The Cartographers (Hardcover, 2021, William Morrow & Company, William Morrow) 3 stars

What is the purpose of a map?

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is …

The Cartographers is a book I should love but I can only muster up enough enthusiasm to give it a 3 star rating. An urban fantasy novel centred around the New York Public Library main branch, yes, please. The characters dig into the possibility that the intentional errors map makers add to the maps in order to copyright them, "phantom settlements" if you will, are in fact, real. While that is an intriguing premise, the execution of it left me feeling a bit confused. Continue on for minor spoilers.

What got me is that the characters in this novel focus is on one "phantom settlement". One character, in particular, is driven to do some pretty awful things to return to the settlement. This really doesn't make a ton of sense. If all of these settlements are real, why is the focus on only one location? Yes, I know they tried to explain the importance late in the book, but I really didn't get it.

Finally, one of the characters makes a "big decision". Even after reading the entire book, I can fathom why they would make this sacrifice when they didn't need to.