The Cartographers (Book Review)

The Cartographers (Book Review)

The Cartographers book review

This book brought out a lively discussion in my book group last night; some loved it and some hated it. Me, I was somewhere in between.

On the positive side, we learn about phantom settlements in maps, and there is some creativity in the story telling structure, and the audio has a full cast narration.

This book starts interestingly in the New York Public Library map division, and spirals from there through a magical room, store, and town–where I was willing to suspend my disbelief– to an ending incorporating a mother’s choice that I just couldn’t buy. There were gaping holes in the world building logic, and just too many unanswered questions. There were too many times when the characters didn’t do the obvious things they would have done.

I liked this enough to finish it, liked it mostly while I was reading it, and then it left me frustrated and shaking my head.  The Cartographers  has a lot of buzz right now and I just thought you might want to know it is actually quite a mixed bag. I give it a low 4 stars; it just squeezed up over the line to merit this blog post.

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Bud 8 months ago

    Thank you for your honest review of this book. I do, however, like the artwork on the cover. It has the ability to change from an outward facing 90 degree angle to an inward facing one. (Not sure if I am explaining it correctly.) I wonder if there is a name for such an artistic structure. Although very different, it puts me in mind of the paintings that have eyes seemingly capable of following one across the room. Comments?

    • Author
      Polly Castor 8 months ago

      I like the cover too. The effect is a bit reminiscent of Escher.


  1. […] 3)  The Cartographers (my low four star review here) […]

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