The Cartographers

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

This was listened to as an Audible book, however the book itself has pictures of the maps referenced in the story. The first half of the book did not prepare me for one of the plot twists that changed the last part of the book. It was easy enough to guess who Wally was, and possible to figure out who Bear was as the story of the group was being told by different members. Nelly hadn’t spoken to her father for 7 years and then finds out he died in a suspicious manner and in trying to figure out what was the reason for their horrible fight she uncovers secrets she never dreamed of. If you enjoy maps and cartography, this story will be more appealing to you as the plot revolves around maps. While the story was enjoyable, the book almost seemed like it was two genres a murder mystery in the first half and a magical fantasy in the second half (while still solving the murder mystery). Even waiting a few days to write the review it is hard to figure out. The appeal can be to anyone who likes maps/cartography, mystery, and fantasy (it just takes longer to get into that part).

Character List/Book Summary:

Nelly Young – had a horrible argument with her father 7 years ago and was exiled from the world of cartography and lost her job at the New York Public Library map department. Uncovers the map that caused the argument with her father, Daniel Young, in his secret portfolio and wants to know why her father kept the map that caused them to stop talking to each other. Has been working at Classic – a company that makes historic looking maps for decorations.

Felix – Nelly had dated him and he argued with Dr. Daniel Young too and was kicked out of the cartography world. He landed a job at a digital map making company. Has been on a special project to create an all encompassing map. Has not spoken to Nelly or Swan since the fight, but agrees to help when she asks for it.

Humphrey – Nelly’s boss at Classic, is protective of her. Will not consider changing buildings when Nelly asks about it.

Swan – Daniel Young’s boss at the New York Public Library. Tried to help Nelly and Felix get jobs after the fight. Promised Daniel to protect Nelly, and does so when he goes on an adventure with the Cartographers and Nelly.

Wally – part of the Cartographers who has been hunting down copies of a specific map with a phantom settlement. Has killed people and destroyed buildings looking for a copy of the map.

Ramona – has a reputation for finding maps without proper certifications. Was once a member of the Cartographers, is hiding from Wally. Tells Nelly about that start of the story and eventually helps tell the whole story.

Eve – helped get Daniel a copy of a specific map, was a member of the Cartographers. Tells Nelly more of the story and eventually helps tell the whole story on the way to a special location.


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