how it made me feel, even if those feelings were predominantly disconcerting. I love when literature can affect me, even if it the emotions and thoughts it stirs are difficult ones. In this respect, Archetype verges upon that transcendent quality many writers strive to reach for their entire careers. It should most definitely be taken seriously. YA—which this is not—should most definitely be taken seriously.

I’m going to keep reading widely and keep fighting my inner genre snob. He’s a little less vocal these days, and I think that’s a good thing, but he does occasionally rear his hobgoblin head and wrestle me for control of these reviews. So I’m always grateful when I find reviews that rankle me and books like Archetype that exceed expectations based upon such snobbery. It’s a nice way to be reminded I have biases that need examining. Shouldn’t that be what literature is all about—helping us be better humans?

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Profile Image for Jackie.
692 reviews182 followers
July 21, 2013
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 learn more about them as you go, but really, you will just fall into the complex storyline and puzzle along with the heroine as she tries to figure out what exactly has happened to her life. This is high concept, high adventure, steamy love story with plenty of action and violence. I am still dreaming about the characters, which makes me very happy to have learned that Water's second book will be coming out in the fall of 2014. I will absolutely be the first person in line for it.

Profile Image for Diana.
741 reviews71 followers
November 19, 2013
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 the in-flight magazine, but I wouldn't have finished it if the on-flight movie wasn't Grownups 2.
Profile Image for Janie Johnson.
890 reviews131 followers
March 14, 2017
Wow is really all I can say about this book. At first I found it a bit confusing but quickly it settled down and I understood what was going on. I do have to say it sucked me in right away. I really like the Author's writing style, it was pretty fast paced and that made it very enjoyable. There is also a lot of awesome twists as well. That epilogue was something else, and not what I expected at all which made me decide to stop my TBR and pick up the sequel to read now rather than later.

There is a nice mix of characters in the book which I am sure I will see more of in the sequel and I really look forward to seeing how Emma evolves in this next book. There are a lot of characters to hate in the story as well and I am excited to see how they develop in this next book. Who stays and who goes and by that epilogue I know one of my favorites to hate will be greeting us again.

I have to recommend this book to everyone. There is something for everyone with this one, got some sci fi, fantasy, mystery, thriller, romance, what more could readers ask for. It has a great storyline sure to pull y'all in on. So give it a shot and I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Christal.
936 reviews69 followers
August 4, 2016
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 you have everything figured out, another layer is added. Brilliant!

Originally, Emma's character made me think of Mira Grant's protagonist Sally from Parasite. Both characters suffered an extreme trauma than caused them to fall into a coma and, when they woke up, they had no memory of the person they had been before. This is where the stories diverged though. While Sally was given the freedom to become a new version of herself, Emma was expected to adapt back to the old Emma. The one thing that stopped her from always following orders was the voice in her head, the voice of her. She told Emma not to be so trusting, to prepare her body for running, and that she had had a life outside of the lab and her husband's house. Emma didn't know who she was and she didn't know if she should trust her. It made for an interesting dynamic between the two and helps reveal details about Emma's life before and after the accident.

At first, Emma's new life seems to be very nice. She has a doting husband, Declan, and her body seems to be healed from the trauma. The only problem is the nightmares that she keeps having; nightmares that show a mystery man, a doctor, and a dying Emma. She turns to painting to work through her dreams, a skill she apparently didn't have before the accident. When Declan decides to have a showing for Emma's paintings, she meets the mystery man from her dreams and Emma's new life starts tumbling down. What is the truth and what is a lie? Who can be trusted and who just wants to control her?

On the surface, Archetype seems to be a science fiction mystery. In actuality, it takes a hard look at women's rights and what would happen if they were taken away. The fertility rate has plummeted in this world, and, in the east, fertile women are taken away from their families and placed in WTCs, women's training centers. In the west, women are still free but raiding parties from the east have started capturing western women and bringing them back to the WTCs as well. Here, they are taught how to "become a wife" and are paraded like show animals before they are purchased by a man. They say they are purchased to marry, but it is more like ownership with the expectation of breeding. The women are branded so that other unmarried men know not to touch them. Once they are married, the husband is within his legal rights to treat the wife any way he likes. If a woman is not fertile, she may not be married, even to a man she consensually chooses. How does Emma fit into this society when she is not even branded by Declan? Does her "accident" and recovery have something to do with it? Is there no one that will rise up against the atrocities of this society?

Archetype was beautifully written and thoughtfully plotted. It twisted and turned and wove back around itself to create a compelling mythology. The science seems believable, if advanced, and the changes in society are frighteningly realistic. I highly recommend this book as a solid thriller as well as a medical science fiction. While there is a very complex love story here, it is not for those looking for a HEA - at least not in this installment. Give this book a try if you want a sophisticated, thrilling read.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Dutton Adult for providing an ARC copy of this book!
Profile Image for Nadine.
1,157 reviews222 followers
October 19, 2015
“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 science fiction novel. Its genre is what makes this book so fascinating because you get the best aspect of each genre in the book. A dystopian future that is very science fiction with a thrilling mystery.

The writing style really reflects the characters and their personalities. The pace of the story is fast, but it does slow down at many parts to allow the reader a moment to simmer in the moment and to try to catch the hints.
The plot does not feel convoluted or overly complicated considering the world is a complex one. However, there isn't enough world building. The reader gets snippets of the world, but it isn't enough. Each snippet intrigues the reader's interests, but does not elaborate or go into any more details. This lack of world building is what lead me to rate it a 4 our of 5 stars instead of 5. There is a second novel so I'm hoping there's more wording building there.

Overall, Archetype is an exciting mash up of genres that will keep you guessing until the big reveal then leave you wanting more.
Profile Image for Shea.
Author 8 books4,481 followers
July 9, 2013
There are not enough swoon-worthy words to describe the addictiveness of this book!
I felt myself at times holding my breath, terrified by the world that Emma found herself trapped in. The pacing is fierce and at times melodic, so that I lost myself completely within its pages.

This book has all the makings of a best seller. It is like a perfectly blended cocktail; just the right amount of sci-fi, suspense and romance. Undeniably one of the best books of the year!

The sequel, PROTOTYPE, will not arrive soon enough!
Profile Image for mary.
58 reviews33 followers
May 13, 2018
I don‘t understand why this book is so unknown?! I couldn‘t put it down! And it had all the things I need in a book: a big plot twist, interesting characters, romance, sci-fi... Seriously, this book has so much potential and how it ended, aaaah. I NEED to know how this story is going to end!
If you like romance, sci-fi and a kind of unreliable narrator (because she lost her memory), this one‘s for you! Read it! 😄❤️
Profile Image for Rayne ♥.
197 reviews39 followers
Want to read
April 18, 2021
This cover confused me so much. I thought the blue part was a shut eye with a thick eyebrow. I JUST CAN'T UNSEE IT NOW.

I love the premise and title though so this will go on my tbr.

instagram | goodreads
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,179 reviews315 followers
March 11, 2014
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 flavor of it without spoilers.

Archetype also has a love triangle, and shockingly I read it just after another love triangle series that broke me. BUT I liked how this one was set up and handled. It was not about an indecisive girl who can't choose between two hot pining guys (though there are 2 hot guys in this book). The set up is quite intriguing:

Emma Burke wakes up in a hospital not knowing who she is. She has to be told her name and learn simple terms, including what the word husband means when she's introduced to him. Her husband, Declan Burke, tells Emma about their life together, none of which she remembers. But he is kind and patient, and she adores how much he loves her. Slowly, they begin to rebuild their life together.

After an accident that nearly took Emma's life, she's finally on the road to health and the life she wants with the man she's falling in love with (again?). Except Emma keeps having vivid dreams of a completely different life and man. Is she remembering someone else's life? Is it her own? When someone from her dream life appears in her current world, Emma begins to question everything she knows and has been told.

A few specific things about this book:

1) Emma lives in a future world. This book could be labeled somewhere between dystopian and science fiction, but one that is also dangerously realistic. Emma lives in a future version of our world that could be possible if certain elements came to pass. Some things this story deals with are reproductive issues, women's rights and genetics, which all play a serious role in the way this society has been constructed. But there are also fun sci-fi elements like teleporting and cool holograph rooms that help create the flavor of this world.

2) Although dystopian, this is the story of one girl. Archetype is not about a revolution plot to change the society, which it seems characterizes 99% of YA dystopian fiction. Although some larger issues are tackled, Emma's story is the main focus. We follow her personal journey through both books, and I felt so much for her. The information she uncovers and issues she deals with as a result are intense and quite complicated. This is an adult book, and Emma's choices and desires are not always the same as a teen's would be. However, they were themes that I could relate to well.

3) Love triangle. For those of you who dislike these as much as me, I will say that the love triangle is not created just to add tension, but is wrapped up in the mystery of who Emma is and what her dreams really are. It doesn't involve back and forth. It's more of an emotional pulling inside of Emma, and once she makes a decision, she sticks to it. I also thought the direction of the romance was clear, and it resolves itself after book one. When taken over the entire series, it turns into a pretty epic love story.

4) The romantic interests: I really enjoyed figuring out these two characters. Nothing is simple about either of them, and Emma has to decide how what she knows and perceives about them intersects and diverges from the reality. I like when the direction of the romance is clear from the beginning, but I wish we'd been allowed a bit more sympathy for one of the guys. I think it would have made the psychological aspects of the overall story even more complex. Still, the romance and Emma's personal story is intense and knotted, and I enjoyed the entire experience. I also think the way the book ended felt right.

5) Surprising. I thought I knew where this was headed, and though I guessed some things, I was very surprised about others. I enjoyed discovering the story and world along the way. But it does take a fair bit of time to unravel everything, which is one reason why I couldn't put this down. What we find out in the latter part of the book made me think a lot. I just can't even imagine some of the things going on in this world and the way it personally affects the characters.

Love Triangle Factor: High - internally/Mild - actively. I know High is a scary word, but it's direction was never a mystery to me, and it was resolved by the end of the book. It's more of a struggle in Emma's mind and heart, and doesn't involve cheating. Because of that, it wasn't emotionally stressful for me.
Cliffhanger Scale: Low- Medium. Book written as a set. This part of the story is done, but the story flows together in one overall arc.

Find this and other reviews on my blog Love is not a triangle.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,050 followers
February 15, 2014
Publisher summary:
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 of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

This audiobook kept me listening until I finished. Comparisons to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood are unavoidable with this book, but in this world where women are valued and imprisoned in order to bear children, M.D. Waters has also added in an element of romance. This means descriptions of the men Emma is interested in, and sex. I don't mind romance, but I think if I were a woman being controlled and manipulated by men, I would be less obsessed with marriage and sex. But Emma has very little memory, and at first no reason not to trust her husband. All she wants is to get past her accident and back to normal life.

I can't say much more without giving it away, and the best part about the book is how all the details are revealed. Archetype is suspenseful and creepy up until the end, and the end leads nicely into the setup for the next novel (Prototype) while being its own self-contained story.

I enjoy Khristine Hvam as a narrator - I had listened to her performance of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and her voice is well suited to a near-future dystopian romance.
Profile Image for Andye.Reads.
843 reviews431 followers
February 21, 2015
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 loved it, and it didn't come out until Feb, so I bought it. Needless to say, this book was not shelved properly (*waves to chapter 16* O_O ), but I'm so glad that STRAND made this happy mistake.


I like the cover a lot, especially now that I've read it, and it has meaning. In person it's really shiny, so there's that.


The beginning of the story doesn't have a whole lot of action, except for the few dreams that Emma is having. But the end? Yeah. My heart was racing, all the things were happening, my heart was exploding. It was pretty intense, and I absolutely loved it!


This was one of the most bizarre books for me as far as the romance goes. I knew from the synopsis that there was something off about Declan, so I just could never trust him. BUT, I still found myself....feeling like Emma did about him. And in the end, I'm glad that the author was able to do that, because things weren't what I thought. Then there's the addition of mystery man, Noah. I just wanted them to meet and run off into the sunset together...but of course things aren't that easy. Needless to say, things get super steamy (OH YEAH! NOT A TEEN BOOK :P ) and my feelings were just all twisty. It was kind of awesome.


Emma was an interesting heroine because half the book she had no idea who she was, or what was going on in her life. I think I would have liked it if she had taken a little more initiative sooner, trying to learn about her past, but that's just because I wanted to KNOW, and I'm impatient. Once she starts to uncover her past, I really like the glimpses into who she is. I have a feeling she's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the next book!


Who is the hero? Who is the villain? I'm still not even sure. I love complex characters. I love villains who have good in them, and heroes who have a little bad. When you find yourself sympathizing with the one you're supposed to hate, and wanting the punch the one you're supposed to love, you know it's a good story!

Favorite Supporting Character:

That's going to have to be Foster. I adore his personality! I love it when there's a strong male/female friendship. I hope we get to see more of him in book 2.

Something I loved:

I didn't know anything about ARCHETYPE when I picked it up, so I had no expectations. When I first started reading, I told my friend that sometimes you can just tell on the second page that you're going to connect with the writing, and I definitely did.

Something(s) I hated:

There wasn't anything I hated. I think the middle might have moved a little slowly, which some might have a problem with, but I was never bored. I think that has to do with liking the writing so much.


Uh...yeah. Talk about ripping my heart out then leaving me hanging! And that epilogue???

Would I recommend it?

Yes, most definitely (but not to young teens).

Will I buy/keep it?

YES! I already bought it, and it'll find a permanent home on my keeper shelf.

Book Doppelgangers:

Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, Crewel by Gennifer Albin

I can't wait for PROTOTYPE!


Profile Image for Lisa Wolf.
1,620 reviews176 followers
February 6, 2014
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 communicate, and watching a strange man who seems to be consumed by anger and grief. And that’s not all. On the nights without nightmares, there are other dreams: dreams of a beautiful beach, the arms of an unseen lover, and words of undying passion and commitment. And still more: dreams of battle, explosions, weapons, and danger. Are these delusions? Simple nightmares? Products of a damaged brain? Or is Emma starting to remember something — something that her husband wants to keep hidden?

Far be it from me to give anything away — but suffice it to say that all is not as it seems. Archetype takes place a couple of hundred years in the future, in a world quite similar to ours… but with much more pervasive technology, a United States that has divided into two separate countries following a civil war, a fertility crisis resulting in some very paternalistic laws around reproduction, and young women kept in restrictive Women’s Training Centers until age 18, when they are either bought and paid for by wealthy men who want families or assigned to a more menial role of support and subservience.

And yet, Emma’s husband Declan seems to really love her, and lavishes her with affection, patience, gifts, a lovely mountain home, and an art studio in which to pursue her newly awakened compulsion to paint landscapes. Declan is one hot guy, and just happens to be incredibly rich and powerful as well. Emma can’t help but be drawn to him, and there’s a connection between the two that just steams up the pages.

There’s more, lots more, but I absolutely want you all to experience Archetype for yourselves! I gobbled this book up within the space of 24 hours, because I just could not look away. And when I stopped for little things like eating or sleeping, I swear I kept turning over all the puzzles of the plot in my brain. There are so many clues, and so much to tease apart. What really happened to Emma? What do those dreams represent? Can Declan be trusted? Who is the mystery lover that Emma may or may not remember? There’s danger, there’s mystery, there’s passion, and there’s enough new and bizarre medical technology to make a sci-fi geek purr with contentment.

I loved the scientific and medical twists and turns, the strange new world of this alternate America, and of course, I loved Emma herself. She may be confused, but she’s not weak or a pushover, and it’s just thrilling to see her take control and try to outsmart everyone, stay ten steps ahead, and figure out how to survive — all without knowing whether anything she believes about herself or her life is actually true.

Normally, this is where you’d hear me complain about a book with a “to-be-continued” ending. Well, not this time. Yes, Archetype ends with a shocker of a cliffhanger, and yes, I’m dying to know more. But — thank you, thank you, thank you — the sequel, Prototype, will be out in July 2014! Now that’s some smart publishing! Anyone who reads Archetype will be practically salivating over the prospect of a speedy sequel.

Archetype is one crazy roller coaster ride of a thrill, and plenty smart too. Read this book! But be prepared to lose sleep until you get to the very end.

Review copy courtesy of Dutton. This review also posted on Bookshelf Fantasies.
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,468 reviews291 followers
May 6, 2014
“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 human biological structure; though, it virtually has the same concept: fertile women are scarce and portrayed as subservient species in the mercy of powerful, rich men. Young girls were raised in a training camp as good housewives if they were viable to give birth; or learn a trade if they were barren. Regardless, women were used, abused, and in most cases, . This book could've easily been a source of much indignation from readers who have had it with this portrayal of misogynistic arches. Luckily, I am not one of those readers.

Archetype utilizes varied virtual reality scenarios, which puts the readers' imagination into full calisthenics mode. And while the world described in a simulation was easy to conjure, it made for an interesting contrast to the present world the characters inhabit. As much as I'd love to say this didn't present any problem for me at all, I would be lying. The truth is, some of these simulations confused me. Suffice it to say, this is the only flaw I could fault this novel. Otherwise, it's by far, one of the best books I've read this year!

Emma Burke struggled to find purchase in the world where her memories dictated the pace of discovering her identity. It led to some disturbing nightmares - both in waking moments or asleep. She struggled to reconcile the reality that was being presented to her with the man who claimed to be her husband, and the man in her dreams. The beauty of this puzzling piece is that the readers would be wholly immersed in its mysteries; heck, the entire novel would take you on a fact-finding mission that was breathtaking as it was engrossing. As a reader who finds no love, rhyme, or reason for love triangles, this book features one that was unconventional. It worked; it wasn't maddening. It was reasonable due to the fact that Emma didn't purposely sought out to enter a relationship with such complications. Simply put, she was not aware that she was in one.

Readers would find the submissive Emma a little off-putting at first, but she becomes stronger as she learns more about herself.

To summarize, words cannot express how desperately I want you all to read this book. If there ever is a book that I have wanted to re-read soon after I was finished, Archetype, is it. The layers of mysteries would have you hooked, as would the revelation of the real romance towards the end. This is a well-crafted novel that successfully combined Science Fiction, Romance, Mystery and Suspense. If this is not a buffet, then it is a feast to the reader's imagination at the very least.

On a personal note, I broke down and re-activate an Edelweiss account that I haven't used since perhaps, two years ago. Rachel of Readers' Den told me the sequel is available for request. There is NOTHING. NOTHING that I wouldn't do to read that book right away.

Profile Image for Mitchii.
802 reviews259 followers
January 13, 2014
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 from what she dreams. Until she met people who accused of her things; things that she still doesn’t remember. Things she can’t believe she did. Or she can actually do. And then there’s Noah Tucker who she feels familiar to her. Like the man on her dreams where she was in Mexico and supposedly in love with this person. And now she’s starting to question, when her dreams is starting to paint a picture of who she really was, and when she found out the truth it was neither what they told her—about herself.

It’s not just the story of a woman with no memories and her journey to recall them. That’s not all this book is about. There’s more to that but of course I’m very hung up on her finding about her lost memories, and to know who among those people are actually telling her the truth. You cannot paint the characters here in one color. Like for example, Declan, I’m very much passed my judgment on him. Despite the summary claiming him as Emma’s husband, I very much know that there’s a lot going on with this guy. And they’re not all good. But then again I remember her time with him; he was very attentive husband, and sometimes, for me, it felt like it wasn’t just a front. And his scientific quest on ceasing infertility and his principles behind it? Yes, the guy cannot be judged by one aspect alone.

And there's Noah Tucker who seemed to be at first the bad guy, who sometimes emitted like he was mad at her; only for me to find out who he really was to her. But the biggest shocker was Emma’s persona. After she retrieved her long lost memories and she found the truth about herself, it was really shocking to say the least. I didn’t expect it, what a freaking twist.

My little gripe is the slow pacing of the story. It was only past halfway through when things started to roll. It took her long enough to process all the information, started questioning (and doubting) and most importantly keen for answers. But since the later parts were exclusively entertaining and very much interesting that I’m going to overlook it. Yeah, those interesting bits compensate the lack of thrill for the first half.

Oh man, the epilogue is reeling me to read the sequel already. After knowing how Emma survived and now in this situation, I wasn’t shocked that Declan managed to do the same thing. And now I was wondering and very much interested to know on his plans. No wonder there wasn’t any sense of chaos in the company he left behind. And with that I’m super ready for Prototype.

I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.


See original post here @ Aeropapers
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