The Phantom Atlas is a guide to the world not as it is, but as it was imagined to be. It's a world of ghost islands, invisible mountain ranges, mythical civilizations, ship-wrecking beasts, and other fictitious features introduced on maps and atlases through mistakes, misunderstanding, fantasies, and outright lies.
It would be wrong to dismiss The Phantom Atlas as an exotic side-show... The Phantom Atlas will prove rewarding for armchair adventurers and nautical historians. For more intrepid souls, it affords an indispensable guide to legendary sites or, just possibly, remote realms waiting to be reclaimed. Don’t forget to bring a camera.
[An] intriguing book ... This is a generously illustrated volume, but many of the maps are too small to be properly examined. The publisher should have had the confidence to produce it as a lavish coffee-table book. Nevertheless, there are some good yarns here.
What makes Brooke-Hitching’s book more than just a collection of oddities is the emphasis on why these errors happen, and how relying on religion at the exclusion of science, or valuing outsider reports ahead of indigenous knowledge, detrimentally impacted centuries of exploring.