The Philosopher's Flight

The Philosopher's Flight

A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape cloud...

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Title:The Philosopher's Flight
Author:Tom Miller
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Edition Language:English

The Philosopher's Flight Reviews

  • Mike

    This was excellent, and I'm really glad I took the risk with it.

    It was recommended by a fellow writer on a forum we both frequent, and when I saw it was on Netgalley I picked it up. My big concern was that the genderflip inherent in the premise - women are, for unexplained reasons, the best at magic, and a young man tries to establish himself among them during the period of the First World War - could so easily have gone terribly wrong. (I'm thinking of that awful raceflipped Pearls thing from

    This was excellent, and I'm really glad I took the risk with it.

    It was recommended by a fellow writer on a forum we both frequent, and when I saw it was on Netgalley I picked it up. My big concern was that the genderflip inherent in the premise - women are, for unexplained reasons, the best at magic, and a young man tries to establish himself among them during the period of the First World War - could so easily have gone terribly wrong. (I'm thinking of that awful raceflipped Pearls thing from a few years back.)

    I'm relieved to report that for me - and you have to remember I'm male - it succeeded in not being horribly tone-deaf in its treatment of the genderflip. First of all, many of the female characters, including the protagonist's mother, sisters, colleagues, and friends, are the kind of pragmatic, competent women that my own mother, sisters, colleagues, and friends are. Secondly, they're not idealised; though they're fine people in all the ways that really count, they're often coarse, they make bad decisions at times, and they struggle with assorted character flaws and blind spots. Other female characters are petty, selfish, silly, shallow, manipulative, all the things that real people (of both genders) are. If you're going to portray people who are not like you, this is the way to do it: make them feel like real people.

    Then the genderflip itself, the man struggling to succeed in a woman's world, is well done. I found Robert instantly relatable; he has a noble dream, to be part of the Rescue and Evacuation Corps who save wounded soldiers on the battlefield, using "sigilry" (the magic system) to fly them to safety. It looks like he can't have that dream. Even the women who support him becoming the best sigilrist he can be don't believe he can be accepted to the Corps; even his mother, his hero and inspiration, doesn't believe he should be accepted, even if he qualifies.

    He'd be a distraction to the women. He wouldn't fit in. He'd be a curiosity. It would be an exercise in political point-scoring, not a merit-based appointment. He wouldn't be able to do the work as well as a woman. If he was accepted, he'd have to be called a Sigilwoman; that's the name of the rank, and you can't simultaneously ask for equal treatment and ask for special treatment, now can you? Women bully him, haze him, threaten to boycott a major sporting event if he takes part, mark him down unfairly, strip him of an honour he's won by tremendous effort. He has to be better than most women to even be considered. He has, in other words, the experience of any outsider trying to enter a social space that's traditionally been closed to people like them.

    It's a story about family, and love, and friendship, and overcoming prejudice and injustice. Apart from a very early infodump, there's not a craft misstep in it; the author has both an MFA and an MD, which is an unusual combination, and draws on his knowledge of emergency medicine to make the multiple rescue scenes gripping and realistic. I loved Robert's competence in a crisis, demonstrated very early on and repeatedly after that, and so clearly learned from his mother.

    Robert doesn't just have societal prejudice about gender roles to contend with, either. The Trenchers, a political/religious group opposed to sigilry of all kinds and willing to take extreme measures against those who practice it, are constant threats, with some terrifying encounters that test Robert's values and ideals severely. This, too, is established right out of the gate and persists as a strong thread throughout.

    I enjoyed the epigraphs to the chapters, quotations from various invented documents which give intriguing glimpses into the characters' future and make me want to read more of their story - if I didn't already want to do so because of the excellent quality of this book. I very much do want to read more, and I will eagerly await a sequel.

  • Will Byrnes

    Why indeed?

    Eighteen-year-old Robert A. Canderelli Weekes lives with his mother, Major Emmaline Weekes, in Guille’s Run, Montana. Mom is something of a legend in her chosen profession, that being

    . Of course, the word

    is used a bit differently here from what most of us are used to. It refers to a special power, the ability to order the world about using sigils, or hand-drawn designs. The major sigil skill at issue here is flight. There are plenty of others, but flying is prime. Also core is that it may be a man’s world, but sigilry is most definitely a woman’s domain. Enough so, that many conflate it with witchcraft, to the sigilists’ peril. This makes life a bit challenging for Robert. Think the equivalent of a female left tackle for the Steelers. Sure, it is theoretically possible, but, for now at least, it is just not done. Mom passed along enough DNA, from her, and her forebears’ pool, and considerable training and practice, so that

    —yes, really, this is the poor guy’s nickname in the family (palms to face, looking down, shaking head slowly left and right, while sighing deeply)—is actually a pretty decent flyer. A talent that comes in handy when emergencies arise that require rapid transport of aid in, and/or evacuation of the injured, or people in danger, when wheeled, winged, or aquatic vehicle-based transport is not a possibility. Serious, important, and challenging work.

    - photo by Abigail Carlin-image from Simon and Schuster

    falls into the

    category. The closest thing I have read to it is

    , which imported magic into 19th century England. This one refers to roots in earlier times, but adds bits of magic mostly to the early 20th century in the USA, specifically in the days leading up to the USA entering World War I. I am sure there are plenty more of this sort, but you will have to rely on better-read reviewers to ferret them out. These two novels differ from works like Philip K. Dick’s

    , which considers what the world might look like had the Axis powers won World War II, sans incorporation of fantastical elements.

    Miller looks at how the presence of this strange ability, sigilism, might have changed events, how it might have been harnessed by governments for military purposes. The American Civil War is the first major application. Later, sigilry becomes subject to international treaty restrictions, sigilists being removed from combat, but employed as a sort of Red Cross. When the USA enters World War I, Robert, 18, is eager to join the Rescue and Evacuation Department of the US Sigilry Corps. Mom is aghast, knowing from painful personal experience how unsafe the war theater can be, and, in any case, they would certainly turn their noses up at a male applicant in an all-female group.

    Robert may have serious sigilist talent, but is rarely taken seriously. After all, sigilry is woman’s work, and Robert is just a man. A nice twist on the usual gender-based trope. And Miller has a lot of fun with it. The serious aspect of this being a look for the reader at sexism as if through a photo negative. The imagined illuminates the real.

    The major action of the novel takes place after Robert is accepted into one of the handful of colleges that trains sigilists, Radcliffe. It is at school where he not only makes some lifelong friends, but must overcome personal and institutional bias to prove his mettle. A love interest enters while there. I am not certain if this book is being marketed as YA or not but the sexual element struck me (heathen that I am) as tame enough for a YA audience, most assignations, thankfully, taking place off-screen, with lots of winking, nodding, and euphemism.

    There is another seam that permeates. A dark side to the bright light of sigilry. There is a group that breathes brimstone and is determined to restore the world to its pre-sigilry state, and if that means slaughtering all sigilists, they are perfectly fine with that, eager in fact. The Trencherists. Think KKK mixed with misogynist Death Eaters. Atrocities happen. There is a significant body count. The politics of bigotry certainly has resonance with the real world. It is what happens when hatred and fear turn kinetic that we must worry about. There is plenty of

    here.

    We know that Robert survives it all, as the book opens with him telling his nine-year-old daughter about the history of sigilry. But we do not know the fate of anyone else. And some of these characters will make you care, will make you want to know.

    The age grouping here is late teens, early twenties, with most teachers and leaders being a generation or more ahead. The age difference of the primaries separates this a bit from the Harry Potter target demo by at least a few years.

    I was very much reminded of a science fiction writer of note. Robert Heinlein, who wrote a passel of books featuring young and young-ish characters.

    stands out, but there are others. The group camaraderie is reminiscent of boot-camp-bonding and allegiance under fire. An older female character stands in for the cigar-chomping Drill Instructor who is tough as nails, but truly concerned for the safety of his charges, and a softie underneath. In many instances, Heinlein’s teen heroes shared a sort of gung-ho, let’s-go-kill-the-enemy vibe. That feel permeates here, with the significant difference that, despite having to engage in actual battle at home, the wartime activity that our hero and heroines aspire to is not mass murder but search and rescue. As with many such novels, the gung-ho mindset gets exposed to actual mortal peril and has to face up to the reality of war, battle, and group hatred.

    My primary gripe with the book is that the characters seemed a bit thin, with the exception of Robert. There are enough edges, hard and soft, to go around, but some of them seemed lacking in texture or color. Also, the mechanics of sigilry seemed a bit clunky to me. I don’t really see the sort of writing devices sigilrists use ever matching up against wands. I expect, though, that much of the hardware can be downsized or eliminated with some creative writing in future volumes. Too much hardware resembled contemporary digital devices. On the other hand, the costuming was pretty sweet.

    I don’t want to leave you with a narrow view of what sigilists can do. Flying is definitely way cool, but there is a thing called

    that is pretty impressive, and a transport talent that comes in quite handy. Definitely a grimoire or two short of the Potter range of magical capability, but this is the first in what absolutely has to be a series, so I expect that range of magical possibility will fill out in time.

    One item of note is that each of the chapters is introduced with a quote from a noted personage, some of whom are characters in the book. These offer some interior history and a bit on where this alt-history diverges from the one we know. One thing these quotes provide is a glimpse into both what came before and what lies ahead in the big-picture story arc, seeding material for future sequels and prequels.

    In short, this was a delightful read, fast-paced, engaging, with a few nifty core themes and concepts to add substance to the mayhem. My only real disappointment here was that the book was not due for release in time for Christmas. It would have made an outstanding holiday gift. Next year, for sure. I’d sign out, but don’t want to chance making a mistake and transporting myself into a boulder. Tom Miller is a major new talent.

    is the opening gambit in what promises to be a brilliant new fantasy series. It soars!

    Review posted – 12/22/2017

    Publication date – 2/13/2018

    =============================

    Miller maintains a minimal on-line presence. I am hoping that as the release date nears, that will change. When it does, I will add the appropriate links here.

    In addition to the absence of on-line activity, there is a singular absence of interviews with the author. I am also hoping that this changes ‘ere long.

    The book was formerly titled

    , which maintains the focus on one character and would have been a better fit, IMHO, but not by a huge margin. They could use it for a subsequent volume.

    Image from Pinterest

  • Juli

    I love books about alternate history. But The Philosopher's Flight is something more....a combination of fantasy, sci-fi, alternate history...and pure magic.

    The Basics: Certain symbols, called sigils, can be used to focus power. That power can be used for mundane things like making plants grow larger, curing illness or even flying, but also for more destructive actions like killing 40,000 enemy soldiers in one battle during the Civil War. Although some men can wield the power, women are much mo

    I love books about alternate history. But The Philosopher's Flight is something more....a combination of fantasy, sci-fi, alternate history...and pure magic.

    The Basics: Certain symbols, called sigils, can be used to focus power. That power can be used for mundane things like making plants grow larger, curing illness or even flying, but also for more destructive actions like killing 40,000 enemy soldiers in one battle during the Civil War. Although some men can wield the power, women are much more talented at being Empirical Philosophers and using sigils. Most counties in the United States have a resident philosopher to help with emergencies. Maj. Emmaline Weekes is a county philosopher in Montana in 1917. Her son Robert helps by ordering supplies, cooking and being support for his mother. America is entering the Great War in Europe. President Wilson has just announced a declaration of war against The German Empire. Robert;s dream is to fly Rescue & Evac, but women are much more talented at flying than men. The elite unit has never accepted a man into their ranks. After a emergency rescue following an attack by Trenchers, a group of vigilantes against sygilists, Robert proves that a male just might be able to make it in R & E. When he's accepted into college to become a philosopher, he realizes his dream might just come true!

    OMG! I love this book!! The mix of real history with the fantasy of sigils and philosophers! Such a creative and awesome story! The book is filled with action and excitement -- trencher attacks, rescues, training and war -- and kept my attention from beginning to end. Reverse sexism adds an interesting angle to the plot as well. Robert goes through a lot being a male in college studying philosophy and wanting to join R&E when they don't accept males.

    The Philosopher's Flight is Tom Miller's debut novel. I loved the story and his writing style. I will definitely be reading more by this author!

    **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    The Philosopher’s Flight might be my first genuine surprise of 2018. Backed by a fascinating premise that blends together historical fiction and fantasy, this novel held my attention captive from beginning to end. Set in an alternate World-War-I-era America, at the core of this tale is “magical science”, also known as empirical philosophy, a system of magic that uses the artform of “sigilry” to perform amazing feats like

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    The Philosopher’s Flight might be my first genuine surprise of 2018. Backed by a fascinating premise that blends together historical fiction and fantasy, this novel held my attention captive from beginning to end. Set in an alternate World-War-I-era America, at the core of this tale is “magical science”, also known as empirical philosophy, a system of magic that uses the artform of “sigilry” to perform amazing feats like summoning the wind, sculpting clouds of smoke, teleporting from one place to another, or even defying gravity.

    Told in the form of a memoir, the book stars protagonist Robert Weekes who recounts his time as a young man at Radcliffe College studying to pursue his dream of flying Rescue and Evacuation for the US Sigilry Corps. But here’s the twist: in this world, empirical philosophy is a field dominated by women. The greater affinity for magic in the female sex means that they are stronger and more powerful philosophers, which also makes them better conditioned to become flyers—a discipline that few men can master. Robert, however, has flying in his blood. His mother, the indomitable Major Emmeline Weekes is his inspiration and role model, a war hero who has served many years as part of the elite all-women R&E team saving countless lives on the battlefield. Determined to follow in her footsteps, Robert decides to apply to Radcliffe, becoming one of only three men enrolled in the school.

    And here’s where the story gets interesting. Few things in this book unfold the way you’d expect, despite the frosty reception Robert finds on his first day. Facing strong pushback from some of his professors and fellow students who believe he doesn’t belong, our protagonist must work twice as hard to prove his worth and be accepted in a role that’s traditionally been closed to men. How dicey, I initially thought, to have story centered around a male protagonist who must struggle against gender discrimination, considering the current feminist movement and how these days books actually tend to feature the opposite scenario. And yet, at the same time I found it to be a refreshing change, not to mention the gender-flip was executed in a thoughtful way that treats women with respect and reverence. With the exception of the Trenchers (more on them later), the world generally views empirical philosophy as a gift—and women, as the wielders of that wonderful and magical power, are held in high esteem. They are America’s greatest heroes and legends that girls (and boys like Robert) look up to and dream they can become.

    However, the author also does not patronize his readers by glossing over the situation. Every slice of the population will have its bad eggs, and Robert encounters his fair share of prejudice, intolerance, and injustice from some of the women at Radcliffe, and some social norms are just so ingrained that they are hard to break. In addition, there are the aforementioned Trenchers, a radical group that opposes everything related to empirical philosophy (hence many of their messages are also anti-women) and they aren’t above resorting to violent means to achieve their ends. Among these tactics is a hit list targeting well-known philosophers like Robert’s mother Emmeline Weekes and his girlfriend Danielle Hardin for assassination. Ultimately, it’s the Trenchers who are the main antagonists of this book, whom Robert works tirelessly and passionately with his fellow Radcliffe students to oppose.

    This is a multi-faceted story with lots of positive messages about fighting for change, serving your fellow citizens, doing good for the world, and reaching for your dreams—all done in an unconventional yet sympathetic way. It’s also a tough book to categorize, because of its many themes. At its heart The Philosopher’s Flight is a coming-of-age new adult tale about growing up, which also has elements like sweet romance (experiencing first love), pulse-pounding action (training to perform dangerous and daring aerial maneuvers), light-hearted humor (making lifelong friendships), as well as thrilling adventure (competing in school spirit events and flying contests). All this is set before an alternate historical fantasy backdrop that feels genuine and well-realized. The college setting also makes me think this would be great for readers looking for a more serious and mature “magic school” story—think Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, except a lot more fun and not as soul-suckingly depressing (not to mention with decidedly more likable characters).

    It is my hope that this book, like its protagonist, will reach new heights because it is certainly deserving of all the praise. Tom Miller has written a complex and deeply nuanced debut that examines the way lives can be shaped by social beliefs and experiences, but it is also a wild tale full of warmth and fun. I was glad to learn that The Philosopher’s Flight is the first book of a new series, because I am absolutely on board for more.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    This WWI era SF/fantasy novel is a 2018 book and a worthwhile read. A strong 4 stars. Full review, first posted on

    :

    Many historical eras ― particularly the Regency and Victorian, with World War II in the mix as well ― have been reimagined through the lens of fantasy and science fiction: alternative history, with magic or superpowers as the focus for recasting historical events. World War I has, I think, been underserved in this genre. Tom Mill

    This WWI era SF/fantasy novel is a 2018 book and a worthwhile read. A strong 4 stars. Full review, first posted on

    :

    Many historical eras ― particularly the Regency and Victorian, with World War II in the mix as well ― have been reimagined through the lens of fantasy and science fiction: alternative history, with magic or superpowers as the focus for recasting historical events. World War I has, I think, been underserved in this genre. Tom Miller’s

    does a creditable job of shedding new light on the Great War era. Miller uses not only magic (here thinly veiled as a branch of science called empirical philosophy), but also the fact that these powers are primarily controlled by women, to enrich the story. Men are at a profound disadvantage in this science, with the women by and large extremely reluctant to allow men into their ranks, if not actively hostile.

    Robert Canderelli Weekes is the eighteen year old son of Emmaline Weeks, a war hero and now a county philosopher in rural Montana. Philosophers in this world are not merely academics who study the nature of existence and knowledge; they are people who actually warp the laws of probability using sigilry, magical symbols that enable human flight, teleporting of groups, and other extraordinary powers. Robert has inherited the power of using sigils to fly, assisting his mother in her day-to-day work of responding to accidents and other local problems that require her services. He’s a decent flyer, not nearly as powerful or fast as his mother, but good enough to dream of following in her footsteps and joining the US Sigilry Corps, which assist in wartime evacuations and rescues. Emmaline is dead set against it; not only will the women in the R&E Department almost certainly reject Robert just because he’s a man, but the R&E wartime work has an extremely high death rate.

    Robert finds a path that may lead him to his goal of joining R&E: the Contingency Act pays for philosophers to go to college, provided you serve an equal number of years afterwards in an area of the U.S. that’s short on philosophers. He applies and is accepted to Radcliffe College, a woman’s college that is now accepting a limited number of men as Contingency Act students.

    So Robert heads off to Radcliffe in September 1917, joining a large group of women ― and a scant handful of men ― who are studying the philosophy and practice of flight. During his time at Radcliffe, Robert makes new friends, falls in love, and diligently works on improving his flight skills. He’s better than all but the fastest women, but still is faced with rejection and persecution from many women who don’t want men to join their ranks. This reverse sexism is a running theme in

    , adding an unusual twist to the tale, particularly since women are the more militant group in this discipline.

    On the flip side are the Trenchers, a stubbornly fundamentalist and bigoted group that rejects all brands of philosophical science and insists that women should return to hearth and home, leaving jobs to the men. The Trencher movement has gained power over the years since the Civil War, and its members are now engaged in a bitter and murderous feud with the philosophers. I would have preferred Christianity being left out of the Trencher’s belief system ― religion is too often used as a convenient punching bag in speculative fiction.

    Miller makes liberal use of actual historical events throughout

    , weaving them into Robert’s family history and as a backdrop for current events in the novel, sometimes with a few changes to fit the story. The Civil War’s Battle of Petersburg becomes a watershed event in the development of philosophical science and using it (and women) in wartime, when Lucretia Cadawaller used her powers to create a poisonous gas to kill 40,000 defenders of Petersburg. She intended to quickly win the war with a single, fearful blow … but she also inspired the rise of the Trenchers. I appreciated the way history informs the events of this story, with Miller frequently giving them a half-twist to shed new light on topics such as women’s rights and warfare practices. As gung-ho as Richard is to join the Sigilry Corps and the war effort, there are other characters cautioning him against the horrors of war and the likelihood of death or disability.

    is a well-paced tale, with the blend of magic and science giving it a somewhat retro feel that fits the time setting. Robert’s varied adventures and his developing relationships with others make this an engaging and original read. As far as I can tell this is currently a stand-alone read, but Miller has left the door wide open for a sequel.

    I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley for review. Thank you!!

  • Simone

    I honestly and truly wished I loved this book. I felt like there's a lot of potential for it being a great series, but after only reading the first novel from both the author and the series I wasn't all too excited. This was definitely more like Harry Potter where magic (also known as Empirical Philosophy) exists alongside the very real world. This "magic" is not inherited, but learned and anyone can basically pick it up. It requires the use of sigils and specific minerals. For example, using a

    I honestly and truly wished I loved this book. I felt like there's a lot of potential for it being a great series, but after only reading the first novel from both the author and the series I wasn't all too excited. This was definitely more like Harry Potter where magic (also known as Empirical Philosophy) exists alongside the very real world. This "magic" is not inherited, but learned and anyone can basically pick it up. It requires the use of sigils and specific minerals. For example, using a particular sigil with cornmeal will help you to fly and how you write your sigil will determine how well you fly. It's a practiced art and you don't need a certain birthright to do it.

    I will say that the story did hold my attention and there definitely was some practical use of the philosophy. But a lot of what was happening in the book felt like a direct reflection of what's going on today. Women being the dominant gender to use Empirical Philosophy, Robert Weekes is one of only three men at his college. He's constantly teased and talked down to because men just don't do Empirical Philosophy. It just feels like a role reversal for what's happening nowadays; women being overlooked because they're women. 

    The bad guys in this book are called "Trenchers." These dudes remind me of the extreme right movements in America right now. They are constantly fighting against Empirical Philosophy and trying to make it illegal. They think it's unnatural and the women kill their babies. It's against God and the Bible and people who study it are abominations. They're out trying to kill philosophers so that their numbers dwindle and they disappear. It really reminds me of the news and everything that's going on recently. There was even a march where philosophers went down to Washington DC to march for their rights to use this philosophy.

    I think this really bothered me the most in this story especially since it's fiction and really could draw from anything and it's just a reflection of what's going on today.

    Being that this is the first fantasy novel, I feel like a lot of this story was just explaining the universe as well. There was a lot of history that coincided with the very real United States history. The wars being fought are also fought by philosophers. There was a lot of explaining the philosophy, what it does, how it works, how it can be manipulated. I feel like I was in a class listening to a lecture about Empirical Philosophy than actually seeing it in action.

    When you do see it in action, it's great. The fighting against Trenchers and even The Cup was fun to read. However, reading passage after passage of Robert learning how to fly at a certain speed, his training regiment, or reading about him carry 100-lb bags for practice all just seemed to keep the story very still. The pacing was pretty slow and even though every few chapters had headers with how much time went by, it feels like no time at all. 

    I get with new fantasies there's a lot of groundwork to cover. There's a lot of creating how each sigil worked and how the transporters moved and how flight paths can be determined. I don't want to discredit this novel because it's the first and the first always shares some of that knowledge. I just wish there was more excitement or something to move the story forward.

    Reading about a young country boy going to college in a big city for the first time is basically all I'm getting from this story. Aside from the fact that he can practice philosophy which is uncommon for men, it really just reads like someone's first adventures being alone and falling in love and learning new skills that he wouldn't have learned before. There's definitely growth for everyone and everyone miraculously knows what they want in life, but it took a long while to get there and a lot of reading.

    We learn a lot by the end that will probably set you up for the next one, but really it could have happened right in the middle of the book rather than the end. Honestly, at less than 100 pages left in the book I was worried that nothing would happen at all and that I'd have to wait for the next book. Perhaps then we'll see a lot more action for Robert and can chalk up this first book to first-time jitters.

    I'm going to be looking out for the second book in the future. I really want to like this book and that's why I'm rating it with three stars. The book kept me interested albeit a little wobbly at times, but I did find the whole Empirical Philosophy thing to be interesting and the battle with the Trencher party compelling. I hope I'm just as compelled in the next one.

    I received this book from Simon Books in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the method I received this book and I was not paid to write this book review.

  • Laura LVD

    I know I'm in the minority here, but didn't like it.

    I give two stars because it's really well written, but couldn't connect with the story at all. Sorry, but couldn't suspend my disbelief for one moment.

    I found the use of certain words irritating ("Sapphist", "cartogramancer" for example, why choose so many archaisms, euphemisms and invented words?) and the weird physics was too much for me (Example "at the same time you're braking, you are also accelerating toward the ground", wtf? how can so

    I know I'm in the minority here, but didn't like it.

    I give two stars because it's really well written, but couldn't connect with the story at all. Sorry, but couldn't suspend my disbelief for one moment.

    I found the use of certain words irritating ("Sapphist", "cartogramancer" for example, why choose so many archaisms, euphemisms and invented words?) and the weird physics was too much for me (Example "at the same time you're braking, you are also accelerating toward the ground", wtf? how can someone accelerate and brake simultaneously?). I know it is supposed to be a fantasy book, still had trouble buying the story or the characters. Even if it is an alternate history book, the fact that these teens are so liberal and XXIth century-like it's too weird for me.

    The end was a bit predictable and I didn't find it exciting at all.

    To sum up, I struggled to finish it since the beggining. Was tempted to quit all along and just finished because i got a free copy from the publisher.

    DISCLAIMER: I received a free ARC (advance-reading copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review) #NetGalley #thephilosophersflight

  • Xavier (CharlesXplosion)

    A high-fantasy, Harry Potter-esque story about a female-centric world. Although Miller's worldbuilding is unparallel, the lack of characterization and plot made The Philosopher's Flight a complete misfire.

  • Book of the Month

    In an alternate world where only women are strong enough to wield magic, a gifted boy goes where no man has gone before: Radcliffe, a prestigious female-only school of sigilry.

    Learn more at

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