Review: Archetype and Antitype (novella) by M.D. Waters

archetype_waters_plumeArchetype is a sci-fi dystopian novel with memory loss, romance, a resistance movement, and a strong heroine. It is an excellent book and a new personal favorite.

Any review I would write at this point will not do it justice, and would be difficult to write without spoilers. So instead, here is a list of a few things I usually dislike in books and why I felt they worked in Archetype:
First Person Narrative – I cannot imagine this book being told as effectively from another POV.

Love Triangles – This did not seem to be the typical love triangle, and was quite understandable. Noah and Declan both had their appeal, as well as their dark sides.

Infidelity – If you are married to one man, are you being unfaithful to another husband you only “remember” in dreams? An interesting question in the context of this book.

Cliffhangers – Room is definitely left for a sequel, and tension is built for that sequel in the epilogue. What made it work for me is that it was something that I had thought should happen. It was one of those moments where you want to shout “YES!” in a movie theater, but don’t…

Comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale – So, usually this would kill my interest in a book, but I have a bit of a fascination for tales of memory loss/regain and the synopsis intrigued me. In this case, the comparison is well deserved. I do not recall ever reading another book which matches the atmospheric feel so well.

Oh, and spoilers. I accidentally read one word – ONE WORD! – in a review which spoiled a very important revelation for me. This made the reveal a bit anti-climactic, but did not truly lessen how good this book is.

Archetype is the first book in a duology. The second is Prototype, which I hope to read soon. I reviewed the prequel novella, Antitype, on GoodReads and here is what I said (with minor revision):

antitype_waters_penguinA prequel novella that does a great job of giving a picture of what made Noah and Declan the men they are in Archetype, flipping back and forth between two seemingly unrelated storylines (and POV’s).

Not a standard beginning-middle-end storyline, Antitype is each man’s narrative of the pivotal four months prior to each meeting Emma. As explained in the book’s description, they come from very similar backgrounds and each has a set idea of what they want out of life, but end up in very different positions by the end of the novella.

This will leave you wanting to read more but slightly conflicted about one of these men if you have read Archetype (which I highly recommend). Well worth the $1.99 (plus tax) on Amazon’s US site.

The above review/list for Archetype was originally posted on GoodReads in October 2014 and has been slightly edited. It refers to a free paperback copy I received, in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of the publisher through the GoodReads First Reads program. And honestly, this one cost me some sleep and interfered with my focus at work, as two nights (actually, early mornings) in a row I had to stop reading at pivotal points and could not stop thinking about them the following day.

Archetype by M.D. Waters (384pgs) was published by Dutton as a hardback and Plume as a paperback, Antitype (92pgs print) was published by Dutton as an e-book, all in 2014.


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