Reviews tagging 'Murder'

The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd

103 reviews

booksarebutter's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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junowo's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This book was such a fun read. I was a bit intimidated at first with the introduction to the complex academic world of maps, but Shepherd guides the reader through it expertly, making it still feel complex without losing you.
The characters were well written and defined throughout the book, and I found myself impressed by how they all held such individual voices in the story.
I think my only disappointment comes in the ending.
Spoiler I felt that Wally’s motivations for his actions weren’t as clear or strong as I was expecting, and I don’t know that I’ll ever understand Tam’s decision to stay in Agloe. Swann’s death also felt a bit unnecessary.

Overall, I highly recommend the book! It puts a fun and interesting spin on a mystery and brought me into the world of maps, which I never would’ve thought I would be interested in, but nonetheless I’m fascinated by now!

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mbmayo's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

Nell is a woman in her thirties, drawn back into her past life as an academic cartographer after her estranged father dies. A map hidden in his possession sets off a race for answers.

I can certainly agree with many of the criticisms of low rating reviewers. This was a plot heavy book with minimal character development. The characters we meet as adults bear little resemblance to their young adult selves. One of the twists is foreshadowed well enough that it is easily predictable within the first quarter of the book. The magic system can be wishy washy and you can't think about it too hard or it all falls apart.
Spoiler For example, in the fire where Tam disappears, Agloe disappears around everyone else because they think all the copies of the map are destroyed. However, decades later when Nell tears up the gas station map, the city doesn't disappear around them, because there's still one more map, even though they don't know where it is and thus can't use it.
 

But, those didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book. I did wish we had gotten chapters from the point of view of Daniel, Swann, Wally, or Tam. I think this would have really rounded out the motivations of the characters. Overall, I found it a fun read, one of those "Medium paced" books that's actually a slow build to a sprint at the end.

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sarahweyand's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.5

I've been procrastinating writing this because I don't know where to start. This is a wonderful idea for a book and a magic system, so that's where the .5 extra stars comes in, but I can't properly describe how poorly executed this book is. The characters are flat, the romance is boring and undeserved, and the magic system is so vague and full of plot holes that nothing makes sense.

Our protagonist jumps to conclusions so fast that it's near impossible to follow her train of thought. The inciting incident for most of the plot, this 'junk box incident', makes zero sense in its fallout. Nell and Felix are INTERNS, barely out of college, and a single argument with her father "ruins" her entire career? What career? She's an intern! As our reveals happen, Nell forgives everyone pretty easily for all the horrible tings they've done and I just don't buy it.

SPOILER TERRITORY - magic system rant: 
Spoiler
 The best way I can think to express my absolute disdain for this magic system is to ask a list of questions that just shred any remaining idea that this magic was thought out:
- What if the Cartographers just drew Agloe as a dot on a piece of paper? Seems like infinite quick maps to me.
- How did Nell get 'trapped' in Agloe when the maps were destroyed, but the Cartographers didn't after the fire?
- If Nell is "trapped" in Agloe, can't she just follow the road out and...leave?
- Along these lines, can anyone make anything or alter reality? What about fantasy maps in books? Inaccurate historical maps? Poorly drawn maps by children?
- What determines if people can see the phantom settlement or not? Do they have to be looking at the map? Do they have to be within proximity of someone who is?
- If I was in the middle of a field and looked at a map that had a phantom settlement where I was standing, could the settlement appear suddenly and potentially kill me with an intersecting object?

I could keep going, but I'll stop.


Overall, this was poorly done. A cool concept and decent writing absolutely ruined by horrible execution.

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indydc's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25


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amplify's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

I read through the first 3/4 very quickly and found the storyline engaging and enjoyable but, as expected from other reviews, the end did fall apart a bit and what plot holes were forgivable did become rather annoyingly obvious and distracting. 

It almost felt as though the publisher put pressure to speed the process up and the author didn’t slow down to question motivations enough to make them believable. Not enough, “not what would I like to see happen and what should really happen” questioning going on while developing the finally thesis.

That said, I loved the concept and I really enjoyed a solid 75% of the book so…

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ejanephillips's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional inspiring mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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oceanelle's review against another edition

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Repetitive and the second half lost a lot of the momentum from the first half.

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adamsbookshelf's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

 I loved the idea of this novel and the overall plot was well executed. However there was something about this novel that just couldn't keep my interest. It just felt so long and I had to force myself to keep reading by locking my phone in the other room. Maybe my attentions span is the problem here? Who knows. 

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cookiecat73's review against another edition

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mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.0


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