THE CARTOGRAPHERS // maps, mysteries, & multiple povs

Me at the beginning of 2022: i shall read one book every week of 2022

Me at the beginning of 2022: *gets a FREAKING PUBLISHING DEAL*

Me: whoopsie

The events relayed to you above are 100% true, 0% fictional. I had a great plan to read 52 books but . . . I had to go and publish a book instead. So, I think I’ve read a grand total of . . . THREE BOOKS (?) *immense clapping ensues*.

I know, I know—I’m a shameful excuse for a reader.

But hey! Hey hey! I’m back, kinda sorta. I literally just finished The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, a novel sent to me by Book of the Month. I chose it for two reasons:

  1. The cover is BOMBBBBBB
  2. It’s a thriller, and I need more thrill in my life
  3. The cover is PURTY (oh whoops did I say this already)

So, let’s dive into a review shall we?


Nell is obsessed with making maps but after she became a disgrace in the map-making community she now makes knock-off maps but then her father is MURDERED and people start popping up in Nell’s life claiming that they were involved in a mysterious group with her parents called THE CARTOGRAPHERS and this person is tracking down a map that broke the Cartographers group up and there’s just a whole lotta drama surrounding this map oh also some magic maybe????


Maps and mappy terms


Secret towns!!!!

A fire

People obsessed with maps and cartography

Maybe a little magic????


This book was super fun!! I really enjoyed learning about cartography—I (of course) knew very little about mapmaking before I read this book, but now I’ve realized it’s a whole art. I loved how into the details the book got; I love coming out of a book feeling like I learned something. And while I’m not about to quit my job to go draw maps, I definitely appreciate them now more.

If anything, the concept itself was a little confusing. Halfway through the book, magic is introduced and I found it very jarring because until then I’d thought we were in a real-world situation. Then, a lot of explanation begins and I found myself skimming over it just so I could figure out who the bad guy was.

HOWEVER!! I must say, I was super caught off-guard by the revelation of the baddie. I pride myself in always being able to guess whodunnit . . . but I actually NEVER can lol.


Also me: 100% WRONG

Regardless, I was still glad I was wrong because that means the author successfully turned me away from suspicion.

I had a hard time finishing the book, because I started losing interest due to how heavy it was getting with explanation. But I DID finish it. And overall, I’d have to say I liked it!

Also, can I just give a shoutout to Peng for writing a successful, beautiful novel WITHOUT lacing cuss words throughout the novel? YES. IT IS POSSIBLE TO WRITE A GOOD BOOK WITHOUT CUSSING EVERY COUPLE SENTENCES. (I’m looking at YOU, Lucy Foley, author of “The Guest List”). 👀


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars


“Maps are love letters written to times and places their makers had explored.” 

Published by Amanda Brown

INFP who names inanimate objects, loves to laugh, and is a proud old soul. You can often find her planning out her next crazy project, hugging books, or telling stories about her day that *may* be a little exaggerated.

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