Archetype novel

Archetype Novel Is Far from Typical

Archetype by M.D. Waters

Published by Dutton in 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 384

 

I am SO GLAD that I just read this book, and get to review it, after my last review was such a shit show.

Archetype was featured in my earlier post, Dollar Dollar Tree, Y’all! Yes, that’s right, I bought this book at the Dollar Tree. For a dollar. That makes me so. Effing. Happy. (Especially now that I know how much I love it. I will happily pay full price for the sequel).

I also want to start with a caveat, which is that it will be really hard to do this without spoilers! If I get vague, I’m sorry. I promise I’m just trying to preserve the magic for you.

The Goodreads Description:

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. . . .

Great Characters

Our narrator, Emma, is so realistically developed throughout. Her reactions to her uncertainty feel natural. (This is one area where spoilers would really help me make the point I want to make about why Emma is so great. But I won’t. Le sigh.)

I also want to say that the author does something that is pretty hard to pull off. There are characters we love, really and thoroughly, that we end up hating, really and thoroughly. It is hard to make that transition. Generally, you get a vibe early on if a character is going to turn on you. Not the case here.

Gorgeous Writing

The writing itself is beautiful and eloquent. But possibly the most important thing for me, what made it so well-written, was spot on pacing. I started Archetype at six and didn’t put it down until I finished because the pacing was just so that I never had a stopping point I was really comfortable with. Every time I thought a question was answered, I had a new one and I had to know what was going to happen.

This is every writer’s dream, no? Force the reader to read long after they’d have put another book down. I would like to be asleep RIGHT NOW but I’m writing this with the book still fresh in my mind because I didn’t put the book down.

The Science

I am a person who likes my science fiction either really hard, or pretty soft. Archetype fell somewhere in the middle, and I was okay with that. It dealt with a lot of scientific concepts, none of which I will bring up because frickin’ frackin’ spoilers, but they were all believable and awesome. Probably because of…

The World-Building

Which, holy shit. THE SOCIAL ISSUES, Y’ALL. Emma’s world is a BAD time and place to be a woman. It’s made all the scarier by how it doesn’t feel all that far-fetched. Take this excerpt:

“I’m afraid you don’t have a choice. Birth control is illegal. Abortion is illegal, with a very severe punishment. Pregnancy is not a choice.”

This is the mildest example I could give you. Girls in the east live in actual “WTC’s”: woman training centers. I won’t go into more detail.

I will say that the terrible dystopia is delivered to us so slowly and with such finesse that at least five times I yelled out “Oh my god!” and I threw around “What the dick?!” also as I continued to learn just how bad this place was.

I’d Recommend

Archetype to fans of science fiction or anyone who wants to examine the slippery slope surrounding women’s rights and where we could easily be headed.

Here is a link in case you’d like to purchase Archetype through Amazon! *I only link up books I’d give 5 stars and believe in 100%*

What About You?

What’s the last book you read in one sitting?

 

*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that.

Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/janitor. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.

**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.

 

This post contains an affiliate link. Please read my disclosure for more info.

 



Dark Matter novel by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter Is So Much More Than Light Reading

This post contains an affiliate link. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Published by Crown in 2016

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

Pages: 343

 

Picture it: December 31st, 2016. I’ve just returned from a birthday trip to the Denver Art Museum, one of my favorite places in a state I’m otherwise not thrilled with. I am not partying, because I’m me. I am exactly one book shy of my yearly reading goal, and I know I won’t make it through a novel on an evening already filled with excitement. Still, I want to finish the night with a book. I grab Dark Matter by Blake Crouch purely by chance, though I’d bought it at Goodwill a month before and walked past it every day since.

I read this book in one sitting, meeting my 2016 reading goals!

To give you a quick description:

“Are you happy with your life?” 

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

The Writing in Dark Matter is Spot On

The first person, present tense narration feels spot on for the fast-paced story. Short, choppy paragraphs control your very breathing without being agitating. Flying through the pages of this book is effortless.

The Characters are Well-Developed

You cannot help but feel for Jason. His flaws are shown right up front: the regret, the jealousy, the obvious feelings of inadequacy about fatherhood. Utterly fucking real and relatable. Your heart breaks with his when he loses the life he was slightly less than enamored with.

The Science is Interesting Without Being Overwhelming

This is sci-fi that will appeal to both those in love with the genre, and those not so much. The science in it is explained without being too science-y. Dark Matter won’t alienate non science-y individuals. The concept is fascinating; such a fresh take on a scientific theory ever-growing among physicists (I won’t say which because spoilers).

I’d Recommend Dark Matter to Anybody and Everybody

but I think it could be especially touching for anyone 25+ years of age. If you are old enough to wonder how your life could have been, are a parent, and/or have been in a relationship/life situation you have taken for granted, the story will only hit you harder.

I laughed and cried and lent this book to absolutely everyone in my life who was willing to read it.

Here’s a link in case you’d like to buy Dark Matter on Amazon!

*I only link up books I’d give 5 stars to, and believe in 100%*

Why everyone needs to read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

 

What About You?

Have you read it? What are your thoughts on science fiction that’s not too science-y?

 

 

*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/llama. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.

**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.