The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Title: The Cartographers
Author: Peng Shepherd
Genre/s and Tags: Mystery, Fiction, Adult, Thriller, Magical Realism, Books About Books
Goodreads synopsis:

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.

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.

But why?

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 . . .

Perfect for fans of Joe Hill and V. E. Schwab, The Cartographers is an ode to art and science, history and magic—a spectacularly imaginative, modern story about an ancient craft and places still… 

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Book Shop | Blackwell’s

ID: My white left hand holds The Cartographers in front of my rainbow shelves. Various candles and knickknacks decorate the shelves.t. End ID.

Full Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to B2 Weird and William Morrow Books for my finished copy in exchange for an honest review and promotion. All opinions are my own.

This was so fun. I was stressed and anxious the whole time, but in a good way!

The Cartographers is all about maps, especially maps that might be a little magical. When Nell’s father is found dead in his office, Nell doesn’t know what to think. She hasn’t talked to him in years since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation in cartography. Nell finds the same map that caused their last fight in his possessions. She thought it was completely worthless only to find out it’s incredibly rare and valuable. A mysterious collector has been hunting all copies down. The mystery of why sets Nell on a life changing journey.

I really enjoyed this book! I was immediately pulled in by the suspicious death of Dr. Young. From this Nell begins to dig into her family’s past in order to find out exactly what happened to her mother the year she died in a fire. I loved seeing how all the pieces wove together.

While Nell is the main focal point of this story, we get glimpses into the perspectives of her parents and their friends throughout the book. I enjoyed getting to know all of them and see their various motives for why they did what they did.

I meant to savor this book, but once I started I could not stop. I was so invested in the mystery. I had to have answers more than anything else. I also really enjoyed that the characters were all older since I’ve been reading mostly YA lately. Nell and Felix are in their 30s and the other side characters are probably in their late 40’s to 50’s.

Overall, I’m so glad I picked this one up, thoroughly enjoyed it!

Rep: white cishet female MC, Black cishet male side character, Black cishet female side character, Asian American cishet female side character, white cishet side characters, male side character mentions having a husband.

CWs: Murder, death, death of parent, violence, injury/injury detail, fire/fire injury. Moderate: sexual content, infidelity.

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