The Secret of the Rose
Usually by November I'm hitting around 75 to 80 books read. This year 36. I don't think I have ever, since I could read, read as little as 36 books in a year. This is strange and I am not sure how I feel about it. Originally I was upset, but then when I looked back over the year I see all that I have accomplished, especially when it comes to my blog and I don't feel upset. I have accomplished much and so reading as not been as much of a priority. I still have written reviews of books I have read, just haven't shared them, but this series in particular is one that I have wanted to share. The first book is a rather long review but the next two are short. I hope you enjoy them.
The Secret of the Rose Series by Michael R. Phillips Books 1, 2, and 3
Book 1 - The Eleventh Hour - link
I remember when I was reading these books as a teenager. I was 15-16 years old and desperate to find the god spoken of in church. I was told over and over my believe wasn't good enough but no one could/would answer my questions. Most people I spoke to won't even hear my questions let alone take the time to help me. And so I turned to books and this was one book that I read and read and caused me to cry out to a god that doesn't existed, in the hopes that he would appear and share one of his many mysteries or answer my thousand questions.
Herr von Dortmann is the baron, who spends his life in quiet solitude in the country side. On his estate living peacefully with his wife, daughter and servants. He is rich and privilege and aware of this fact and would rather avoid confrontation that help others. He knows of the upcoming trouble and yet does nothing but hide. That is until a friend is in danger, then he moves and does something worthwhile. The sections in the book where he is pacing out and crying out to god are well written and entertaining from an atheist perceptive. He sounds like a spoiled child who knows he has to do something but is refusing. It's sad seeing someone who has no moral ground outside of the dictations of a 1500 year old book.
Then there is his wife and these sentences:
"Such was no doubt inevitable, for had they not married men as different as night and day? How could the two wives not be influences by the path of each of their husbands? And on a more profound level, did not the man each one chose speak as forcefully as her own character concerning the kind of woman she was at the core"
On first read I had no issue with those sentences. But then I remember time in which the book is written and realized that the two women this is referring to might not have full control over their "choice". Courting in that day and age was different. The wives probably had a pubic relationship with the barons and the image you show in public aren't always reflective of your true personality. It also makes me feel like the wives are not allowed to have their own personalities outside of their husbands. They agree and only do what their husbands want. That said how men treat women in this book is good and bad. Overall the characters you are designed to like treat women respectfully, with a few still giving the feeling of superiority. Mostly on the religious leaders and their need to lead their flocks and correct their behavior. It's well-meant but seemingly controlling. The author also choose to kill off Herr von Dortmann's wife as quickly as possible, because the story was much easier to progress without her in it. She was quite literally unimportant.
The ending was simply awkward. The characters, of course, claim god stilled the hands of bad guys but I think a more logical notion would be that as the book even mentions it was a new band of soldiers, fresh from training. I think they would have been surprised by the approach Herr von Dortmann took. SS soldiers for all their superiority were not used to being questioned and finding themselves in that position allowed for mistakes to be made. Which would allow for Herr von Dortmann to gain the upper hand for the few short moments they needed. But with any situation, any human will be able to twist it for the betterment of their cause.
For me, I really enjoyed reading this book. Mostly because it was interesting comparing my emotions from today to when I was 15. I am thankful I have grown so much and have answers to my questions. I am no longer a teenager crying out to nothing hoping for answers and that is a good feeling.
Book 2 - A Rose Remembered - link
This book was a lot less preachy and faith sharing the book one. A big reason for that is you already know the characters history and how they came to god. So it's unnecessary and I am thankful for not having to read through the babble again. This book mostly follows Matthew and his journey. Michael Phillips is a very long-winded author so by the end of this book I was just done and wanted the story to be over with.
One of the most interesting threads within the book was the story of Matthew's friend. His friend was raised in faith and removed himself. He struggled deeply with his path. Personally I found the logic the character followed to be massively flawed and silly, the author obviously doesn't understand atheists or their perspectives at all (you would think if you are writing a character who has a different perspective as you, you would do some research to build them out a bit but that wasn't done). But for the full story line it serves a purpose and that's to push Matthew more towards god and it works.
I did enjoy this book until there was a proposal and then it became my least favorite out of the series. Our main character from book 1 and this one, begins the depressingly spiral of illogical "summit to husband logic" Maybe one day I'll write my views on it. For now I'll say it annoys me and is just another form of slavery. Which reminds me that the author loves to compare Nazi occupy with slavery. Which is not accurate and completely frustrating. Even my use of the word two sentence ago annoys me but I have been unable to find a word that fits and still clarifies my meaning.
Book 3 - Escape to Freedom - link
I have always thought this was the last book of the series. It turns out it's not. But by this time the series is so long, drawn out and frustrating I don't even want to read it anymore. This book took me over a month to read. It mostly covered characters I didn't care about, that had previously only been casually mentioned before and I was bored. All the characters it was focusing on were non-Christians that meant up with our Christian characters and all convert to the cult by the end. All following the sad illogical path and all doing it while going through a massive emotional ordeal.
Will I read book 4. Probably not. There are better books out there that I'd rather be wasting my time on. But I still think that rereading book one was worth it. Mostly just for that emotional comparison. That said when I did finally finish book three I did send this snap to a friend
What do you think? Am I being to harsh? Have you read this series?