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Archetype [Hardcover]

M. D. Waters
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.90
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books (6 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525954236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525954231
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 650,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Emma awakes in a hospital bed. She has no memories at all. She cannot even remember the man who leans over her, tells her that she's been in an accident, that he loves her, that she is his wife. She is tied down - to protect herself - and subjected to numerous tests until Emma finally begins to accept that the man, Declan, is her husband and that she is falling in love with him. He courts her all over again, very slowly reintroducing her to their beautiful home, encouraging her to paint, while guiding her through this unfamiliar world of transporter tubes, rooms with wondrous, holographic displays, even highly evolved monitoring systems. For this is the future. A time when America has been divided into two by war, when women are few and mostly infertile and when young girls are enclosed in WTCs (Women's Training Centers) until a suitable husband is found to claim them and, hopefully, impregnate them.

Written in the first person, Archetype gives us Emma's journey to self-awareness in her own words. Matters are complicated, though, by another voice in her head. Someone that Emma identifies as `Her' tells Emma to fight back, not to accept Declan and to remember the people who suffered for her. Flashbacks and dreams are scattered throughout, frightening Emma with nightmares, showing her the faces of strangers who seem to know Emma more than she knows herself. And when one of them turns up, the pace of Emma's `recovery' quickens and the walls begin to close in.

Archetype is the first of two novels (the second is Prototype published this summer) but it is a complete story in itself. The heart of the novel belongs firmly to Emma and Declan and so it's these two characters that we get to know more than anyone else.
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Emma Burke has amnesia, and in science fiction that can only mean one thing: her memory has seemingly been erased, because nothing is ever an accident. But fragments are returning: times of relationship bliss, dangerous teenage years, and a revolutionary career. But these go against what she's been told, so Emma must sort fact from fiction.

I love the pants off ARCHETYPE. This is science fiction how I like it - Earth-based and futuristic. Advanced technologies, hidden agendas, and psychological examination colour this world with disturbing symbols and fascinating details. But the best, gob-smacking elements are spoilers, so we shan't speak of them. The unravelling is a delight, and had me binge-reading. I adore this debut! The sequel, PROTOTYPE, is on my wishlist. Unfortunately, the digital-only prequel novella, ANTITYPE, is geo-restricted, so I can't buy or read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read 8 Mar 2014
*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin/Dutton and M.D. Waters*

Emma wakes in a hospital with no memories which her husband tells her is a result of an accident.
As Emma settles into her life as the wife of Declan, a powerful man, she starts having dreams of a training camp for women, war and another man. A man that she calls husband but is not Declan.
In love with Declan, Emma must decide who to trust and learn the truth.

Up until 75% this was a 3.5 star book for me but the last 25% gripped me and I didn't want to put it down or for it to end.
Emma was a good protagonist and I enjoyed reading as she struggled with who to trust.
The storyline was intriguing and I didn't guess the big twist.
I can't wait for the sequel - especially after that epilogue!
A very good read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ARCHETYPE, M.D. Waters – Book Review 9 Feb 2014
‘I will do whatever it takes’

I can verify that “Archetype” is in fact breathtaking and very very very inventive, and if you read the book and find this to be a lie feel free to send me the most insulting email you can think up. It’s set in future USA at a time when the world we know has long been dead. We are introduced to a woman, who I got to like pretty fast and her devoted, (HOT) and loving husband and she appears to have quite the life. The key word there is “appear”. “Archetype” is about the remarkable Emma Burke trying to piece back her life, trying to figure out what is real and what is not. That is all I am saying because spoiling this book for anyone would just be cruel.

... read the rest of this review at ... [...]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  123 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Futuristic Sci-Fi Thriller... 6 Feb 2014
By The Life & Times of a Book Addict - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
What can I say about Archetype? The premise sounded interesting when I first read it. I mean I thought that I would like it, but I was unprepared for how much I ended up enjoying it. Even when I put the book down to go about my day, I was still thinking about the story and its characters. I loved it.

Emma is a 26 year old woman who lives in a world were roughly a hundred years ago a war erupted. Women in the west are free to live their life whereas women who live in the east like Emma are few and far between. Women are only considered worth marrying if they are fertile and men are desperate to claim and manipulate them.

Emma is such a fighter. I loved that about her. She goes along with some things, but she does ask questions and she is relentless when it comes to finding out about her past and who she is.

Just when I thought I knew what was going on or what was about to happen, turned out I was wrong. I think that is the re-occurring theme in this book. Expect the unexpected. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me on my toes. I don’t want to reveal too much, because this is a book where you will want to discover things for yourself.

Archetype is the very first futuristic science fiction suspense/thriller story-line that I have ever read. I am glad I decided to try something a little new and different. Everything flowed at a great pace. The flashbacks of Emma’s past and the goings-on of her present didn't confuse me even a little bit and I enjoyed getting to know Emma’s life. Pieces were sprinkled in, little by little until I began to see the bigger picture. And that ending? Left me wanting more…like now. Thankfully the second and last book in this series, Prototype releases July 24, 2014. Not too long of a wait.

Readers who enjoy Futuristic Sci-Fi Thrillers will like this one.

**I received this book on behalf of the Publisher in exchange for nothing but my honest opinion.**
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Romance set to Science Fiction - hard to decide if three or four stars 12 Feb 2014
By Shawn Carroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I’ve been reading SF for a long time, and since I started reading with my father’s collection, which also went back a fair length of time, I’ve been reading stories from essentially the 1930’s and later, with the exception of some classics from even earlier. So I’m biased. I’ve “read it before.” So I won’t excuse clever writing that skips all of the other elements of good writing, as there are plenty of stories that do both well. Even more germane to this novel, I am biased against amnesia/regaining memory and time travel stories. Both are absolutely some of my favorites when done properly. The problem is that most of the time these plot devices are done shoddily and as excuses for flaws in the story development.

These story deals with the amnesia side of things, and unlike the hideous way it was handled in the recent Scorch Trials series, this handles it in an intriguing way. Once you get about two-thirds of the way through the book, you end up witha nicely done explanation. It’s hard slogging through the first third or so of the book. The story is told from the amnesiac’s viewpoint, and since her world is confusing and disjointed, yours is too. Plus there are these confusing flashbacks she keeps having that indications much of what those around her are telling her are leaving out all kinds of critical information to manipulate her, when they aren’t outright lies.

The problem is that the contradictions have terrible implications, and she cannot ask anyone exactly what her life was before the “accident” everyone keeps telling her caused her amnesia. There’s more to this, as in the first 10 pages or so she begins to have internal dialogs with a voice inside of her, that she realizes is part of her, yet seems to be more connected to the missing chunks of her lie. It’s an interesting plot conceit, and works because of the structure of the story.

The world itself is a plausible dystopian future, and in fact its weakest part come more from the science than the amnesia. There are teleportation tubes and widespread surveillance technology, and bluntly I’ve seen the implications handled much more adroitly than this novel. The teleportation tubes become a somewhat irritating plot device, and become one of those elements that become more of an excuse for the author to move things along and keep herself from getting caught in narrative dead ends. She hasn’t thought through all the other implications of these devices, and since the SF Great Larry Niven did a spectacular job with this over 40 years ago, I’m not exactly thrilled with this. You can also make the same observation about the surveillance technology. Bluntly, the British are already close to where the level in this story. It’s sort of like the computers in the original Star Trek. The technology feels more like a story set less than a generation in the future, and not even close to that in a world with widespread teleportation booths.

The characterizations are the best part of the story, IF you can last through the first part of the novel which drags a bit. Emma becomes a deeper, more complex, and sympathetic character and more fleshed out as her memories come back, which does make sense, especially towards the end of the novel when you find out the big plot twist. This is timed nicely to her recovering memories, and is definitely better handled than the majority of the stories that use this technique. While there’s not a lot of it, there is some fairly torrid romance and graphic sex scenes. They are critical to the plot, and are a very necessary element for the building tension and developments in the latter half of the book. Some parents may have issues with this if they have teenagers. However, by the time many teenagers are in high school they know this stuff anyway. I would definitely not recommend this for precocious middle schoolers.

All of the other major characters are male. They occupy the positions of power, and the reasons for this are gradually revealed as you read the book. Besides the medical director of the facility where Emma wakes up, the other two men who are part of Emma’s life past or present are both slightly older, trim, hunky, passionate types. Since the same holds true in the opposite direction in much of the SF written by men, it’s nice to see it looked at from the other side. It is definitely a romance, and in fact I would state the romance is a bigger element than the hard science side of things. Not a bad read, and I may follow up with the sequel, as it’s intriguing enough for me to see how Emma’s story develops.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Sci-Fi Romance! 12 Mar 2014
By R. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Seduce my mind and you can have my body, find my soul and I’m yours forever.—Anonymous

Archetype 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, another man who scares her, she dreams of happy times on the beach in the arms of a man who she desperately loves, and 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.

Archetype 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 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 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.
86 of 110 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 50 Shades of Nay 7 Mar 2014
By Daniel Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
From a full disclosure point of view, before taking a much less enthusiastic point of view than the clear cut majority opinion here: I'm male, north of 60, and a very long-time sci-fi buff. That is to say, an outlier from the demographic that loves this novel.

Archetype is an uneasy blend of the type of novel with the bare-chested Fabio and a gauzily clad woman on the cover (a genre sometimes called vaginal romance) and juvenile science fiction with an astoundingly tenuous connection to credibility. The protagonist, in prior reviews, has been called a heroine and an action hero, but seems to have only one superpower: the ability to swoon in the presence of men with strong jawlines and well-defined musculature. What could have been a strong female character, think Sigourney Weaver in Alien, ends up coming across more like an adolescent Meg Ryan whose mother has just taken away her cell phone. My god, the whining. Endless.

So, to keep this short, if you LIKE steamy romance novels (yep, I've read a few), you'll like this book, which has virtually every single trope used in the genre, with the exception of the phrase "heaving loins" (though loins do heave in this tale). It's a good beach read. If you're a feminist, I recommend pre-medicating with an anti-nausea medication before cracking the cover. If you demand anything more from your science fiction/fantasy novels than is offered up by young adult tales of werewolves and vampires (yeah, I watched those movies, too), keep your finger far away from the "Buy It Now" button. Katniss (of Hunger Games) wouldn't waste an arrow on the semi-heroine of this book, she'd take her down with a stern glare, which would cause our "action hero" Emma Wade to have one of her many cardiac dysrhythmias, or her several episodes of "literally" doing something not at all possible to do in the literal sense. There's a sequel to this book. Terrifying notion.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great First book 3 Mar 2014
By Amy Softa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
First off I should probably say that I won this book from Penguin Books First to Read program. I bid on several books, but am SO glad I was given this one to read. Now on to the review.

The story was well written and had plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. You are in Emma's head and know nothing of the world only to learn how things work along the way with her. Through about half of the book we have two Emmas, one brand new to the world and one that has her memory but is locked inside the new Emma, but once she starts to learn the truth of her situation her personality blends into one and we lose the duel Emmas. She is a strong character that is torn between the lies and truth. She doesn't know who to believe, trust or love. She is torn between Declan and Noah, and even after finishing the book I am too. I know one of them, hell both of them have done things to make them the 'bad guy' depending on your p.o.v., but still a part of me wants both of them to win. From what I learned in another series there is always three sides to every story, yours, theirs and the truth that lies someplace in the middle. Both men are a product of their environments and the world they live in and I am not ready to condemn either one of them just yet. I want to know more.

This was great, and what a cliffhanger at the end, definitely going to be keeping an eye out for the next book. About half way through the book I had to look up the author's page on Goodreads to see what else she had written. Was surprised to see this is her first book! Then I looked at her read book list and compared books, 72% of the same titles read for what we rated. No wonder I loved this story. I am definitely a fan and am going to be recommending this one to my friends. The book reminded me of The Handmaiden's Tale and many of the dystopian novels that are popular in the YA books, but this one is written for adults. Not that I don't think some mature younger readers won't enjoy it as well.

Bottom line, it is a great story that brings up some interesting ideas about society and control and what is acceptable for the greater good. It has plenty of intrigue, romance and plot twists. It moves at a good pace and kept me reading when I should have been doing something else. Thank you for the excellent read Ms. Waters, I can't wait to read more.
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