Meet Nell Young a cartographer for Classic who was creating a special map hoping that it will sell to many. But when her superior sees what she’s done her bubble is burst and although her reasoning is spot on he claims what she’s done needs major changes to make it look more antique and aged. The job of a cartographer or mapmaker is to design user-friendly maps.
Within this novel, we will learn about an old map created by the general drafting corporation of a cheap folding map of a gas station highway. A junk box map in a portfolio on her father’s desk. Why did he save it and when she reaches it why do so many want it and bid millions for it? Not revealing to anyone that she has this map she meets with Swann her father’s assistant now the new director of the map division of NYPL hoping to learn more about what he was working on and the reason why he hid this map the same one that got her fired 7 years ago. Tensions rise as Nell attends her father’s funeral and members of the library board and donors strive with each weighing in on what he might have been doing about the map that no one knows she has except for an old classmate named Francis who knows about her posting about the map and warning her to stop looking into it. Is this having station map linked to his death? Her ex-boyfriend Felix comes back into her life hoping he’ll learn more about the break-in who was it and now working for a giant tech Haberson, who wishes to map the entire world and is now in charge of the map division and more in the library adding new safeguards to prevent another break-in. They took over inventory and database security for the library. At the funeral, she connects with several of her father’s classmates who knew her mother and she see someone named Ramona Wu who tells her the history of her how her parents met and how their study group crested the Dreamer’s Atlas and getting published. She learns about the house fire and that her mother gave her life for her.
But Nell wanted to learn more about both maps that she had. The gas station map was the only one left and with a lot, but no one knew except Felix that she had it.
When does Nell learn that the people her father and mother knew were called the cartographers’ things changed and she wondered if they were going to go after the map of the gas station and her if they learned she had it? She also learned about a special showing of the Sanborn collection of maps and managed to get into see it and explore finding information on this second map of The New York Public Library.
But there’s much more behind these maps which turns out to be a deadly obsession of someone who will stop at nothing to get it. But Nell is also becoming concerned that she’s being followed by a black car that shows up at times and hoping to talk to Francis he just disappears.
The author adds each person in the group or cartography group from the past and how it will add to the present and the mystery behind the maps.
I have always been fascinated by ancient maps, so I Googled to find out which map is the first and oldest one. Imago Mundi is seen in this diagram.
Dating back to the 6 th century BCE is the oldest known works map in the world and offers a unique look into ancient perspectives on earth and heaven. This is the map. As Eve relates how they came to see the gas station map and who bought it and why
As Eve and Nell continue to talk about both maps. Eve reveals a secret that changes it all so Nell looks closer at the Sanborn map and finds what Eve calls a phantom settlement which is something you hide within a map you made that is wrong. If it appears in someone else’s map you know they stole it from you.
The General Drafting map of the gas station had a town named Agloe on it but was it real? Events are changed and the truth behind this town revealed as Eve explains it and z Francis elaborated we learn who is behind what happened to her father, why he did not want her to pursue the gas station map and what happens next will shock readers as a harsh reality and truth comes to light when Nell is attacked and the purse is stolen. Added in the chair of the library is killed. Tensions rise as Nell never gave her the map she promised Felix she would. Always wanting to investigate more and when the truth about who’s behind the murders and the theft of her purse comes out will the police stop this person before she becomes a target again?
It flashes to Francis and the truth behind the gas star map and the town that is not there but is it? Is it an imaginary town or can you go there? What is they do?
Read page 220 and close your eyes as the town is described but there is more. Eve flashes us back to how they learned more about this town, they went there and wren inside it, bought maps of this gas station highway map but Algoe was not in it or on their copy but now that they had answers they went ahead and changed the course of their Dreamer’s Atlas .
The truth behind the map is revealed, the phantom testament, the fire that took her mother’s life and the map of a gas station that held the secret. Why was this map so valuable? What about Algoe was real and not real? Each character has his /her own story of truths, lies, and betrayals but Wally was the one who is still after the only copy of the gas station map that was hidden in her father’s desk. But there’s more and the lives of many were lost and taken, Wally wanted to burn all the copies he stole but one but this fire took a life but there is much more to reveal.
The final reveal will shock you as a hidden secret is revealed and just who was behind the fire, the murders was the one person who wanted that map and hoped to return there in other to prove it existed but there was another reason. The map was the key to an impossible place and the last thing that belonged to her mother. Nell was relentless and refused to stop winding up in danger knowing this town existed but did it? Halberson Global just who owned it you won’t believe as Nell, Felix, Swann, and Bear, and the other cartographers race for time but a killer is there and wants what Nell has but a startling revelation, a killer’s reasoning, and an ending fit some, a beginning for others and Nell who must face the past, take a risk in the present but in the end where will she wind up? Author Peng Shepherd has left us wondering the answer to that question. A letter that reveals it all and a map that might tell it . As the cartographers team up once more but where is Nell and what is the true fate of the map?
Fran Lewis just reviews