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.
Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.
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. . . .
Archetype by M.D. Waters is not only a thrilling début in the new adult genre but it is also a pretty compelling science fiction read. While it is certainly not the first book to feature a world where there is a shortage of one sex; in this case there is a shortage of women it is the first book that I’ve read that addresses the question of what if there was a shortage of women.
I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction but I like that writers in this genre can explore different possibilities while setting the story in a world that bears some resemblance to ours in present day which is what Waters does in this book. For instance in the book there is something called the Women Training Centre (WTC) where girls are “trained” to be wives. For some reason this reminded me of an article I read where young girls were taken away to be “educated” on how to provide “pleasure” for their future husbands. Though Archetype is a work of fiction, some of the elements in the book such as the restrictions women face are actually a reality in some parts of the world today. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but Archetype was a book that really made me stop and think all while making me appreciate the advantages I have living where I do.
In M.D. Waters ‘ Archetype, the protagonist is a woman named Emma who wakes up with no memories of who she is or how she got to where she is. The book starts off a bit slowly as Emma tries to adjust to her surroundings and make sense of things which meant there was more showing than telling. The writing at first takes a bit of time to get used to as it can be a bit disorienting as a reader has to make sense of the of the flashbacks in addition to a voice in Emma’s head that tells her things that contradict what her current situation shows the reader and what the people around Emma including her husband, “Declan” tell her. However once I was able to sort through the story, it became evident that Waters has created such a complex world as well as a very interesting a back-story for Emma. Waters has put a lot of thought into the world building as the descriptions of everything are all so vivid and beautiful. The action scenes while short are thrilling and very fast paced. Overall the writing was probably one of the most appealing things in this book for me; that and the cover of the book which is pretty much the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. It really represents the theme of the book well, and it does a fantastic job of showing the significance of water in the book.
Emma as a protagonist was easy to root for though initially she was a rather passive character as she was still getting used to everything. Over time as I got to know her better both through her current thoughts and actions as well as through her flashbacks, I became sympathetic to her plight and situation. She made it easy to root for her, and I was actually happy with the decision she made in the end. Though now I’m torn about whether or not to pick up the sequel as I was actually pretty happy with how Archetype ended. I will probably pick it up because I do want to know more about the resistance movement as well as the backgrounds of some of the other characters like Noah who I felt like I didn’t really get a chance to fall in love with in Archetype.
Though the story and ending was kind of predictable, Archetype was still an enjoyable read. In my opinion it does a good job of being both a new adult book as well as science fiction/dystopia read. Just keep in mind that Archetype is a new adult novel meaning there is some mature themes and scenes that may be more suited to an older audience other than that I would definitely suggest picking up this book if you already a fan of the dystopia and/or science fiction genre in YA or adult fiction.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.