STARRED REVIEW
June 2018

The Book of M

By Peng Shepherd
BookPage Top Pick in Fiction, June 2018
Share this Article:

Imagine a world in which shadows are more than simple physical phenomena that occur whenever light strikes a surface. What if our shadows were the guardians of all our memories and the core essence of who we are? What kind of darkness might descend upon the earth if one day people’s shadows suddenly began to vanish without an explanation, taking with them biographical details and threatening to unravel reality? This is the terrifying premise of Peng Shepherd’s outstanding and unforgettable The Book of M.

Our guides to this dystopian future are Ory and his wife, Max, who have quarantined themselves in a mountain lodge in Virginia while the mysterious plague of shadowlessness gradually sweeps across the planet. Despite all their safeguards, Max has recently lost her shadow, and it is only a matter of time before she begins to lose herself. In an attempt to stave off her forgetting, Ory gives Max a tape recorder to act as a repository for her memories. However, one day Ory returns from a scavenging trip to discover Max gone, prompting him to venture into a savage, chaotic world on a desperate and foolhardy mission to reunite with her. Even if the day should come when Max no longer remembers him, Ory knows he will never be able to forget or give up on Max.

Shepherd has constructed an exceedingly thoughtful and clever story that is perfectly paced and intricately plotted, producing a narrative filled with a genuine sense of urgency, thrilling twists and jaw-dropping revelations. Instantly absorbing, The Book of M is a scary, surprising, sad and sentimental story that will be deeply felt by readers while capturing their imaginations and hearts.

Readers shouldn’t be surprised if the only times they can bear to put this book down are when they feel the need to confirm that their shadows are still firmly intact.

This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Book Of M

The Book Of M

By Peng Shepherd
Morrow
ISBN 9780062669605

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.