From the critically acclaimed author of The Book of M, a highly imaginative thriller about a young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father's belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret - one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family's dark history
What is the purpose of a map?
Nell Young's whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell's personal hero. But she hasn't seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.
But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can't resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence . . . because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one - along with anyone who gets in the way.
To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps . . .
Perfect for fans of Joe Hill and V. E. Schwab, The Cartographers is an ode to art and science, history and magic - a spectacularly imaginative, modern story about an ancient craft and places still undiscovered.
Peng Shepherd was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet. She earned her MFA in creative writing from New York University, and has lived in Beijing; London; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and New York City. The Book of M is her first novel.
"In this dark fable . . . deadly secrets and gothic-inflected speculative fiction ensue." - Literary Hub
"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." - Library Journal
"If you enjoyed John Green's Paper Towns, but always wanted to read a book about ghost maps written for adults . . . then The Cartographers is the book for you! . . . One of the cleverest mysteries of the year." - CrimeReads
"Peng Shepherd has done it again! The Cartographers is an exquisitely written, brilliantly plotted, absolutely fantastic novel. A story like this reminds us of why we all fell in love with reading to begin with. Be prepared to be swept away on an incredible journey that will stay with you long after you turn the final page." - Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Black Ice
"Shepherd plots page-turning twists and revelations with ease and excels in her knowledge of historical maps and cartographical mysteries. The inclusion of map diagrams and detailed flashbacks carry the reader right alongside Nell as she attempts to disentangle an increasingly complex, slightly supernatural secret. In an author's note, Shepherd promises that "something magical happens" when a person follows a map that lies, and this book will make you believe it. A highly inventive novel that pushes the boundaries of reality." - Kirkus Reviews
"Peng Shepherd flawlessly celebrates the ancient craft of cartography while taking readers on a thrilling journey of discovery." - Veranda
"In this dark fable, a young woman finds a strange map among her estranged father's things after his untimely death. Deadly secrets and gothic-inflected speculative fiction ensue." - New Scientist
"Cleverly imagined.... With an elaborately realized plot, fanatic cartographers, maps with surreal powers generated by phantom settlements (intentional errors), and many-faceted suspense, Shepherd contrasts science and art, obsession and love in a bedazzling metaphysical tale of lost and found." - Booklist
"The Cartographers is wildly imaginative and totally mind-bending in the best possible way. Shepherd has crafted a juicy mystery masquerading as a grown-up scavenger hunt filled with astonishing twists and revelations. The result is a romp that's pure pleasure to read and will keep readers guessing" - Bookpage