Digital copy provided by Penguin’s First to Read Program. This review is my honest opinion.
ar•che•type noun ˈär-ki-ˌtīp
: a perfect example of something
Sometimes the hardest books to review are the ones that you’ve enjoyed the most and this stunning debut novel by M.D. Waters is just that kind of a book. Archetype
tells the story of Emma, when she wakes up in a hospital with no memories to guide her on and an uncanny voice inside her head warning not to trust her current reality.
On a quest to recover her memories, know her identity, and claim her life Emma struggles to figure out whom to believe or trust. Between her disquieting doctor and seemingly devoted husband – Declan, she slowly falls into the role of a perfect wife. But even as she begins to fall in love with Declan her senses are telling her to run. And her unease over the accident that stripped her of her memories grows stronger by the day. Through short glimpses and dreams she begins to piece together the puzzle that is her past, but only more questions continue to arise. What truth are they hiding from her? And what is she to make of her disconcerting dreams and the man who fills them.
Similar to The Handmaid’s Tale
, in Emma’s world women are scarce and still less fertile, they are treated as precious commodities, spending their youth in camps learning to become future wives of those fortunate enough to afford them. Yet, the world of Archetype
is not simply black and white. Suspenseful and emotional, Emma’s struggle to gain independence as well as he memories only begins the slow unraveling of this dystopia. And as the puzzle pieces begin to fall together Emma has to tread carefully without revealing too much of her true feelings.Archetype
is a perfect example of a well crafted novel: part sci-fi, part dystopia, with a dash of romance, and just enough mystery to propel the story. Without the burden of heavy world building which becomes slowly unveiled through Emma’s perspective, a great deal of time is spent on development of these multifaceted characters. By the end, there is no question that we should root for Emma, but separating the hero from the villain might be another question…Recommended