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Having liked the first book quite a lot, my next read was instantly decided, so this morning while having my breakfast, I picked up Antitype and started reading.
Needless to say, by the time I finished my breakfast, I also finished the short, but very rewarding, novella.
Archetype is set in a dystopian world where fertility is a major problem, and where women are sold to become wives to buyers, without them having any say in the matter. Of course with any dystopian novel there is that one who rebels and changes the course of the future.
Antitype is set just a few months earlier, when Declan and Noah are still young enough, at a point where their next decisions will shape their future. As Archetype is told from Emma’s perspective, Antitype focuses on Declan and Noah – each chapter being told from one or the other’s point of view.
What I liked about this novella is that both are in fact good guys, although their decisions will put them on the other side of the fence. It is here that Noah makes the decision to join the resistance, and Declan to finally step in his father’s shoes following a grave mistake that his father helps cover up (why does Declan remind me somehow of Daniel in the TV series Revenge?).
Of course, I bet we are all team Noah in Archetype, but learning about Declan and why he’s made the choices that determined who he will be in Archetype, made us be more understanding towards him. He is the typical product of his patriarchal society, whereas Noah is the person who will eventually help Emma shatter this society to the ground (and I’m not giving here any spoilers, but if you’ve read even one dystopian book, you do know the formula they all adhere to).
Learning more about Declan in Antitype, I do sympathize with him. He is truly a good guy, but too weak to oppose what he feels is wrong with this society, so he finally gives in. I think he never really became bad (like his father), but he did choose the wrong side.
For Noah the decision was made easy by things that happened without him being able to do anything about them. It is when he realized that these things shouldn’t happen anymore, not if he do anything about it.
As the stories are told from the two character’s perspectives, you can’t but notice the many ways Declan and Noah are similar – at least initially. Their meetings with their dads happened at the same place, at the same time. Neither of them wanted to work for their fathers, but wanted instead to choose their own paths. The events that followed, however, pushed them into opposing directions.
And it is only due to a weird chance that they’ve fallen for the same girl, Emma.
Emma is only briefly mentioned towards the end of the novella, and if you haven’t read Archetype, you might not even know who she is, because her name is not mentioned anywhere at all. But she is the most important character of the whole series, so I really appreciated how the author gave us a glimpse into how Declan and Noah became connected through the same woman.
I loved this novella, and even though it is not even 100 pages long, I found it well rounded, the perfect intro to the events that would follow in Archetype.