The Cartographers by Peng Shepard
By Peng Shepard
Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, Magical Realism
What is the purpose of a map?
Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.
But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence... because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.
To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps...
From the critically acclaimed author of The Book of M, a highly imaginative thriller about a young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father’s belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret—one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family’s dark history.
I absolutely loved the concept of this book - a cartographer discovers a secret map that a lot of people are looking for and is surrounded by dark secrets. I thought Nell was an interesting character since she was essentially shunned from the cartography business by her father. The setting of this book fit in perfectly with the theme and the mystery of it all.
It had me hooked from the beginning - I loved hearing the side of the story from the other characters to see how they all ended up where they were. This book is an adventure, mystery, thriller and has some romance all in one. It had interesting facts as well and I loved the little illustrations of the maps included throughout the book.
Overall, it was entertaining and had me curious as to what was going to happen. I thought I knew how it would turn out - but I was completely wrong! I will say that there are a lot of holes in the story that if you start to think about it, just does not make sense. If you are someone who overanalyzes or really thinks about books you probably won't like this one. I do think that it is entertaining and an easy read that is surrounded by an interesting realistic fantasy twist. The only thing that made it 4 stars instead of 5 is the fact that it had me over thinking about it for days after wondering about things that didn't quite make total sense.