ARC Review: The Book of M by Peng Shepard

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. 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, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

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.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a Physical copy of the book by Harper Collins India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

NOTE: This book was read as part of #BnBReadathon hosted by @booksnbeyondbox on Instagram (Prompt 3: A Book shortlisted for an Award)

Do you have expectations about the books you decide to spend quite a lot of your time with? I do. I read a blurb; I decide on whether the content would be something I would like to spend my time on the book or not.  

When I read The Book of M’s blurb – I was instantly fascinated with the concept of a dystopian fiction, wherein the shadows of human beings slowly vanished and then all at once leading to the shadowless losing their memories & how the world descended into chaos as a result.   

Now when I started off the book – I was excited, intrigued and definitely captivated – which held till the almost the middle of the book and then; then my interest morphed into confusion and intrigue turned to bafflement. 

So I am gonna make this review a lot easier to understand (for you and for myself!):

Here is what I was “okay” with about the book:

  • The idea of the book – that shadows of the people are related to their memories & that losing your shadow meant in essence  losing who you are.  
  • The introduction of Indian Folk Stories – I loved that the author took time to actually research into the   

Here’s what I had an “issue” with in the book: 

  • The execution of the story – trust me, when I tell you, the story had a strong foundation, but somehow, somewhere the author ended up losing sight of exactly what they wanted to tell in the fiction. 
  • Using Indian Folk Story was a brilliant choice, mostly because it isn’t the most used plot twist, but again, the author ended up not explaining the how and what of the Indian Folk Story was useful for the plot.  
  • The ending – was rushed, chaotic and utterly confusing – not to mention, I honestly couldn’t understand exactly how the ending (and some actual instances) came into play..  

Would I recommend this book? It would be a no from my side.  

What I would tell you is that, you should definitely do you. Maybe it will be something that will interest your sensibilities – I honestly did question my own intellectual ability the end of the book, mostly because so many understood the why and what, and I didn’t *shrugs* 

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 



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