The Philosopher's Flight was quite a genre change for me. I enjoy fantasy but often find myself bogged down in suspense thrillers involving crazy women. I added The Philosopher's Flight to my Book of the Month box as an extra book in February. I chose An American Marriage as my monthly pick but I just couldn't leave The Philosopher's Flight behind.
THAT POOR BOOK JACKET
As you can see from the cover picture this book had a rough week with me. It survived a near drop in the bathtub. Sadly, the bookmark didn't make it. This jacket held up to a bad case of HFMD that lead to it being covered in baby drool for days. And last but not least it survived an obvious attack on the book jacket's life by an angry 4 year old. Any book that can hold up to that kind of damage deserves a 4 star rating.
Tom Miller did an amazing job of making fantasy realistic. You may not be certain of how much of philosophy is science or magic but you do feel like it could be real. The Philosopher's Flight is set in America during the early 1900s. Strategically placed excerpts from newspapers, books, and lectures added to the feeling that this is science history instead of science fiction. The excerpts also provide valuable information about the future of some of the story's main characters.
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The Philosopher's Flight introduces us to Robert Weekes (one of the few males who practice empirical philosophy). He is also the only man crazy enough to think he can work in the female-dominated world of R&E (a rescue and evacuation group that flies wounded soldiers out of war zones).
Philosophy is a field so deep and wide that it was easily incorporated into everyday life. Much to the chagrin of men who want to keep the status quo philosophy begins to expand quickly. Philosophical uses range from flying and transporting to healing and killing. For reasons unknown women are highly skilled in philosophy. While men, on the other hand, are either mildly gifted or completely inept.
This power difference eventually leads to men being pushed out of many fields. Female philosophers begin excelling in the workforce, agriculture, and war. However, their philosophical success only causes political and religious groups to rally against them. Campaigns for women to return their 'rightful' place at home spread violence and chaos like wildfire across the country.
Robert's philosophical ability puts him right in the middle of a political/religious firestorm.
This book addresses issues of racism, sexism, gender roles, and sexuality without feeling like an 'Issue book' (unlike The Hate U Give which is un-apologetically an 'Issue book')
I finished The Philosopher's Flight wanting more of Robert's life. I need to know how things play out for him. Fortunately, Tom Miller is working on the sequel The Philosopher's War which has a tentative release date of June 1, 2019.
My favorite philosophy field was smoke carving (which is absolutely as cool as it sounds). Read The Philosopher's Flight and comment below. I would love to know what your favorite field is!