Length: 31 pages
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Michael Bloomfield got kicked out of his University’s drama department, owing to the fact that he has stage fright, cannot act, and basically failed most of his classes. With his dream of so many years gone in the blink of an eye, Michael is left to find a new dream, one that calls to him just as passionately. That is when he meets Rebecca Towne – at least, that is the name she confided to him. Rebecca shows Michael his new dream – the quest to travel the Astral Highway on a galactic journey of the soul and unlike any other. But the highly selective group that she takes him to seems more like a cult, led by the mysterious John Proctor. So what does this group truly do? And now that Michael is smack dab in the middle of it, why does he feel like there’s no way out?
To begin with, let me tell you that the full name of this book is Mind Slaves of the Rosikrucian Collectorum – Part 1 – Mayhem on the Astral Highway. As indicated by the title, this 30 page read is the first in the series and ends on quite the cliff hanger. So will I read the next part? Most probably, yes!
Mind Slaves of the Rosikrucian Collectorum is a satirical take on a serious issue – that of cults. What I really liked about the book was that it was based heavily in reality. It depicted how these bodies work, how people need direction, and how they can be influenced into finding this direction and even believing that it is the right one for them.
Michael Bloomfield is a character that you like, feel bad for, and occasionally want to whack – all rolled into one. He’s as real as a University student can be. His strengths, weaknesses, dreams, and aspirations, all make it very easy for the reader to associate with him. As the story progresses, you can understand why he makes the decisions he makes, even as you wish that he’d do different. The one thing that really strikes you about him though, is his need for a dream. The desperation that drives someone who has just lost a years long dream to find a new one, to find some place to belong, comes across beautifully and gives you a glimpse into how the recruitment into cults happen and why.
Another interesting aspect of the story is how Freeman touches on all those aspects of leaders of so-called cosmic groups that are highly criticized and offers justification for them – justification that you could actually see them providing. This gives readers more opportunity to associate with what is happening since they’ve mostly already see it happen in real life.
But, in spite of all its good points, the story had some bad ones too. The first was the number of typos and inconsistent formatting. The errors are not too many, but not too few to be ignored either, and tend to jump out at you. While that doesn’t affect the story in any way, it did affect the reading – making it a little difficult to enjoy the book. Another, more prominent problem, was the lack of depth in concept. Not everyone who reads this book will have previous knowledge about cosmic travel and other such parapsychological elements. I understand that this is a short story and can’t exactly delve into detailed explanation; but not sufficiently explaining the very concept that the book is based on can pose a problem. As the story progresses, it can get confusing to those who do not understand the concept. Little more depth into the explanation could go a long way in allowing readers to associate with the story and the characters on a deeper, and more memorable level.
All in all, Mind Slaves of the Rosikrucian Collectorum is a quick, witty, funny, and oddly realistic story which is a good read. It is short and can be completed in an hour, making it a light, quick read and an apt choice as a travel companion. It is ideal for people who like dark humor or satires, and even for those who like to read anything and everything on cults and parapsychology. And if you haven’t read satires before, Mind Slaves of the Rosikrucian Collectorum is great as a first one.