Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Philosopher's Flight

The Philosopher's Flight is the debut novel from ER doctor, writer of travel guides, English instructor and renaissance man Tom Miller.  Released 13th Feb, 2018 by Simon & Schuster, it's 422 pages and available in ebook, hardcover, paperback and audiobook formats.

I received my copy of this book last January, I'm ashamed to say.  Winter season and early Spring are busy times for me at the hospital lab and in my reading pile, and I didn't get a chance to start it until this past week (we're in September).  I devoured it in two sittings.  I was enchanted from the first page.  I literally missed my bus stop reading.  That's only happened a couple of times previously.

This book does not read like a debut.  There is absolutely no floundering.  The voice is strong and sure and the writing is sublimely good.  The dialogue is really well done with deftness and subtlety.  The characters are fleshed out and interesting and I cannot wait to see what happens next.  I really loved the alternate WWI setting, the magic system, the cohesiveness of the world building, and the pacing.  The story arc progresses in a believable arc with logical character motivations.  I never once internally questioned why any of the characters did the things they did. Suspension of disbelief is a precious thing and the author never abused my trust.

The book is based on some actual historical characters and occurrences.  Fleshing out the framework of real history is a skillfully woven skin of fantasy.  It's not always possible to tell where one ends and the other begins. This gives the entire story, despite being a fantasy, a sense of realism which is amazing and a joy to read.

I don't care if Dr. Miller is a doctor (well done, you!), he's a writer with a prodigious gift for storytelling.

I recommended this book highly to colleagues and friends even before I was finished with it.  I recommend it now to everyone.  Wonderful writing, superlative book.

Five stars.  Can't wait to read the next book.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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