Archetype is a mix of several genres- sci-fi, dystopian, mystery, and most of all suspense. Nail biting, fist clenching, teeth grinding suspense. This author certainly draws it out too. Hints and clues and secrets, all of the answers so tantalizingly close but didn't quite get there until I was ready to chuck my Nook out a window. I'm so glad I didn't because the answers were well worth waiting for! Wow, what a twisty, turny, mind bending story!
Emma, the main character, wakes up one day in a hospital with absolutely no memories of who she or anyone else is. Declan is the man who says he is her husband, and he certainly behaves like he is, always treating her with care and kindness. While her days are spent getting reacquainted with her husband, her nights are often interrupted by nightmares of war and other disturbing images. She wonders if these are memories, and if so, they certainly don't fit what she's been told by her husband and doctor. Emma doesn't know who to trust, she's not even sure she can trust her own mind or the flashes of memories that she gets from time to time, or the voice in her head that warns her not to tell anyone anything.
From the beginning, I was very quickly hooked. Emma's voice is compelling, drawing the reader in so that I was as frustrated and confused as she was trying to figure out what was going on and why. Not to mention wondering how this dystopic society came to be. It was interesting learning things alongside Emma because since she remembered barely anything, not a lot of explanation was given for what brought the world to this point. That was one of the only negatives for me. I am left with so many unanswered questions!
It's easy to sympathize with Emma's character while at the same time become so frustrated with some of the decisions she makes. As far as romance, I'm not sure I would call it insta-love considering the situation, it was a bit uncomfortable since the whole time she (and I) had misgivings about whether or not Declan was genuine. Also, he was quite creepy, controlling, and stalkerish. And there is a bit of a love triangle, but it's quite twisted as well, so it's not the average love triangle that annoys me so much. The plot reminded me of a cross between Before I Go to Sleep and The Program but with much more suspense!
The secondary characters were very much in the background and it was more about Emma's thoughts about them and interaction with them than finding out enough about them to get a good grasp of who they are. But even though I would have liked more details with the characters and the world, I can't say that I'm at all disappointed with the book.
The audio narration by Khristine Hvam was well done. I admit, I was so immersed in the story, that I didn't pay close attention to how the narrator sounded, but I guess the fact that I was able to lose myself so completely says that the narration was solid.
I cannot wait until the next book in the series, Prototype, is available! This is a series I will DEFINITELY be continuing. The ending of Archetype wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but I am still left wanting much more. I would highly recommend this to fans of sci-fi, suspense, and futuristic reads.