The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

The Book of M

Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. Th...

Details The Book of M

TitleThe Book of M
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Apocalyptic, Post Apocalyptic

Reviews The Book of M

  • Will Byrnes
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me… --- Psalm 23But what if you were walking through the valley of the death of shadows? Who or what might be with you then? If, as Macbeth proclaims, life’s but a walking shadow, what becomes of the poor player when even the shadow has walked? Peng Shepherd - from her site - Photo by Rachel CrittendenThere have been two major periods in my l...
  • Adam Dalva
    Shepherd has crafted a gripping, multi-faceted debut here, a dystopic future novel that goes well past the expectations of the genre. I admired the textual experimentation of this measured book, as various symbols, fonts, and perspectives try to get across the lives of the characters, who mix emotional heft with sudden, rapid action. The leads, Ory and Max, are wonderfully drawn and make for an excellent emotional core.In this world, if someone's...
  • Elyse Walters
    Library- ebook - overdrive I seldom read dystopian novels, but in the past few years - having read a few other wonders: “Station Eleven”, “California”, etc., I had a hunch this book might be ‘one-of-the-special-one’s’.....”It was”!!!!For starters, the first chapter was one of the best first chapters of ‘any’ book I’ve read in a long time! The first sentence immediately grabbed my attention....holding it tightly until the l...
  • jessica
    goodness me. its safe to say that now i will never be able to hear the phrase ‘blue, fifty-two’ without getting all kinds of emotional. if you know, you know. sigh.this story gave me massive ‘station eleven’ vibes. it poses similar questions about the meaning of humanity in the face of the unknown, if hope can be the key for survival, and most importantly, how far one will go for those they love. i absolutely adored reading about ory and ...
  • Emma
    Just like Peter Pan, the people in Peng Shepherd’s novel, The Book of M, are having trouble with their shadows. For reasons that never become known, shadows are disappearing, sometimes from an individual, sometimes whole cities at once. Told by four linked characters, with a multitude of diverse experiences threaded through their stories, this book follows their course through a world fundamentally changed by destructive magic. If you’d asked...
  • Emer
    Bumping this book up to a five star read because I can't stop thinking about the fantastic story in the months since I've read it. And I've also treated myself to a hardback copy of it too...IT LOOKS GORGEOUS!!! Definitely among my fav reads of 2018.-------Happy UK Publication Day to this brilliant dystopian!Wow. This book was a revelation. From the start I did not know what was happening, how the story would develop or where it would end... BUT ...
  • Zoeytron
    New York City lies in ruins, Chattanooga is burning, Washington DC is a war zone.  Power grids are down.  People are losing their shadows, and with them, their memories.  New Orleans beckons.  A one-eyed amnesiac, the power of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, lakes that come and go as they please.  There is magic out there, as evidenced by singing trees, conversant tattoos and wolves.  As your shadow tethers you to earth, the value of me...
  • j e w e l s
    THREE STARSAudio production: Outstanding! Story: hmmmm. Loved the first half, major Bird Box vibes mixed with a good dose of Station Eleven.Around the 50% mark, I realized I wasn't even connected to the characters and I was forcing myself to keep reading/listening. I think dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories actually only work for me if they avoid the way-out fantasy realm. This book strays into mystical realism/supernatural stuff and that's not a...
  • Hannah
    I love books that are not easily classifiable – and this is just that. It is speculative fiction but also incorporates a feeling of magical realism, it is a romance (and it is really not), it is just absolutely lovely. I adore the premise above all else: at some point in the not so distant future people start losing their shadows and with them, slowly but inexorably, their memories. First the small things but then bigger and bigger things until...
  • Karen’s Library
    This book deserves ALL the stars!! ALL!! It’s brilliant, beautifully written, and one of the most hopeful post-apocalyptic books I’ve ever read. The Book of M is by far my favorite read so far of 2018. Whenever I think of my favorite all time epic books in this genre (The Stand, The Passage, and Swan Song) The Book of M will now and forever more be in my list.I’m not sure how to even tell anyone what this book is about. It’s a story about...
  • Lou
    I am really into apocalyptic novels of late and this is an innovative and extraordinary one. It is a truly outstanding debut for an author that I will be putting on my "ones to watch" list. Peng Shepherd, I salute you!After reading the synopsis, I got unbelievably excited about the prospect of diving into this, having that amount of pure anticipation is a rarity for me. I'm usually cool, calm, and collected. I knew then that it was going to eithe...
  • Beverly
    I'm on the fence about this one. There were some great passages and astounding images and ideas, but I was also ready for it to be done. The last battle between the shadowed and shadowless was clever In its use of magic to defeat the enemy. I felt the characters of Ory and Max And Naz were well developed and I really cared about them, but the others like Paul and Immanuel not so much. The world she created was not that interesting to me, because ...
  • Jenna
    "A thing does not have to be said to be real. It just has to be remembered." Who would you be without your memories? Would you still be you? How much do your memories define who you are?A Goodreads friend recently dubbed a new genre of books -- "quiet books". These, they said, are "slow action adventures, based more in the mind of its protagonists than in the adventure and action they are slowly experiencing or, often, remembering". That is the p...
  • Kaitlin
    The first half of this book was a solid 5 stars for me. The plot was so gripping I couldn't put the book down. But took a turn. The latter half of the story just didn't do it for me. It was all over the place and confusing. The phenomenon of shadows disappearing was never fully explained and the whole part with "The One Who Gathers" was a jumbled mess of loose ideas. The culmination of everything really fell flat for me which is so dis...
  • Krista
    Where did the shadows go? Ory wondered. He didn't even care about the why any more. Only the where. The why was inexplicable. Ory didn't believe in magic, but he knew in his heart that what had happened was nothing that could be understood by humans. It was no natural disaster, no disease, no biological weapon. The best name he'd ever heard for it was curse. Because in the end it didn't matter who you were. No one escaped – either because they ...
  • Renee Godding
    5/5 stars”If only we were elephants. Then we could help each other…”Fantasy/Sci Fi- apocalyptic novels have always done their best to terrify us with wild concepts of rising dead, killer robots and monstrous mutants walking the earth. Yet it’s often the simplest and most realistic of concepts that manage to get under my skin the most. Have you ever realized how wonderfully valuable our ability to remember is? Or how fragile and fallible i...
  • Frank
    For me it was The Book of Meh. On paper (pun intended) this should have been the perfect book for me. When I read the description I thought, "Have I just stumbled upon another post-apocalyptic favorite? Could this be a book to squeeze onto the shelf with The Road, Oryx and Crake, The Stand, Birdbox, and World War Z?" Sadly the answer is a resounding no. For several reasons.1) When the writing was good, it was pretty good. Often however it was cho...
  • Marialyce
    It's the day of the festival of Lost Shadows and a young man loses his shadow in an Indian market. And then others do as well as this phenomena travels the world. And then the horrendous happens, for in losing one's shadow, one loses their memory. It is frightening and eerie signifying the death of a world we all live in. How does one survive without a memory, without knowing who or what you are, without being able to read, without knowing a love...
  • Dianne
    “The Book of M” is a dystopian apocalyptic novel that is, at its essence, a love story about Ory (a man) and Max (a woman).Peng Shepherd has based her debut novel on a real life event called “Zero Shadow Day,” which occurs annually in India. On this one or two days, at noon, the sun is directly overhead and, unless you jump, you cannot see your shadow. In Sheperd’s story, starting in India and then spreading over the globe, people begin...
  • Janelle • She Reads with Cats
    Review to come...
  • Kate
    5/5starsokay its been a few hours and I think I'm ready to write a real review.So, this book was seriously incredible. I was so SHOOK after finishing it i literally got on the wrong bus NICE and I'm legit like BLOWN AWAY by the ending even a few hours later so. it was fucking awesome.The book on the surface, I would describe as "Bird box" meets "Station Eleven" meets "The Oracle Year" - if BB and SE were actually good lol. This book was what I wa...
  • Lark Benobi
    The Book of M reads like a very long game of exquisite corpse where more and more stuff happens in a never-ending logorrheal discharge of events; and that may sound like I didn't like it, but this game of exquisite corpse actually made for an entertaining book, the kind of 'entertaining' where from one sentence to the next you will say "whaaa?" and finding yourself agog with the notion that someone exists in the world, a writer named Peng Shepher...
  • may ❀
    okay that ending??? fricken solidthe rest of the book??? kinda unnecessarily long/dense but also really well written my main issue is that pretty much all of my questions remained unanswered and i just reaalllyyy want my answers :crtc i guess
  • Ana
    Best debut I've read in a long, loooong time!-153 pages in - “Did you know that the word that means a group of elephants together is memory?” he asked. “A memory of elephants.”I am so loving this book! 85 pages in and - for someone who researches identity and memory - this is pretty darn fascinating. I’m a bit creeped out, if I’m being honest. I hope that the explanation for losing one’s shadow and consequently all knowledge and mem...
  • Emily
    I really enjoyed this. The Book of M is set in a world similar to our own, until suddenly certain people's shadows start disappearing. With the disappearance of a person's shadow comes the slow deterioration of their memory. And with this memory loss comes magic.If someone forgets that cars require gas to run, their car suddenly no longer requires gas to run. If someone forgets that deer have antlers, not butterfly wings attached to their heads--...
  • Resh (The Book Satchel)
    This book was AMAZING. Set in a post apocalyptic world, a strange phenomenon is taking over the world. People lose their shadows and in due time their memories one by one until they die (might forget how to open door/eat food/breathe).Inspiration: inspired by Zero Shadow Day, an astronomical phenomenon restricted to a few geographical locations in India. Twice a year shadows disappear for a few moments due to an alignment of sun and earth.What to...
  • Tori (InToriLex)
    Content Warning: Graphic ViolenceThe Book of M was weird, memorable and engaging. The story will break your heart and shock you in ways your not expecting. In this world people begin to lose their shadows and then gradually lose all of their memories after. Ory and Max set out to find answers and ways to survive a constantly changing landscape. The authors does a great job of balancing multiple point of views while keeping the voices distinct and...
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    The Book of M by Peng Shepherd is a very highly recommended, unique dystopian novel. This is a noteworthy debut.An epidemic called the Forgetting first starts in India when Hemu Joshi lost his shadow. Soon it spreads and a large part of the population succumbs to the phenomenon. What happens is that people lose their shadows and their memories follow. Once shadowless people forget, they are susceptible to misremembering the world and magically ca...
  • Emily B
    3.5 rounded up. I greatly admire the imagination of the writer. The whole concept of the book is wildly creative and full of fascinating little details. I enjoyed the style of writing, I love it when each chapter or part are told from a different character’s perspective. While I loved the idea and story I just found it a bit too long. I felt it could have been spread over more than one book as so much happened in it. I also felt that while the ...
  • Bam
    *4-4.5 stars. A very imaginative fantasy set in the near-future world where human shadows begin to disappear. At first, it's rather a lark but then memories begin to disappear as well. Incredibly quickly, society begins to fall apart. There's a vague hint of something more happening here....MAGIC??Have you ever considered your shadow? Peng Shepherd's story will encourage you to think more deeply about what a shadow represents. What would you try ...