by M. D. Waters
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 . . .
In the stunning first volume of a two-book series, Emma wakes with her memory wiped clean. Her husband, Declan—a powerful and seductive man—narrates the story of her past, but Emma’s dreams contradict him. They show her war, a camp where girls are trained to be wives, and love for another man. Something inside warns her not to speak of these things, but the line between her dreams and reality is about to shatter forever. (Description from goodreads.com)
I just realized as I received Prototype, the sequel to Archetype, that I never reviewed this book on the blog! *facepalm* Well, here goes...
This dystopian thriller is set in a North America where the US has been disassembled and the country is now physically divided between east and west. In the east, where Emma lives, women are groomed from a young age in "Women Training Centers" to be ideal wives. Ones that can be purchased by men as soon as they turn eighteen. This is because infertility has become a HUGE problem and women are scarcer and "more precious" (for their breeding abilities). In the west, women are free, or at least they are unless they get kidnapped and are brought east to be retrained to become someone's wife!
This is the world that Emma wakes to, suffering from amnesia after an accident. She has a loving husband that she cannot remember, and dreams of another loving man, whose face she can never quite see. When her dreams seem to become actual memories and tell the tale of a life completely different from the one she's been thrust into now, Emma finds herself searching for the truth in a world that may be more dangerous than she ever thought.
I loved how Waters unfolds the bits of this story. The dreams dribble in memories of another life and you see Emma struggle between the feelings she experiences in her waking life and the ones in her dreams. I really liked how the book delved into all the shades of gray that could be present in this scenario. Her feelings for her husband, Declan, are so mixed...and yet her moral feelings are so clear. This book was thought-provoking and had me flipping quickly through the pages, not wanting to put it down. My heart ached for Emma...
...and that ending... ooh! What a setup for the sequel. I can't wait to dive into Protoype!
Full disclosure: eARC received through Netgalley