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Archetype by M.D. Waters eARC {4 Stars}

Archetype by M.D. Waters is a chilling tale of a future where control over fetus’ genders led to a shortage of woman, prompting companies to start looking into dark alternatives. Archetype is completely from Emma’s perspective after she wakes up with no memory and no idea who this man calling himself her husband is. Between the voices in Emma’s head, the creepy doctors who refuse to tell her how her accident happened, and the awesome sci-fi technology, Archetype is an excellent adult sci-fi to check out this year!

Note: I received an eARC of Archetype through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Archetype by M.D. Waters eARC {4 Stars}

Archetype by M. D. Waters (Archetype #1)
Published by Dutton Adult on Feb. 6th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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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. . . .

4 Stars


  • Let me just start by saying that the writing of Archetype is simply beautiful. Emma’s thoughts are perfectly phrased to make me believe that she is relearning how to speak and interact with the world. Archetype is a book that I just straight up enjoyed reading without even starting to discuss the awesome plot and characters.
  • Just enough detail is given in Archetype for us to wonder what the hell is going on right alongside Emma and the mysteries keep piling up for a while. Emma has dreams that couldn’t possibly be memories and a voice in her head that seems to be from a very different person than who Emma is. I starting guessing immediately but I wasn’t quite right and just loved finding out with Emma what was really going on.
  • While we don’t get to see a lot of the world, the bits and pieces that Emma is told about paint a clear picture of a dystopian world that is actually fairly plausible. Additionally, the technological innovations that are included are pretty fun ;-).
  • Oh Emma, my dear dear Emma. You are such an awesome main character for Archetype and I’m so so sorry that all these horrible things happened to you! I felt for Emma hardcore and loved finding out more about who she was before her “accident.”
  • I am a big believer in sci-fi being used to ask tough philosophical questions and attempt to start answering those questions. Archetype does this in a shocking way and I’m still trying to come up with an answer (good thing there is a second book coming!).


  •  Archetype got slow at times. There is a lot of time where Emma is still trying to put the pieces of her mind back together and so no action is taking place. Archetype is definitely a book to pick up when you’re ready for a slower plot but beautiful writing.
  • Gah, the epilogue annoyed me. Of course I can’t go into many details, but it didn’t really seem to fit the story and is clearly there to lead in to the second book.
  • I still have some questions regarding the voice in Emma’s head, since it didn’t seem to fit in with the big reveal. Perhaps we’ll get more details in the next book, but it seems unlikely given where things ended.


I have it on good authority that Archetype is great for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale ;-). Archetype is definitely an adult sci-fi with a more classic feel to it, though I think that the mystery surrounding Emma could pull in any sci-fi lover.

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya


 Archetype by M. D. Waters

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    Oh, this sounds really interesting! Kind of scary in a way because if we ever had the ability to choose our children’s gender in utero, this could really happen. Well, something similar. There are a lot of cultures that want boys to carry on family names, even if it’s ridiculously common (seriously, my husband wanted a boy badly and would have kept having kids until he got one to carry on his last name, which is Allen, so super common!)

    I am also ashamed of not having read The Handmaiden’s Tale. I want to, I really do! I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

  2. So glad you liked it, Anya :-) I’ve not read Atwood either but I’ve planned to for ages. Not sure when I’ll get around to it. You’ll have to let me know how Prototype is!

    • I know the feeling! I totally will, it’s so hard to resist reading it immediately even though I have so many other books that I’m excited for too, haha

  3. After hearing such high praise for you and Krys, I’ll definitely be picking this one up! Thanks for the awesome review!
    -Scott Reads It!
    Scott Pilgrim recently posted…Let The Storm Break by Shannon MessengerMy Profile

  4. You liked this one more than I did but we both agree on the epilogue. It seemed liked it was either written after as a request or stuck in there to make sure you knew there was going to be a second book. I just didn’t connect with the characters. That being said I did think the writing and story crafting were done really well.
    Felicia S (The Geeky Blogger) recently posted…Snagged @ The Library: Joe Hill, Jenn Bennett, Betty HechtmanMy Profile

    • I completely wasn’t expecting that epilogue, gah! I think I really like this kind of storytelling where the MC doesn’t really know what is going on and we find out with her ya know?

  5. I loved this book. Like you, I can’t wait for the next one. I’m really happy that they are both released this year, so the wait time is as little as possible.
    Sarah recently posted…A Taste Fur MurderMy Profile

  6. Comparisons to Atwood huh? That will lead to either a lot of impressed readers or lots of shaking of the head. Tough billing to live up to.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘Blood Oranges’ by Kathleen TierneyMy Profile

    • Agreed, though my friend who loves Atwood also absolutely adored this one, so I’m hoping it’ll go well. I’m embarrassed that I haven’t actually read Handmaid’s Tale so I can’t say from first hand knowledge D:


  1. […] by M.D. Waters is the sequel to Archetype and continues the wonderful mixture of romance and sci-fi that I loved in the first book! There […]

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