Archetype by MD Waters

February 6, 2014 Dystopian, Women's Studies 14

How Goes it Bookworms?

I’m doing just fine myself. You know. Not having been bought, sold, or otherwise manhandled has made my life pretty darn sweet. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of my basic human rights not being violated. I’m not sure what it says about me as a person that I really dig dystopian fiction, because they are all up in the human rights violations. A few weeks ago I received a pitch in my email for a new novel called Archetype by MD Waters. *Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The price of my integrity is significantly higher than the purchase price of a book, my friends.*

archetypeI went into this novel with a boatload of skepticism because it was pitched to fans of The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t think I put too many authors up on a pedestal, but Margaret Atwood? Yep, she’s on the pedestal next to the bust of Jane Austen, my Alice in Wonderland teapots, and Alfred, my penguin butler. (Alright, I don’t actually own a bust of Jane Austen, but you get my point, right?) It’s awfully bold to compare someone to the likes of Atwood, so my snarky eyebrows were fully engaged.

Emma Burke wakes up in a hospital not having any idea who she is or how she came to be there. She is slowly rehabilitated by a team of doctors and her doting husband Declan. All seems to be going swimmingly, as Emma is falling in love with her husband all over again.

Except for those pesky nightmares. Emma is having freaky specific dreams. Dreams where she’s suspended in a giant vial of fluid. Dreams where she’s having romantic interludes with a handsome stranger on a beach. Dreams where she’s imprisoned in a camp where women are being trained to become wives…

As a bonus, Emma fixatest on Indigo flowers. Apparently "true indigo" doesn't have blue flowers but "false indigo" does. I probably shouldn't be fixating on this detail. (Image Source)

Emma loves her some Indigo flowers. The book just calls it indigo, but the internet says both “true” and “false” indigo flowers exist. I don’t know which the author is talking about, though I THINK it’s this one. I probably shouldn’t be fixating on this detail but since I’m on the subject… The flowers on the cover appear to be dendrobium orchids, not indigo. I’m just saying.  #FlowerNerd (Image Source)

Something stinks in Denmark, and Emma is struggling to figure out what.

Apparently, something has gone wonky with society. Humans, as they are wont to do, have gone and screwed things up. Eeee’rybody wanted to play scientist and design themselves some baby boys, which left a whole lot of boys with no ladies to carry their children.. THEN, because I can only assume Mother Nature was PISSED, the few women remaining start to have severe restrictions in their fertile years. I think your imagination can take you to a place where women have become a rare commodity, and it isn’t pretty.

I can’t say much more without getting into serious spoiler territory, so I’m shutting my pie hole. Suffice it to say that Emma’s journey is WELL worth a read!

Alright Bookworms, let’s talk about comparisons. Do you find it off-putting when a book is described as “for fans of” or do you find it helpful? In this case I actually found it to be useful, so I’m rethinking my rage on the subject. What say you?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will keep every single penny of it for myself because I am SELFISH and that’s LEGAL. Even though I’ve got lady parts I can have my own money!*

14 Responses to “Archetype by MD Waters”

  1. Laura

    The book sounds great!

    I don’t usually enjoy the “for fans of” reference, it’s often misleading. The Silent Wife was marketed to fans of Gone Girl and while I guess both had similar subject matter, I don’t think they were very similar books. And it makes me sad to see all the low star ratings on Goodreads because people expected something else from the book. I thought it was a very enjoyable book but had I been expecting the next Gone Girl, I would have been very disappointed.

  2. April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I’m with you, the phrase ‘for fans of…’ usually makes my skin prickle up and sometimes if I’m feeling exceptionally ornery I’ll dig my heels in and refuse to read it. Especially ESPECIALLY if it’s for an author as prolific as Margaret Atwood and a title as iconic as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. Based on your review, I might pick it up.

    That being said, and a little off topic, have you read ‘Solomon the Peacemaker’ by Hunter Welles? The dystopian world building in that novel is almost as good as Margaret Atwood’s world building. (I know, I know!) I’m not fully convinced that Hunter Welles isn’t Margaret Atwood pulling a Stephen King/Richard Bachmann (or J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith) deal.

    • Words For Worms

      I did read Solomon the Peacemaker! I can see what you’re saying about the Atwood tone, but I’m going to go on record saying she isn’t pulling a secret identity… I’m going to feel incredibly stupid if you’re right ;).

  3. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Just, I wish the “for fans of” thing were more reliable. The best deployment of “for fans of” is the “for fans of X” tables at the bookstore: It’s lots of books in a similar genre, and you can browse through them and see which ones look good to you.

  4. Rory

    I don’t like “for fans of”. I find it off putting and I usually don’t like it. As far as blurbs go, I am much more likely to read a book that was blurbed by Stephen King than and book that claims that it is for fans of Stephen King.

    And for fans of Gone Girl or Twilight is a total deal breaker for me.

  5. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    I read a book called The Registry in which women are sold as brides. It was good, but not so good that I want to read something this similar any time soon! I’d also be a bit put off by something being compared to Atwood because ain’t nobody going to live up to that 😛

  6. Melinda

    I don’t think referencing another author is a good idea, because it creates expectations and Atwood is quite an esteemed author to reference! I read a CJ Samson book that was referenced to Sebastian Faulks and Zafon and luckily for them I LOVED the book, but my expectation was high 🙂 This book sure sounds a tad weird…

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