Pop Culture Princess

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

M.D. Waters builds a new Archetype for sci-fi suspense

In M.D. Waters' debut novel Archetype, we first met our heroine Emma as she lies in recovery at a hospital in a futuristic America that is seemingly run only by men.

Her personal physician,Dr. Travista and the man claiming to be her husband,Declan Burke,inform her  that she's been in a terrible accident which also caused the loss of her memories. Emma is willing to believe them yet has nagging doubts that she keeps to herself at the insistence of another persona called Her.

Emma has no recollection of her past,yet her frightening dreams appear to be memories that perhaps belong to the other Her,visions of being suspended in water in a different recovery room as well as spending her youth in a "women's training center" where young girls are rounded up to be sold as fertile mates to the highest bidder:

While Emma receives love and encouragement in her new found talent as a painter from Declan,both he and Dr. Travista are still not willing to tell her everything about her "accident" or share much of what is happening in the outside world.

Via her memory dreams and some limited inaction with another female patient,Emma learns that the part of America she lives in has a desperately low birth rate and that that women in this society are only valued by their ability to have children. Women are expected to accept their roles assigned to them by the male ruling class,who are at war with opposing forces in

 Men in positions of power like Declan are seeking a cure for infertility yet all the while turning the most viable birth mothers into their personal chattel,even branding those "wives" with a particular mark that labels them as taken. Emma,however, has no such marking and wonders how that happened as well as why her supposed love match with Declan is hard for her to recall. More disturbing is the need to play the part of the good little wife,not only for Declan but suspicious others as well at the behest of Her:

Emma's guilt at having to deceive Declan is made worse by constant memories of being in love with another man,Noah,who was her husband in a life where she was a rebel leader fighting along side him.

She even finds herself falling in love with Declan,who declares undying affection for her and persists in saying she has always been his wife. With such a mental war raging on within her,Emma becomes even more conflicted as certain freedoms granted to her are bringing her in contact with those who clearly know her from a time before.

While she is so unsure of who and what she is,Emma does know one thing and that is her "accident" was no accident;more than likely it was an injury sustained in battle with the real enemy:

With such different versions of her past life being offered to her, can Emma discover which one is true before all of her choices for the present and future are wiped away from her?

M.D. Waters(the m stands for Misty) makes quite an engaging debut as she mixes romantic suspense with sci-fi in a blend that slowly becomes an intensely emotional ride. In many ways, Archetype is like an old fashioned roller-coaster with it's steady climb up with the characters and situation until they reach a point where they take off at breakneck speed.

Waters develops Emma as an understandably frustrated person at first and as she goes forth in her brave new world of sorts, she becomes more complex and relatable as the story goes on. The dystopian elements of the plot are nicely handled, with no risk of overwhelming the true focus on Emma and her inner/outer struggles. I can truly say that Archetype is a real page turner and yes, I did stay up late at night to finish it. That was time well spent,in my opinion and hopefully your reading experience here will be the same.

Archetype is being released this week and should be a welcome relief from the bitter blasts of this wintery season. Things will be far warmer by the time the follow-up to this book,Prototype, hits the shelves this July. Seeing how Emma's true self comes together promises to be a real blockbuster entertainment worth waiting for:


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