Hi everyone! Before I start today, I just want to say a big thank you for 200 followers! I know this must seem like a tiny number to some of you but it means so much to me that there are 200 people interested in what I have to say; I appreciate every single one of you!
Today I’m reviewing The Book of M by Peng Shepherd, which was very kindly sent to me by the lovely people at Harper Collins.
What the book is about…
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.
What I thought of it…
This was a stunning debut. The concept is so unique and had me completely engrossed from start to finish. The novel’s apocalyptic opening had me immediately gripped. The story definitely has a Station Eleven vibe (which is one of my very favourite books) but it’s also completely original.
The quality of writing is absolutely excellent, so much so that it’s hard to believe this is a debut. I was absolutely captivated and could not stop thinking about this book whenever I wasn’t reading it. There were some really strong descriptions of the post-apocalyptic world and I could visualise everything very clearly.
Shepherd has created a diverse cast of characters, all of whom felt well fleshed-out. I don’t always get on with multiple perspective books but it worked really well here. The way the storylines converged into the novel’s conclusion was fantastic and I did not see any of it coming. I do have a slight issue with the fate of the two gay characters; I like to think it was just an oversight and not the author’s intention but what happened to them made me a little uncomfortable.
Some elements of the book were a little confusing (I couldn’t really get my head around how people could force things to happen by forgetting about them? Like how can you force yourself to forget something?!) It went over my head a little bit.
But, on the whole, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it! Despite it’s length, it doesn’t feel like a book that goes on forever. It really is an awesome and ambitious story; it felt very cinematic and I could definitely see this being made into a movie. It’s well worth a read if you’re a fan of post-apocalypse stories with a difference!
Has anyone read this one? What is your favourite post-apocalyptic book? x