The Cartographers

Morrow. Mar. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780062910691. $27.99. F
A campus novel, a library novel, a work of magical realism: Shepherd (The Book of M) deftly blends all three in an engrossing tale involving maps, murders, and rooms that are not there. Cartographer Nell Young had a bright future until her father inexplicably ruined her career. Now this legend who ruled the map rooms of the New York Public Library is dead, and his legacy seems to be a tattered, cheap map, the kind that was once handed out at gas stations when $10 filled the tank. But some maps, no matter how seemingly outdated, are magical. This one sends Nell and a growing cast of comrades into her parents’ past, illuminating the outlines of terra incognita. Readers will be hooked and find their imaginations sparking as they turn the pages. Shepherd matches the drama and whimsy of the story with quick, straightforward prose that keeps her multilayered and accelerating plot neatly under control.
VERDICT A shimmering delight, full of wonder, danger, and marvel. Suggest to readers of Erin Morgenstern, who has a similar ethos, and Natasha Pulley, who, like Shepherd, well knows how to end a story.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing