Review: Archetype by M.D. Waters

Posted March 11th, 2014 in book review / 20 comments


Archetype Series #1

by M.D. Waters

Publisher: Dutton Adult (Feb 2014)
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Adult
Format: eARC (384 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (Edelweiss) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★☆ (4 stars)

Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories 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. . . .

At A Glance
I almost gave up on this book in the beginning, then the half way mark hit and I was obsessed!

The Good
I actually felt refreshed after reading Archetype. Finally, something different. Well, at first it seems like it’s the same ol’ dystopian, but this book has so many more layers to be peeled. Every time you think you have it all figured out, BAM, Waters takes a hard right. There were so many twists and turns it was exhilarating. I want book two, NOW!

Emma struggled so much between the life she has been told to live and the one she remembers in her dreams. I felt for her as she tried to decide which one to believe. But I loved how she kept her calm and always ended up making the right decisions, even if they hurt. We meet Emma when she is weak and fragile, but she grows into this strong, fierce warrior that I felt proud of. I just wish she had more luck with the fellas. She deserves someone who loves her for who she really is.

Declan was a hard nut to crack. I always felt iffy about him but he did really care for Emma, it was obvious. He just didn’t know how to show it in the right way. He was a product of his upbringing, that’s all I can say. But it was Noah who showed deep passion that made me sit up and take notice. He started out wanting to kill Emma (long story). He was cranky and rude most of the time. But once you find out why he acts the way he does, it all made sense. He is a very deep guy who only wants the women he loves back.

The writing was beautiful and it flowed well. I loved the imagery and excellent characterization. The mystery was the best part. I never quite knew what the hell was going on, which made Archetype was hard to put down. And the cliffhanger was effing killer. I am so sad but so excited for the next book.

The Bad
The biggest thing I didn’t like about this book was the first half. It wasn’t bad necessarily, it was just a little boring and dragged the book down. I felt like I was waiting forever for something exciting to happen.

I also wish there was more world-building. It didn’t bother me while reading, but after the fact, I realized I still didn’t understand this world all that much.

The Snuggly
I loved how different the romance was. First we have Emma and Declan. We know Declan is hiding things, even Emma knows that, but she can’t help but fall for him as each day passes. He makes her feel wanted. Then we have Noah. He is rough and mean, but he plays a very important part in Emma’s past. Slowly, she starts to love him, but does he share those feelings? Things get more complicated, and often worse, as the story goes on. This is not a normal romance, which made it more perfect.

There is some sex, but it’s not very detailed. It just hits the edge of YA appropriate but leans more toward new adult.

Final Thoughts
If not for the slow, draggy beginning, this would have been a five star book, that’s how awesome the rest of it was. I feel like I might have found a new series to obsessed over. Highly recommended.

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.

“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.”

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.”

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.”

book review

, , , , , ,

20 Responses to “Review: Archetype by M.D. Waters”

  1. Melanie

    I really hate books that are slow and boring but I’m glad that this one was worth it in the long run! I love the first sentence of the synopsis–it got me pretty interested in this book.

    Lovely review, Jennifer! <33

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    The first part that was dragged was it world-building? I am so glad it picked up for you and I am loving all the twists. I may pick this one up.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      It dragged because nothing was happening except Emma “recovering” in a hospital. For half the book she is in a hospital/facility getting better from her “accident.”

  3. Braine TS

    First half: World building and less character drive can do this.

    It seems you’re acclimated now, from the looks of things, book 2 might be better.

  4. Christy @ Love of Books

    I’ve read a few books lately that I almost DNFd, but got way better halfway through. That kind of bothers me, because I want to enjoy he whole thing, not just have a good payoff for my struggles. This sounds different and interesting, though.

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m glad you kept with this one, Jennifer. 🙂 I like the sound of ‘layers’ – that’s always good in a story. And Emma seems like a great heroine. I’m happy that she showed such growth. Declan sounds kinda awkward but Noah piqued my interest. 🙂 I’m glad you ended up liking Archetype so well, especially after the rocky start. Excellent review!

Leave a Reply