Sunday, March 25, 2018

March is the Month of Reading Struggles-and a Review of The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller

Ever have one of those months where you can't wait to read books, and it turns into a complete drag?  March has been that month for me. This post is me tossing in the towel, admitting defeat, and moving on to other books. 😕

I was so excited to read this book.  I made it about 80 pages in, and just gave up.  A little too much philosophizing and not enough concrete story for me.  I am so bummed.  I read the end, and decided I still didn't want to wade through the rest of the story.  

The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller was another book I couldn't wait to read, and 50 pages in I was fully engaged and really enjoying the story of Robert Weekes, male philosopher in a world where women have all the power to fly--yes, fly using sigils to control their flights, and a history of rescuing injured soldiers during war and becoming famous around the world.  There is a group called the Trenchers, who think the philosophers are nothing but evil witches, and they routinely hunt down and murder philosophers, and fight to have them banned for good. 

 Robert wants to join the Rescue and Evacuation Department of the U.S. Sigilry Corps, but is up against tradition--only women are allowed entry into this prestigious, yet extremely dangerous Corps.  It's World War I, and the United States is just entering the war.  Young men and women still believe in the romanticism of war, and have no idea of the horrors war actually brings. Robert gains admittance to Radcliffe, one of a handful of men in the philosophy program.   The barriers he runs into are exactly what women have had to deal with over the centuries, and that is probably the best part of this novel.  It's a world where women have the power, and men don't. I did enjoy the characters--they were well formed, interesting people, all with backgrounds that would lend themselves to further exploration if this became a series. 

While I was enthralled with this novel, it only lasted about 100 pages.  Then I struggled mightily to keep going.  I skimmed the last 100 pages because I just didn't want to quit, but I had completely lost the drive to continue.  Why?!  There was a whole lot of inaction in the middle that bogged down the story.  I got a bit lost in the descriptions of certain actions Robert had to complete in his training, and the sigilry descriptions got a bit too much for me.  There is certainly a possibility that there is more to come, and I would be interested in reading more about Robert's life after Radcliffe.  Maybe by then I'd be able to enjoy his fantastic tale.  But as of now, ugh. Just couldn't say this was much fun for me.  

Rating:  3/6 for a novel with a lot of potential and a clever plot.  Too much down time in the middle made me lose interest that I just couldn't get back.  Available in hardcover and e-book. 

Not sure why March has been such a difficult book month for me.  I've got quite a few new books to read for April, and I hope to read a few that help me reset my reading groove.  I feel a big weight off my shoulders admitting defeat and admitting that yes, sometimes a book starts out so good, and sputters to a halt soon after, and there's nothing that will bring it around.  

I'll be posting my April reads this week, before Easter weekend.  I've got a few that I'm reading for book groups, and who knows what else I'll pick?

Happy reading everyone!  


  1. I get periods where the books I read are a chore, too. I'm glad you posted this about Philosopher's Flight, because it sounded interesting to me, and it sounds like I'd pretty much hate it.

    1. I'm so disappointed that my love of the first 1/4 of the book didn't extend to the end. I just felt it was very boring in the middle. A great idea, but maybe a little more action happening throughout would have made it more enjoyable. Other folks may disagree, and I'd love to hear from people who enjoyed this book!