I read this because a friend reviewed it and I was intrigued by some plot elements she mentioned. And if you’re a hater-troll who enjoys harassing reviewers, please bear in mind that my friend thought this book was just okay and I wanted to read it anyway
. And then I ended up really enjoying it. So piss off.
If you’re a hater, I mean. If you’re not, do please stay. Here! Have a cup of tea. Darjeeling or English Breakfast? I’d offer you some chocolate, but I’m hiding it. I MEAN, we’re all out. Completely. Sorry.
Anyway. This book.
It grabbed me and pulled me through and kept me up too late until I emerged, blinking in the sunlight.
I realize there are weak spots in the plot. The world-building is weak, although that can perhaps be forgiven in a story narrated by an amnesia victim. I liked the frequent flashback visions, but I can understand why my friend found them annoying. And there’s at least one scene in which the main character is face to face with the man who can answer all her questions and she doesn’t ask him anything
I’ve been running into this a lot lately, and it makes me want to smack someone. Stop being lazy, authors. And don’t think readers don’t notice this sort of thing. Unless your name is Jane Austen, you’re not allowed to write a book that would be over in two pages if the main characters had one blunt, straightforward conversation. And if those characters do
find themselves alone together and it would be inconvenient for your plot if they have a heart-to-heart chat, don’t have them start talking about the weather, or the interesting color the sky is this time of year. Throw a hand grenade in the room with them or something.
But none of this ruined the book for me. I found the story absorbing. I loved one scene where the author made it look as if the narrator would need a big fat deus ex machina or at least some manly man to save her (and gave a broad hint as to whom that dude might be), and then – surprise! She rescues herself! I don’t even know if that counts as a spoiler. I just really wanted to try the spoiler-hiding-text thing. I never have before. Okay, back to the review.
And I love that the writer had enough faith in her readers to include a really odd detail without ever directly addressing it. I’m a word-nerd, so it struck me right away that the narrator never uses contractions. I thought this might be her way of implying the future – have you ever seen that in science fiction? Everyone speaks very formally, because apparently that’s what we’re all headed towards. But in Archetype
, all the other characters speak normally, contractions and all, except the narrator. Call me a dork with adorable blue eyes, but I loved trying to figure out what the heck was up with that. And I love that the author doesn’t answer that question in so many words. She just supplies enough information for readers to be able to figure it out for themselves.
I was worried when I learned this book was the first of a projected two-parter. So many authors seem to be starting their first novels with intriguing questions, spending the book reminding you of how mysterious it all is, and then saying at the end, “Boy, I’ll bet you really want some answers NOW, don’t you? Better buy the next book!” And I never do, because I hate that.
This book ends when it ends. I really want to know what the main character goes on to do, and how much she ends up able to remember. I already have the sequel on hold at the library (and I’m first in line, woohoo!). But the author answers the big questions while leaving plenty of room for a next novel.
So take that, trolls. Negative reviews sell books.