A review by meredithamadee
The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd

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


Overall, I thought this was a great idea but am disappointed in the execution. There were so many elements to the story that were deemed as important but I didn’t feel like I, as the reader, really understood why. For example, we are supposed to believe that Nell and Felix have this great love but we hardly get any insight into their relationship. We also learn of this group of 7 “found family” friends but we don’t really learn what actually brings them together besides their shared interest. We hear about Nell and Felix’ deep devotion to NYPL and Swann and how much they remember the place, but they haven’t been there in 7 years? I really liked the idea and the mystery and appreciated all the twists and turns of the story but the “magic” left me confused and I don’t feel like it was ever really explained. Overall, good idea but the writing left the characters and story feeling forgettable for me.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings