Blog Tour: a review of Prototype by MD Waters

 

Prototype original

Prototype

“I want to laugh. Maybe Emma Burke would exit this room without a word, but I am not that woman any more.
Pulling free of Foster’s grip, I spin so fast Noah and Reid stop arguing to stare in bewildered silence.

‘You will not keep me here, Major Reid,’ I tell him, but shift my focus between both men in case Noah decides to join Reid’s crusade. ‘I dare you to try.’

– Prototype, MD Waters

In the follow-up to the dystopian ArchetypePrototype by MD Waters finishes the story of Emma Wade-Burke, a woman on the run in a future version of the United States where fertile women are in scare supply, surveillance is everywhere, and a band of resistance fighters is gearing up for a war against the business elite who are keeping some serious secrets. Told from Emma’s first person present perspective, Archetype had a claustrophobic quality as Emma struggled to regain her memories within the prison of the hospital she awakens in and the home she shares with her husband Declan. Book two opens after Emma has discovered the truth about herself (spoilers after the cut) and the sinister role Declan has played in both her forgotten past and in society at large.

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Blog Tour: a review of Archetype by MD Waters

Violent political realities in Sierra Leone and their lasting physical and psychological traumas form the backdrop of Michael Wuitchik’s gritty debut My Heart is not My Own. neck.

Archetype

Archetype new

 

Don’t you tell him, that voice sounding very much like mine tells me. Lie. Lie your goddamn ass off…
Men in white lab coats and gray scrubs drive into the room the second I start to convulse. And yet, I continue to try. I have to overcome this. I want to go home.
I told you to lie, She says coolly. You don’t understand yet, but you will.
I only understand that I am at war with myself, and I do not know why. One way or another, I will win.

– Archetype, MD Waters

When she opens her eyes into the glaring light of a hospital room, Emma Burke has no idea where she is—or even who she is. And it’s only after intensive therapy and visits from her doting husband Declan that she begins to understand that she is a wife who has been through an ordeal too terrible to describe. But in MD Waters’s future dystopian debut Archetype, nothing is as it seems. This pageturner blends the amnesiac suspense of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep with the fertility-challenged future patriarchy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and a dash of Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember it For you Wholesale” (the basis of the Total Recall films).

How well it manages to do so is the question. Emma is plagued with nightmares (or are they memories? Visions?) of a life that doesn’t fit the picture Declan paints for her—especially of another man she seems to have intense feelings for and a revolution in which she is a warrior. She lives in a society where too much genetic modification has caused a plague of infertility and a shortage of women in general, where girls are brought up in facilities that train them to be wives. America is in the throes of a Man in the High Castle–like war, and security  cameras are pushing 1984 levels of intrusiveness. There’s a lot going on in Emma’s life, not the least of which is how she can figure out who she is, if she doesn’t remember who she used to be (and if the memories she does have don’t fit the life she sees before her).

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An awfully big adventure: review of Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

What can you say about a girl with a hole through her middle, or a boy with bees living in his stomach? Or immortal pigeons and impossible creatures? They’re pretty peculiar. In Hollow City, Ransom Riggs’ sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob Portman also calls them his friends. Jacob is Peculiar too.

Hollow City

“Enoch elbowed Horace. ‘What’s the matter with you?’ Enoch taunted. ‘Here’s your big chance to stay behind.’
‘I want to go adventuring, I really and truly do,’ Horace insisted. But I should also like to see my 105th birthday, if at all possible. Promise we won’t try to save the whole blasted world?’
‘We just want  to save Miss P,’ said Emma, ‘but I make no guarantees about  anyone’s birthday.'”

– Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

What can you say about a girl with a hole through her middle, or a boy with bees living in his stomach? Or immortal pigeons and impossible creatures? They’re pretty peculiar. In Hollow City, Ransom Riggs’s sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob Portman also calls them his friends. Jacob is Peculiar too. His particular talent is for seeing the monsters, particularly wights and hollowgast, that stalk the Peculiar children for unknown but undoubtedly sinister reasons. And when last we left them, they were on the run from their time loop haven in 1940 after rescuing their ymbryne, or bird-shapeshifting protector, Miss Peregrine from evil hollow clutches.

And the fact that Jacob is from our present, trapped in the wartorn British 1940 countryside, is the least of his worries. The hollowgast are on the Peculiar Children’s trail, and Miss Peregrine is injured and unable to escape her bird form. Worse, the other Peculiar havens have been destroyed, their ymbrynes kidnapped. If this seems like a lot to catch up on, it is: you don’t want to pick up Hollow City without having read the first volume of Miss Peregrine adventures.

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So THAT’S why life on earth sucks: A review of There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff

This book is, overall, a delight to read. Rosoff pulls of the surreal with grace and ease. Our God, Bob, is an eternal teenager who sleeps late, mixes up Africa and America and then blames the subsequent droughts and floods on his non-existent dyslexia.

 

 

“In the old days, he snapped his fingers and things happened. He hates the way things are now. It is so unfair. Eck tilts his head and gently licks Bob’s ear with his long sticky tongue. It is his special way of expressing sympathy and it is not effective.”

So, it turns out that an excellent reason exists for the state of the world, for its suffering and contradictions and occasional wondrousness. But the philosophers who have spent their lives searching for the answer aren’t going to like it. God, you see, supreme and almighty creator, happens to be a shiftless, emo teenager who was handed the job by his mother after she won it in a cosmic game of poker. And his name is Bob.

This is the glorious, zany, and often dark conceit of There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff.  A British YA title (which is far more adult in certain aspects than a lot of North American YA), this book is at once light and dark, hilarious and serious (well, a little serious, anyway). Our God, Bob, is an eternal teenager who sleeps late, mixes up Africa and America and then blames the subsequent droughts and floods on his non-existent dyslexia, and tends to fall in love with beautiful human girls, generally with disastrous results. Bob is taken care of by his majordomo, the mild-mannered and long-suffering Mr. B, who does his best to sort out the prayers, the catastrophes, and the suffering of the humans, whales (how Mr. B loves his whales), and everyone else on this mixed-up little planet. Continue reading “So THAT’S why life on earth sucks: A review of There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff”