|I love this cover. It was the first thing that attracted me to the book.|
Title: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
Book Beginnings quote:
In the dim light of her desk's single bulb lamp, the map nearly glowed.
Friday56 quote (from unknown page somewhere in book):
“They told us they’d found a town, but not just any town . . . a hidden place, just a few minutes down the road. So invisible that you could drive or walk by every day for your entire life and never know it was there, accessible only if you had the key. You can imagine our reactions. “That,” Romi finally said, “is the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard.” It sounded like something out of a children’s fantasy novel.”
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.Review: When I read the summary of The Cartographers I was pretty excited to get started reading it. Maps, mystery, murder? It all sounded so exotic and different than anything I'd ever read before. I also read several reviews from my blogging friends and I thought this is a perfect book for my husband and I to listen to on a planned road trip. When the library copy wasn't available in time for our trip I used an Audible credit to purchase the audiobook. It didn't take us long to notice that there were some worrisome and irritating issues with the writing, particularly when the point of view shifted from the main character, Nell, to one of the many other characters. Each had a story to tell and Shepherd just couldn't figure out how to do it in a non-clunky way. Another device that Shepherd used throughout the book was for Nell to question everything in multiple sets of questions. It got to the point that my husband would start mimicking the narration with Why and What and How questions just to be funny.
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 publisher)
When we got to our destination, we were halfway finished with the book and we decided we were invested enough in the mystery that we wanted to continue listening even though the writing was bothersome. Once we figured out who was the murderer we still couldn't figure why he felt compelled to murder not just Dr. Young but several other people as well. I'm honestly not sure if the author figured out that angle either so she just wrote a story and hoped we wouldn't notice. At one point my husband comment that the scenes reminded him of the old ScoobyDoo cartoon where their characters were always confronted with ghosts and monster who were actually common people trying to scare them off. We laughed about that idea. Then a few hours later, I was looking at my Audible app to how much time we had left in the book when I stumbled upon a reader's review of the book. It was the first in line:
Ha-ha. We couldn't stop laughing. We weren't the only ones that noticed the writing, I like his word, "sophomoric", it described the writing perfectly. And we both picked up on the ScoobyDoo vibe.
Lest you think I hated the book completely, that is not true. I rated the book with 3 stars. I liked the idea of phantom towns and the creative way that they were found and utilized. I didn't hate the book, I just wanted to warn you that there are a few problems with it. Read many other reviews before you decide if you still want to read the book.
|I couldn't resist any a little humor here.|