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The Philosopher's Flight

A Novel
Narrated by: Gibson Frazier
Series: The Philosophers, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. "Like his characters, Tom Miller casts a spell." (Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy - an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service - a team of flying medics - Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals. 

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women's school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women. 

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle's activism and Robert's recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical antiphilosophical group that Robert's mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert's place among the next generation of empirical philosophers - and for philosophy's very survival against the men who would destroy it. 

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher's Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. 

©2018 Tom Miller (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant multi layered story

I love this book and it’s “universe” hopefully the author brings us more. This is another book for my great stories category, books I find that masterfully create a world that sucks the reader in. The flipping of gender roles and other social mirroring adds a second layer to the book. It’s a great gender exploration without agenda or malice. Including a military where women are in charge of the intellectual side and men are just for heavy lifting. So read this wonderful strange feminist steampunk tale written by a man and you won’t be disappointed.

68 of 73 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • AB
  • 05-28-18

Fun and original

The themes are not new, but the premise is so original and charming. An entertaining book that is well-written with a very good narrator. I look forward to the next in the series.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R Lynn
  • Everett WA United States
  • 08-08-18

Unique and engaging read!

Loved The Philosopher's Flight and want to hear more! Very unique story full of well rounded characters. Character voices by narrator are sometimes off, but mostly enjoyable to listen to.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I've so enjoyed this well fleshed out world. So wonderful. I desperately want more! Great characters. Original plot. Fantastic writing. I listen to a lot of books on Audible, and this has been in my top 3 favorites. The narration is absolutely stellar too. I don't usually write reviews, but I had to for this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magical and thought provoking...

Loved it! A dystopian, steam punk, alternate history, fantasy. The best of all worlds. Good premise with interesting characters and a good amount of action with character and world building. Will definitely be getting the sequel! Highly recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Albs
  • U.S.A.
  • 06-20-19

You’ll need the book and the audio.

Overall an enjoyable and entertaining listen.

I would warn readers that they may want to invest in both the audio and hard copy versions. At the start of each chapter he quotes “sources,” but this can be confused as being part of the story in the Audible version. At the end of the book, his Appendix includes descriptions of glyphs that are presumably drawn in the book, but cannot be easily pictured by the listener.

The storyline was coherent but the relationships with the characters were lacking in depth. Robert is close to his mother, yet he is willing to disregard her toward the end. We discover he was closer to a sister who raised him, but he doesn’t consult her much. He loves Dar, however, he disregards her preferences.

Most of the final chapter with the dance could have been eliminated. It felt like the author didn’t know how to end the story and settled for a rambling Harry Potterish solution that offered nothing to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a original and captivating world...

I can't wait for the sequel and hopefully long series of stories from within this great world.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Can't get into it

I gave this one a decent try, but it's just not interesting. Narrator is ok, but story is too far out.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Vapid and trite with the sophistication of a 12 year old.

Narration was among the worst I’ve eve heard. Can’t believe I wasted my time on this one.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Gave Up Early On

This book required more suspension of belief than I am capable of giving. It just came off as irritating and I had no desire to stay with it. My time was worth more than the $4.95 I wasted.