Title: The Book of M
Author: Peng Shepherd
Genre: Adult fantasy
Format: Kindle e-book
Published: By HarperCollins Publishers on June 28th, 2018
Grade: Exceeds expectations
Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.
Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too. Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world.
As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.
I had quite average expectations from this book. Some of my blogger friends had already read and reviewed this book, so I already had an idea of what was to come. However, even this did not prepare me for what it actually turned out to be.
This book expertly blends together magic and suspense set in a post-apocalyptic world. It was interesting and heart-breaking to follow the characters follow as they dealt with extreme situations of personal loss and slowly fading memories. My favourite was Max’s perspective as she was a fiercely independent and passionate woman. While I liked Ory’s and Naz’s perspectives separately, I didn’t like the interaction between these two characters. It was fascinating to read from the amnesia patient’s point of view, but I didn’t feel any connection to his character.
I genuinely enjoyed the plot as it kept surprising me by the direction it took. There were a number of shocking twists that evoked strong emotional reactions in me. While the scientific understanding of how the world worked and the shadowless people got their abilities was not fully clear to me, I did like how the author spun myth, legend and a festival into an original storyline. Some scenes were a bit too graphic for my taste and made me uncomfortable, but otherwise I had quite a smooth experience reading it.
I would highly recommend this book for someone looking for a clever, intriguing and weird story and for fans of dystopian novels. It would make an excellent read during the colder months when you can just curl up and power through this as it’s the sort of book you can’t put down once it sucks you in. Some metal or death metal kind of music would go perfectly with this weird world. Have a ton of comfort food like hot soup or mac n cheese or ice cream handy because the twists in this story will definitely have you reaching for it often.
Have you read this book or is it on your TBR? What are your favourite dystopian kind of novels that have an interesting premise? Let me know in the comments section below.