A mass-produced road map so valuable that someone is willing to kill people to get it. Just when you thought cartography was boring.
Easiest 10/10 decision ever. I read The Cartographers as a geographer and a lifelong lover of maps, which may have had some effect on how much I enjoyed it. But then again, if you combine maps, magic, thrill, and history in a suitable ratio, can the result be anything but one of the most enchanting reading experiences of your life?
In my opinion, the book has the potential to become an international blockbuster. Peng Shepherd's previous work, The Book of M, has been translated into a few languages. I would like this to spread even more widely so that everyone who fancies maps, magic, and/or exciting stories would have a chance to read it.
The fire in the ancient Library of Alexandria was not an accident. Instead, the Library burned to protect itself and its dangerous secret: magical books. The Library survived in the form of a society of the same name, and every ten years the society recruits new members. The Atlas Six follows the training of the six newest member candidates, who are among the most talented magicians in the world.
The book's conspiratorial idea of a library staging its own destruction is undeniably original. The magic that appears in the book is also original, which Olivie Blake has not blatantly copied, at least not from any fantasy story that I know. The book manages to keep its secrets hidden and mislead its readers down the wrong paths until the very end. And at the end comes a surprise that is impressive, though nothing mind-blowing.
The characters in the book are beautiful, young, rich, clever, and immensely powerful all right, but not terribly interesting. I didn't really identify with any of them, except maybe Reina, who I think should have been featured more. The end of the story really felt a bit lackluster, possibly because it is only a staging point. That's right, there will be at least one sequel to this book. Naturally.
The social media buzz surrounding The Atlas Six has not been mere mass hysteria. I think the time I spent on this book wasn't wasted. However, it remains to be seen whether I will continue the series from now on.