The sequel to Waters' dystopian Archetype (2014) is set in a world where women are in scarce supply and cloning has a creepy, but increasingly important, role in society.
Emma Wade Burke has managed to escape from Declan Burke, the richest man in America, who claims to be her husband; she's fled to Mexico, where she hunts for her resistance-connected parents. But Declan’s obsession with Emma threatens the resistance, which fights against the components of society that allow women and female children to be treated as possessions. Within moments of making contact with a man she hopes might help her, Emma discovers Declan has offered a huge reward for her return and that plenty of takers exist. Emma returns to the resistance fighters’ headquarters and her true husband, Noah, the father of her child. But this Emma is a clone of the woman Noah married. His wife died, and many in the resistance movement don’t accept that Emma, the clone, is as much a human being as they are. After settling into everyday life around the facility, Emma decides she must resume the search for her parents, no matter where that might take her, even if it means walking back into Declan’s life. While Waters works hard to convince readers that Emma’s clone is every bit as human as Emma, the character herself emphasizes her differences by speaking in an oddly formal and stilted manner. Although billed as a futuristic story involving a dystopian society, the plot really centers on Emma’s tiresome swooning over both Declan and Noah. When she’s not daydreaming about Noah’s amber eyes or Declan’s lush lips, Emma proves to be an interesting-enough heroine, but those who are not up for a romance novel will find her dilemma tiresome.
A good run at constructing an out-of-the-ordinary romance that never quite succeeds.