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Monday, September 15, 2014

Archetype a Taut, Twisty Genre Mash-up

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When 26-year-old Emma Burke awakes in a hospital with only the foggiest of memories to keep her company, her doctor explains that she's been in a horrible accident.  Because of her injuries, she can't remember the most mundane things—like her husband.  Declan tells her stories about how they met, fell in love, and lived happily ever after, but they might as well be fairy tales.  These beloved memories should feel familiar, but they don't.  Not at all.  The strange dreams that fill her nights seem more real.  But, they project impossible images, false memories of violence, a camp where young girls are trained to be perfect wives, and her love for a man who is not Declan.  Emma can't make any sense of anything.  She should be able to confide in her husband as well as her doctor, Declan's trusted friend—if it weren't for the warning voice screaming in her head, maybe she would.

Meeting Noah Tucker, the head of a security company engaged by Declan, changes everything for Emma.  She's almost positive he's the man in her dreams—the one who makes every nerve ending in her body tingle with joy—so why is he trying to kill her? 

More confused than ever, Emma must decide who to believe—her husband or the man who haunts her dreams.  The story Noah tells her feels nearly as false as the one Declan has spun.  Which version of her life is the true one?  Both?  Neither?  Who is Emma Burke, really?  The more she learns about herself, the more horrified she becomes ...

It's tough to describe Archetype, a debut novel by M.D. Waters, without throwing spoilers all over the place.  Suffice it to say, the story's a taut, twisty genre mash-up (sci fi/psychological thriller; romance; dystopian-ish) that will keep you guessing.  Or maybe you'll have it all figured out by the second chapter.  Even then, I dare say, you'll keep reading.  Because, whatever else Archetype may be, it's an edge-of-your-seat, mind-bending adventure that will leave you clamoring for a sequel (good news: Prototype came out in July).  

(Readalikes:  Prototype by M.D. Waters; also reminded me of Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Archetype from the generous folks at Penguin/Dutton.  Thank you!
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows



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