Archetype (book review)

Archetype was written by M.D. Waters.  It's the first book in a series (Is it a series if it's 2 books?  a duet?  a duo? What is a 2 book series called?) .  Prototype (the "shocking conclusion" to Archetype) is due out in 6 months (July '14).  The book is Waters' first novel... and I'm once again in awe of someone's first novel being so amazing.

My extreme short book review?  I can't remember the last book that had me anticipating a sequel as much as Archetype.  (I actually marked it in my calendar.)  Read. This. Book.

Description from penguin.com:

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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. . . .

You know me.  I LOVE young adult novels.  But, then I read a book aimed at adults, and I always find myself thinking "so much better!!!" (not that I'll stop reading YA.)  I just can't seem to find adult sci-fi/paranormal/romance/thriller combinations (not necessarily all of those in one novel... but maybe).  Maybe I'm not looking in the right places?  Maybe I haven't found the right group on Good Reads yet?  Maybe I need to start my own book club/group based around the few authors I've found that write the adult novels I've loved?  All I really know is that Archetype fits into all of my favorite genres.  I can't easily slot this book into one category.  ("So Colleen, you liked Archetype so much.  What kind of book was it?"  "Um... Sci-fi.  Romance. Thriller.  Dystopian.")

This is one of those books that I kind of tiptoe around reviewing.  I truly don't want to give anything away, because think what really made this book amazing for me was having no clue what was going on.  I had just a little less than the above description.  Enough to make me interested.  But then... I started reading and I just have to say that I felt as completely lost as Emma did.  She wakes up from her accident and is being retaught her memories.  At the same times she's having dreams/nightmares/flashbacks of things that don't fit... they might be real, or they might not.  You just don't know... just like Emma.  And every time you have a moment of "now I get it!!!" you suddenly get completely twisted around... just like Emma.  And when you think you've figured out what the author has planned you realized you're totally wrong.  I found myself holding my breath.  I found myself speeding my reading to get to that moment.  I found myself re-reading a page here and there... not because I got lost (in a dull distracted bad way) but because I just had to convince myself I read something right when I would suddenly go "wait, what???" or "NO WAY".  And the end???? I just... THE END????

DO NOT read Archetype (yet) if you can not stand an amazing cliff hanger without being able to IMMEDIATELY jump into the next book, because OH. MY. GOD. CLIFF. HANGER.  I refuse to even hint at the cliff hanging content.  Refuse.  I actually gasped out loud.  And then I read it again.  I actually read the last part 3 times.  Twisty right up until the last page.

Like I said, Prototype (the conclusion to Archetype) is due out in 6 months.  

In the meantime, I've got Prototype on a Kindle Pre-Order while I count down the minutes with M.D.Waters!

I did have one negative that I almost hate to point out. (I have a pre-publish edition... and maybe it was changed?  So maybe ignore this... or WHEN you read it tell me if it's changed.)  I found there was an extreme lack of contractions in the conversations.  A lot of "I do not know."  "I can not say."  I found myself actually stopping to think "oh just say don't already."  It always seemed very formal in an informal setting.  I did also wonder if the author did it on purpose.  But.... DON'T CAN'T WON'T IT'S... they're all acceptable words.  And, it's a very small negative amidst an otherwise awesome story which has put M.D. Waters on my list of favorite authors.

Oh... and I have no doubt in my mind that Archetype and Prototype will become movies.  I can already clearly see them on the big screen.

(One last question - Is there a genre called "sci-fi romance"? I know paranormal romance, historical romance, fantasy romance, erotic romance, dystopian romance(?)..... but is there a sci-fi romance category? Or does it just get shuffled to whichever other romance category it might fit in?)