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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 , science-fiction , thriller , 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.
Jul 23, Dianne rated it really liked it Shelves: best-of On this one or two days, at noon, the sun is directly overhead and, unless you jump, you cannot see your shadow.
When a person loses their shadow, they begin to lose their memories. Deer sprout wings on their foreheads instead of antlers, guns shoot thunder and lightning, and kites in the sky become sharp instruments of death.
Originally, a wedding party stayed on at the resort in hiding after the shadow disappearance epidemic hit the U.
Over the past two years, the other wedding guest have left the resort leaving Ory and Max to their own devices. They are down to their last jar of spaghetti sauce when Max loses her shadow.
Ory is terrified to leave Max alone while he looks for food in the city. What if she forgets everything and leaves or starts to alter their reality?
Eventually, driven by necessity, he leaves Max with a small tape recorder around her neck where she can record her thoughts and memories to help her remember.
He puts signs up around their shelter to remind her of the rules — Max cannot leave the shelter without Ory. Max can never answer the door.
Max cannot touch the gun. Ory leaves on his quest. He encounters a group of twelve people, both shadowed and shadowless, who are leaving for New Orleans.
They offer Ory the items they are leaving behind — bikes, curtains, and other odds and ends. No food, other than a jar of vinegar.
Ory heads back to the resort with his scavenged items. On the way, he is mugged for his windfall.
When he comes to and straggles back to the resort, Max is gone without a trace. Max shares her side of the story via her tape recorded diary entries.
He still has his shadow. Zadeh and Dr. Avanthikar — doctors working to find a cure for the shadowless, working with Hemu Joshi and The Amnesiac The plot is complicated and quite interesting.
Indian legends and mythology play a significant part. Eventually, all of the story and character threads come together in a surprise twist with a perfect bittersweet ending.
A very promising debut for Shepherd. Oh, and one more thing — this novel gets bonus points from me for its reverence for books. View all 10 comments.
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. The female however especially as Max speaks fairly fast, leaving me to have to switch the speed of the audiobook after every chapter.
Nov 13, Marialyce rated it really liked it Shelves: library. 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 loved one, a friend, a foe, or even yourself?
Combini It's the day of the festival of Lost Shadows and a young man loses his shadow in an Indian market. Combining mysticism, folklore, and originality Ms Shepard has created a harrowing look at what could be if we lost our awareness.
In this book, we met Ory and his wife Max. They and others have escaped shadow loss by hiding out for years in a remote area in the woods but one by one people start to drift away until one day, Max disappears for she as well lost her shadow.
Max knows that she too, will be one of the lost, memory less, forgetting the man she loves so she leaves rather than subject Ory to her decline.
However, Ory will not let her go, tracking her, following her into a world of desperation, cruelty, death and mayhem. Along the way desperately seeking Max, he encounters others, those who still have their shadow while others are now shadowless as he heads to New Orleans where the "one who gathers" has made a place for all.
There are some extremely strange and abysmal happenings in a world turned into chaos from those who roam about bent on destroying others to a cult that worships the shadowless.
This is the land of nightmares, of memory loss, of a time where there are no rules other than survival, and yet amidst all this, there is hope and love as Ory will not forsake Max even though he knows she will probably not remember him if he finds her.
I have to say this book had me from the get go. To comprehend and conceive of a world where the ones I love and I lose our memory was a horrifying experience.
This book gave me a new found understanding of what it must be like for people who experience Alzheimers or any type of memory loss.
To be cast adrift in a world where you know nothing, something as simple as brushing your teeth or washing your hair is gone from your recognition.
It is a black hole from which there is no escape. What a totally fearsome concept to conceive! I do recommend this book for making one come to the realization that it is our memories that makes us who we are.
Once we lose them, we become diminished, losing in a way our humanity, becoming adrift in a sea of bewilderment, anxiety, and ambivalence.
But what if someday all memories faded away? View all 30 comments. Aug 13, Kate rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , favorite-standalones. So, this book was seriously incredible.
This book was what I wanted when I was reading those books and TOY just had a very similar feeling to this book? The book follows the world when a phenomena begins where people all around the world are losing their shadows - and with them, their memories.
And so begins the apocalyptic world that this book mostly takes place during. Just, wow, this book seriously blew me away. Everything from the characters the whole Paul thing like wow maybe just stab me in the heart next time???
Now I'm going to quickly talk about the ending because I have a LOT to say about it so dont read if you dont want spoilers.
And no that didnt affect my love of the book - I enjoy when books make me feel a lot of emotions, including anger in a good way sometimes?
Basically, this whole thing at the end reminded me of a hypothetical situation my friend and I sometimes bring up with people. Would you love someone if their brain, their memories, their personality and their life was extracted and put into a different body?
The answer should still be "yes" but much like how our friends always answered "no" to the transgender transitioning question, Ory also answered "no.
Tell yourself uplifting and inspirational stories. Read one—yes, just one—of the meditations, then close your eyes and see what bubbles up. Take your time.
You may consider possibilities and see connections where none seemed to exist before. You might use a blank journal to capture your thoughts, ideas, and sketches.
It follows the format of the personal enrichment exercise "I am. Movies, magazines and gym memberships. Even church attendance and social media streams have become a means of comparing ourselves to impossible standards.
Am I pretty enough? Hip enough? Spiritual enough? When a brutal bout with cancer changed how she looked, talked, and lived, Michele Cushatt embarked on a soul-deep journey to rediscover herself.
With raw personal stories, rock-solid biblical teaching, and radical truths on which to rebuild your life, I Am will help you:. Maybe not every day or all the time, but you have those moments when you take a long hard look at yourself and wonder: Who AM I?
This is SO not how I imagined ending up. Me, too. I wanted to be this amazing wife and mother, a smart businesswoman, a world-changing Jesus follower.
I wanted my life to matter, to make a difference. Problem is, most days I feel about as far away from those things as the sea is from the sky.
I wake up early, I stay up late, but the to-dos are never done. I start the day determined to love my husband and children better, but then I want to wring their necks usually before dinner.
I read my Bible and pray, but I keep blowing it, making mistakes, and acting anything but Jesus-like. The short of it is this: As much as I put on a confident front, most days I struggle to like who I am.
For me, this struggle got more personal when a cancer diagnosis and resulting surgery and treatment radically altered my body, my relationships, and my abilities.But then Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The best name he'd ever heard for Spyder Solitär was curse. Shara Vitone If you were shadowless Casino Suche had to choose ANY book to replace your "essence of memories" which book would it be and why? Thunderstruck Soundtrack army of shadowed Sk Sturm led by a shadowless, who Slot Game Online Play to remove all Sizzling Hot Free To Play shade from the world — against a council of shadowless, led by a living shadow, who wanted to give everyone Euromillions Superdraw their dark twin. Also Peter Pan Yes! Deer sprout wings on their foreheads instead of antlers, guns shoot Blackjack Spielen Munchen and lightning, and kites in the sky become sharp instruments of death. The book is written from Neteler Aurich 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. Am I M Book pretty enough? J Spiele not every day or all the time, but you have those moments when you take a long hard look at yourself and wonder: Who AM I?