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The Book of M

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 Ratings  ·  309 Reviews
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 di
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by William Morrow
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Cardmaker The amnesiac never lost his shadow. They brought him to meet the first man to lose his shadow because they both had lost memories. Then, later, when…moreThe amnesiac never lost his shadow. They brought him to meet the first man to lose his shadow because they both had lost memories. Then, later, when he was injured in the hurricane, somehow his shadow became the elephant. But he always had a shadow.(less)

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Will Byrnes
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me… --- Psalm 23
But 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 Crittenden

There have been two major periods in my life when I kept a journal. The first was when I was fi
Adam Dalva
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 shadow disappears, they will soon be consigned to
Happy UK Publication Day to this brilliant dystopian!

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 I WAS 100% HOOKED!!!! From page one I was thoroughly ensnared and did not want to put this down for a second. The premise for the book I think is genius; one day in the near future a man's shadow suddenly disappears in the middle of a market in India. It's initially treated as a holy event but after a few
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
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 they forget to breath. With the loss of memories co ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 either - live up to my uber-high expectations and blow
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 how most people lose their shadow and with it, little by
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 me any time during the first half of this book what t
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 can create new things. They can also forget someone
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
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 disheartening because the first half of the book is s
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
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 were someone who lost their shadow, or because they
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is my second 5 star book of 2018, so that should tell you something. When I get done editing my current manuscript I'm going to have SO many reviews to catch up on, and this is one of those books I will definitely write a review for.

I will say, the ending is not what I had hoped for. But it did fit with the book as a whole. I'm always looking for authors who can craft a good story from beginning to end, and it's actually a pretty hard thing to find. That was not an issue here. The w
Jul 14, 2018 is currently reading it
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 memories will be fabulous. It has to be!
Chihoe Ho
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book of M uses a simple premise: sometime in the future, the population is afflicted by "The Forgetting" - a phenomenon where people lose their shadows, and with that their memories. It seems like a far-fetched idea, but as the story unravels, it becomes (almost) believable that this could be a reality. What are the memories you hold dear? Who are we without our memories?

Peng Shepherd's writing is beautiful and conjures up images of what this world is like for the very relatable and diverse
Review to come...
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 expect?
- characters of a wide variety of ethnicit
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. It does not impact my review.

The Book of M is certainly an ambitious debut. Covering multiple characters, countries, and time in painstaking detail, it explores a new dystopian world where the loss of memories results in dangerous magic.

While I did like the book, I wanted to like it more than I actually did. The pace is pretty slow as the world building is established and it took me awhile to really get into the story. The writing was very deta
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review. I also read a large part of this book via audiobook, which was purchased through my own Audible account.

The Book of M is a one of the best post-apocalyptic fiction I have read in recent years, and it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. It’s a poignant examination of human memories and connection, filled with powerful and surrealistic imageries. The last pages of the novel still haunt me, and I keep
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
An interesting apocalyptic story that uses Indian mythology and lots of magical realism. As people lose their shadows, they also begin to lose their memories. At 17 hours, though, this audiobook was a bit long, and the story probably could have been pared down without losing the central theme. 3.5 ⭐ ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
Check out my book review on my blog here: http://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...

Gripping, intriguing, fantastic! Three words to describe this book. This book was seriously amazing! I loved how it was very intriguing from the very beginning and draws you into the unknown and unfathomable, into a world where nothing is at it seems and the in-seemingly possible is possible. It was beautifully written and I loved Shepherd’s style of writing. The pages turned themselves and I found myself not wanti
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
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 choppy and awkward. I don't recall another book that
Jul 12, 2018 is currently reading it
Really enjoying this so far!
Brian Durfee
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I admit I found out about this fabulous debut after meeting the author at Phoenix Comic Con and sharing a drink with her amid a group of other fellow authors. I could see how thrilled she was to have her book coming out soon and so I in turn was excited to see what she had done. I bought this book earlier today (it was available in my local Barnes & Noble a day early) and finished it in 5 hours. I normally steer clear of dystopian post-apocalyptic stuff, but this is more Ray Bradbury sci-fi ...more
Samantha Allen
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to be given an advanced copy of The Book of M in exchange for an honest review. So to sum it up, go buy this book as soon as it comes out, because you won’t find a more engaging and refreshingly original dystopian story anywhere out there. And believe me, I’ve looked.

The Book of M is a delight—beautifully written, deeply felt, and stunningly original, particularly for the genre. The Book of M’s world ends not through zombies or a pandemic but due to the simple human act of fo
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness! I finished this book about 15 minutes ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. 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 I was 100% HOOKED!!!!

I fell for the characters right from the beginning. They were so perfectly created, they felt like real people, like friends. The relationships built between characters were so investing. I loved how the different stories, from different character’s pe
the gift
... it seems in an alternate universe post-apocalyptic world: science-fiction is a literary challenge to bring the noted common 'mundane' writing 'quality' to readers of such junk fiction, who are, often proudly, not very convinced they are missing something. such as: characters in rounded, familiar dimensions, plots not almost entirely familiar to a genre reader but close, language always admirable in efficient communication but rarely offering much else, ideas and discovery and fantastic and i ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book was a ride! It was such a well-crafted apocalypse with a terrifying premise. Forgetting oneself is a horrible thought, but add onto that the magic in this book and it's all the more scary. But it's also brilliantly done.

The cast of characters and different perspectives always keep you interested and drive you to read on, and the relationships built between characters are so investing. I absolutely loved how multicultural this book was - so many people of colour and even some gay
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publisher-sent
The Book of M was a surprising read for me, I had no idea what to expect. It's an adult dystopian that reminds me of The Passage. In this book, there is some process by which people start to lose their memories of everything after they lose their shadows and this leads to death and destruction and the falling apart of society globe wide. At the center of this is a love story between two ordinary people-- Max and Ory. Max has left Ory because she has lost her shadow and she doesn't want to destro ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before my review, I'd like to state that I received an early copy from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.
That being said, The Book of M is a brilliant story about a world where for some unknown reason people's shadows start to disappear. It's discovered that shortly after someone loses their shadow, they start losing memories. Memories like how letters make words, or how a doorknob opens a door, or that eating food keeps you alive. The world spins into chaos and we follow a cast of honest
Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)
Feb 01, 2018 is currently reading it
Shelves: edelweiss
Thank you to the author, publisher, and edelweiss for providing me with a DRC of this title in exchange for an honest review!

Off The Press Reads: BlogInstagramBloglovin'
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
What Shepherd has done with this book is unlike ANYTHING I have ever read– dystopia, science fiction, magical realism, a mystery, a love story, a beautiful weaving together of so many characters you just can’t help but root for, all while you’re just as confused as they are about why they’re losing their shadows– and subsequently, their memories and everything that make them human.

I took a while with this book, longer than most audiobooks– but looking back, I think it’s because there was truly
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Peng was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, and has lived in Beijing, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. "The Book of M" is her first novel.

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“there’s a difference between when the mind forgets and the heart does.” 1 likes
“The memory means more, the more it’s worth to you—and to who you are.” 0 likes
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