Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd - Out in June...

Mahnaz Ahmadi
Nax dreamed often about the night it all began. There was just so much joy, so much wonder. No one knew then what the shadowlessness would lead to. Even when she dreamed about it now that she'd seen what it all became, the dream still never turned into a nightmare. She didn't know what that meant. Maybe it didn't mean anything at all.
~~~

It's not often that I truly find little to like about a book. This is supposedly an apocalyptic fantasy. I found little that showed it to be that... Yes, it is definitely fantasy--the concept was interesting, but quite unbelievable...

In essence, the premise is that our memories are retained in our shadows. Thus if you lose your shadow, you will begin to forget. In a real world where Alzheimer's is growing, this "possible reason" seemed to be farcical...

For one, the reason behind the concept was never given, nor did it result in the total loss of the world's people... There was no reason given to those who kept their shadows and those who lost them. 

Nor was the division based on any tangible reason that some turned bad, evil, while others worked to help as many people as possible, shadowless or not.

What there was was a division based upon the power that some of those who had lost their shadows had attained...

And the foolish "transcenders" who looked to these powerful people and bowed down to them, while attacking those who did not follow them... This was the only hypothesis that perhaps had any semblance to today's world...if you thought about it.

So, those few that remained with a shadow either were going to be forced into transcendence or killed...or be taken by the "reds" who were called that because everybody painted their bodies red. Really?

There were too many inconsistencies also, conceptually in the beginning, it was suggested that if an individual "forgot" say, their home, that it would disappear... Later in the book, however, this did not hold true in some cases. The book also hones in on several medical doctors...while the rest of the world is ignored in the story...Readers wonder if there are shadowed people everywhere, or just the few that are the main characters in the story.

While the writing and story flow was excellent, I often considered stopping and did skip parts that seemed to be overworked. The only part of the book I enjoyed was the characters. The book is divided into the story from the perspective of the various main characters and it is only their personal stories that carried the book for me. On the other hand, the lead-in suspense of the supposed savior took a storied fable to create that "savior." Who...really...wasn't...

On the other hand, the twist at the end of the book surely was not a welcome one for those who were left hanging. If this was done to elicit interest in a sequel, it didn't for me.

Maybe it didn't mean anything at all... One of the characters mused that in the book... I must admit I concurred...This is one book that held nothing for me except a new, fantastical concept of an age-old hypothesis. I will soon forget it...

You can decide on this one, but I don't recommend it... Do check out other reviews...


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