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The Cartographers - Book 6 of 2022

The March selections from Book of the Month presented me with some difficulty. I had several choices that somewhat caught my interest but nothing really jumped out at me as The One. After mulling it over, I landed on The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd. I like mysteries and I love New York City so I figured this would serve me well.

Sadly, that was not the case. I don't know the last time I put a book that I started reading on my Did Not Finish pile. I actually pride myself on my ability to slog through books that I don't enjoy just to complete them. I've officially DNFed this book.


Here's the thing, though, I totally understand why someone else loves this book and I don't want you, dear reader, to give it a miss just because it wasn't for me. The concept behind this story is spectacular. The dialogue between the characters is charming. I ran into a personal issue where every chapter ends with some level of a hook or twist - a literary standard that's meant to keep you reading. For me, however, this fell short. Instead of catching me by surprise and encouraging me to continue on, I found myself coming to the end of each chapter and closing the book. It would take me hours or weeks to pick it up again. This style of writing reminds me of Thomas Hardy and other serial writers of his period - each chapter was published weekly and they had to end making you want to come back and read more! For me, it felt forced.


After over a month of picking up the book and putting it down, I made it about halfway through where a major twist occurs. I thought to myself "surely it will get more exciting now!" but I kept putting it down. Last week, the sequel to Black Sun arrived and I decided it's time to put The Cartographers aside... because I cannot wait to start reading Fevered Star.

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