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Previous results. Make your first ever deposit and receive a free Mega Millions lottery ticket. Starting point is us. And that to me adds this wonderfully terrifying and grounding dynamic to the storyline.
This could almost be true. We could all wake up tomorrow to the news that someone had lost their shadow and this could become our truth.
And a book that makes you think like that even for the briefest of moments A quality book! Okay, as the story developed into the second half and I begin to understand more about what was going on some of that feeling of terrified wonderment wore off but I was ultimately treated to a very satisfying story filled with myth and legend made real.
And an ending that Loved it. Highly recommended, very strong four star read. View all 12 comments. Sep 09, Zoeytron rated it really liked it Shelves: public-library.
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 memories has never been higher.
View all 20 comments. Story: hmmmm. Loved the first half, major Bird Box vibes mixed with a good dose of Station Eleven. I see why so many people have raved about this book, but I can't say I loved it.
I did admire the beautiful writing and gorgeous book cover! 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 I love books that are not easily classifiable — and this is just that.
With the loss of memories come weird powers: if a person without a shadow remembers something wrong, that thing becomes just so. Peng Shepherd uses this to create achingly beautiful scenes that edge on unsettling.
The book is told from four perspectives: - Orlando Zhang Ory , whose wife has just lost her shadow and left him behind, is single-minded in his pursuit of his wife, - Max, his wife, is losing her memories and keeps recording herself speaking to her husband to make sure she does not remember him wrong, - Mahnaz Ahmadi, an Iranian archer, is stuck in Boston, far away from her family and most importantly her younger sister.
My favourite parts by far were those concerned with Max — her journey into forgetting is mesmerizing and her resilience is wonderful.
Spending time in her head made what was happening on a grander scale much more personal and affecting.
I also loved spending time with Ahmadi — I love sibling relationships anyways and hers just made me weepy. My problem lay with Ory and his perspective encompasses the bulk of this book — he did not feel like a fully formed person to me.
For most of the book he is single-minded in his pursuit of Max, never pausing, never considering her as a person in her own right, to be honest.
I have some spoilery thoughts that might explain this but even so, I never really got along with his point of view — even though some of the most stunning scenes were from his perspective.
Overall, I adore the way Peng Shepherd structured her book — I am often a huge fan of multiple perspectives and here they are handled expertly and with a brilliant sense of timing.
I thought her language flowed beautifully and her imagination is just breathtaking, many scenes unfolding cinematically in the best possible way.
Her use of imagery and colour really added to this already wonderfully layered story. I received an arc of this book courtesy of NetGalley and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog. Jun 18, Krista rated it it was ok Shelves: 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 Where did the shadows go?
No one escaped — either because they were someone who lost their shadow, or because they were someone who loved someone who lost their shadow.
In The Book of M 's future world, through some inexplicable and magical process, people start to lose their shadows, and with them, their memories.
And sometimes when a shadowless person misremembers something, people and objects and places can be transformed into monstrous, nightmare versions of themselves.
The Red King was the size of two men, over ten feet tall, wearing a scarlet cloak of a hundred layers and haphazard armor made from whole, bent steel doors.
A human skull could fit inside each scarred, crimson hand. Red dripped off him from everywhere, leaving trails behind him.
When rumours and graffiti all seem to point to the presence of a mysterious prophet in New Orleans, those with shadows and those without begin a pilgrimage that see the storylines converge.
Later, he came to have many names. The Stillmind. Patient RA. Last, most important of all — The One Who Gathers. But in the beginning, he had no name at all.
This convergence made me think of Stephen King and The Stand ; and being Stephen King, he can be forgiven for bringing in supernatural elements; for setting up an ultimate battle between good and evil but even he had his dystopia start with a simple virus.
But that ultimate battle isn't really what author Peng Shepherd is going for in The Book of M — and my biggest complaint would be that I don't know what she was going for.
And post-apocalyptic fiction can make for fun and adventuresome storytelling as in The Passage or The Strain , but there have to be rules : inexplicable transmission and human people suddenly being able to transform reality with their minds drain the tension for me and those were my biggest complaints about The Marrow Thieves , too; The Power followed rules , so it worked better for me.
Okay, let's accept that people can lose their shadows, but how or why are memories stored there? I can't accept the basic premise and having more than one character shrug and say it's magic doesn't cut it for me.
Madness , Zhang thought. An army of shadowed people led by a shadowless, who wanted to remove all human shade from the world — against a council of shadowless, led by a living shadow, who wanted to give everyone back their dark twin.
In the last few dozen pages of the book, Shepherd approaches something like a point: if people's memories — their personalities, if not their souls; a word never mentioned — are stored outside of their physical selves, then what is the body?
To avoid spoilers, I'll frame it as: If your best friend became a zombie and threatened a near stranger, but not yourself, could you look into her familiar eyes as you plunged a knife into her heart?
If you could wish upon a monkey's paw to raise your child from the dead, but the child returned with someone else's memories, is that still your child?
I liked that Shepherd referenced Peter Pan and a Hindu legend about the sun king and his shadow wife, but there isn't a lot of intertextual background for what happens, no scientific explanations, and next to no philosophical exploration after the fact: things happen, magical meddling constantly subverts any logic, and we get to the end.
Yes, some interesting things happen, but it wasn't enough for me. View all 11 comments. This book deserves ALL the stars!! The Book of M is by far my favorite read so far of Also with the loss of their shadow comes the ability to do magical things, like putting wings onto the head of a deer.
But for each magical act, more memories are lost until there is nothing left of the original person. We follow the journey of Max who after two years has finally lost her shadow and run away, Ory her husband who travels the countryside looking for her, Naz who was an Olympic archer in the time before, and the Amnesiac who lost all of his memories due to an accident before The Forgetting.
I seriously had major chills all up and down my spine as I read the last few pages of The Book of M. My heart!! Peng Shepherd is a new author that I will be watching out for.
View 2 comments. Mar 02, Beverly rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. 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 nothing is ever explained. Why do they lose their I'm on the fence about this one.
Why do they lose their shadows? Why are memories contained in shadows? Why does the amnesiac's shadow become an image of an elephant from Indian mythology?
Why are the shadowless able to do magic? The cover was cool, but you don't know who "M" is until the end.
May 29, Kaitlin 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 then 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 The first half of this book was a solid 5 stars for me.
The culmination of everything really fell flat for me which is so disheartening because the first half of the book is so well written!
This had all the potential to be a great story but the follow through was confusing and unsatisfying. View all 21 comments. Jun 16, Lou 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 I am really into apocalyptic novels of late and this is an innovative and extraordinary one.
I knew then that it was going to either - live up to my uber-high expectations and blow me away, or disappoint me beyond belief.
There are such a lot of writers who create a highly original concept, but fail miserably in their execution, meaning that the unique premise is wasted.
Luckily, that was far from the case here. This phenomenon gives the individual the use of a strange type of magic, but it comes at a high price - each time they use it they will be robbed of a memory.
Many try to resist the urge to use this magic power, but for most the temptation is too great. As the victims forget more and more of who they are, reality begins to bend to reflect their fractured recollections, plunging the world into a terrifying, ever-shifting alternate landscape.
This is a surreal and rather creepy read that I enjoyed immensely, although I did find that the pace in the middle section of the book was a little slower than I would've ideally liked.
The language flowed beautifully and naturally and I appreciated the multiple points of view. There are some stunning twists involved in the plot too, which caught me off guard!
For a debut author the worldbuilding is exquisite and I appreciated that the characters were drawn from diverse backgrounds and were developed well.
All in all, this is a superb dystopian thrill ride following the characters as they fight for survival, a haunting and thought-provoking read!
I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. View all 4 comments.
Shelves: finished-copies-physical , thriller , science-fiction , dystopian , unrated. Many thanks to Andrew at William Morrow for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review "Blue.
Well, the review is here but not the rating. This book is one of the first books that I will be opting out of rating. I literally spent an entire day trying to decide what to rate this but I came up blank.
It just doesn't fit any of the star ratings. Not three because, to me, that implies neutral feelings or a general liking which was not it either.
You see the jam I'm in? The Book of M follows Max and her husband, Ory in a post apocalyptic world where many people have lost there shadows and are now called "The Shadowless".
Once you lose your shadow, you also slowly or sometimes quickly. It's very random lose your memory. At first. For the first half of the book, it all felt very straightforward and factual, as every good sci-fi does.
But then it slowly descends from science fiction to in my opinion high fantasy. I honestly don't think I would have minded it except for the fact that it wasn't really explained how to magic worked which was a huge issue for me.
But aside from the missing explanation, the whole shift to fantasy was not only weird but also confusing. Things were moving really fast. Now, I love fast paced books; they hold my attention and are fun to read.
But this book was way to fast. It felt like I was on a skateboard, going down a hill when all of a sudden the hill got super steep and I couldn't stop.
To put it simply, the world building has its flaws, yes. That said, it was very creative and unique. As most science fiction novels do, this book isn't just about scares and magic.
As I mentioned, we follow Ory and Max. Ory then chases her across the country, picking up Friends along the way- Whoa, if this didn't have shadowless psychos, it could basically be a road trip novel!
Jokes aside, I loved the love shown in this. It was so expertly crafted to make me smile and cry and everything else in between. That combined with the urgency of the shadows and forgetting made this even more readable.
Finally, I want to touch on the last quarter of the novel. It was a convoluted mess. Now, I do want to note that I was shopping with my mom which ended up being super fun, actually so I wasn't completely focused but I still got the idea.
As I said, the shift from science fiction to fantasy was not enjoyable but that shift combined with the too-fast chaos of everybody running around, POV shifts, and magic, just left me overwhelmed and confused.
Overall, this isn't a bad novel. If I had to choose between good or bad, I would say good. That said, I still won't be giving this a rating because I simply can't come up with one.
This book had a lot wrong with some aspects, especially the ending. Even so, it was beautifully and expertly written by someone who definitely knows what they're doing.
If you can deal with the bumps, be sure to pick this one up! Happy reading! Jan 18, Jenna rated it really liked it Shelves: post-apocalyptic.
It just has to be remembered. 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 perfect description for this book. It's post-apo "A thing does not have to be said to be real. It's post-apocalyptic, yet not what most people usually think of when they think of that genre.
The Book of M , whilst there is action, is more introspection, an exploration of the emotions and thoughts of those who are trying to survive when civilization collapses.
At some point in the near future, a mysterious People begin to lose their shadows, and with them, their memories. As civilization collapses and memories fade, people struggle to survive.
The book is written from the point of view of several characters, detailing their current experiences and challenges, and attempting to hold on to their memories once their shadows have disappeared.
Sound strange? It is! It seems like something Stephen King could have thought up. It is a gripping story, one that makes it difficult to put the book down.
However, I think the book could have been about pages shorter because it starts to seem repetitive part way through, then picks up again for the last pages.
I love these "quiet books", though I don't think many authors could pull them off, nor are they books for everyone. Peng Shepherd is one of those writers who can pull off a book like this, and pull it off well.
Even though this "illness" is unbelievable, the characters responses, their thoughts and feelings, are. I've knocked off one star because of the occasional repetitiveness; otherwise, this would have been a 5 star book.
I highly recommend it, especially if you like novels that make you think. It is a story of love, a story of survival, and a story that will have you wondering just what it takes to be you.
Have you ever realized how wonderfully valuable our ability to remember is? Or how fragile and fallible it could be?
What would happen if the entire population, and even the physical world around you suddenly lost that ability?
Not only does the cover text do a great job on its own, but even if you go in fairly blind like I did, the first chapter will sweep you up and have you excited to find out for yourself.
When I was reading, for all I knew this was already happening on the other side of the world. We see the story through the eyes of 4 characters: - Orlando Ory Zhang, a devoted husband on a journey to find his wife who has recently lost her shadow.
All of their perspectives have their own distinct voices, and I enjoyed all of them. He seemed a little single-minded and flat in his character: his only goal being to find his wife, no matter the cost.
As this was the only complaint I had with the novel as a whole, I can easily forgive it though. The Book of M was all in all, one of if not my nr.
I was conflicted between wanting to speed up my reading to find out how this would end, and wanting to slow down, just to be able to savour it longer.
It reminded me a lot of Station Eleven , one of my all-time favorite novels, in that sense without being too similar. Highly recommend! Although this was great in concept, I had a problem with the huge difference in speaking pace between the two.
The male voice actor spoke painfully slow for my liking, to the point where I had to put the narration on 1. Characteristics: pages ; 21 cm.
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