Book Review – The Midas Effect: A Technothriller by Manuel Dorado


Originally posted on Reedsy:

Miguel Le Fablec always knew there was something peculiar about himself, but it’d take a special invitation to NASA to realize just how incredible he really is. It turns out that he has the ability to turn is imagination into reality, but such a power comes with dire consequences. The Midas Effect is a story of power, love, and religion, that plays on the mind-bending characteristics of quantum mechanics.

Most people know the story of King Midas. It’s a cautionary tale of a man endowed with a great power — the ability to turn everything he touches into gold– only to have it consume him and everything he loves in the end. Author Manuel Dorado’s allegory of this story isn’t quite as simplistic as King Midas’, but it’s a great way to deliver this timeless lesson all-the-same.

From the start, The Midas Effect proves to be appropriately quick with the action. That being said, this book isn’t quite as off-the-rails as one would expect from a story about being able to literally turn dreams into reality. Instead, The Midas Effect is able to contain itself enough to where it doesn’t become an unrestrained showcase of supernatural powers, as seen in many superhero comics and movies. This added level of realism allows for a more mature commentary on some of its themes.

One such theme is that of power. Those who want it will stop at nothing to obtain it, and those who have it usually end up resenting it. Moreover, The Midas Effect acts as a commentary on religion and it’s role in society. Manuel Dorado did not shy away from exploring the ramifications of the existence of such a power, and he uses this to produce an engaging climax and resolution.

Despite the religious commentary, science stands at the forefront of this story. Even though it is ultimately fantastical, there were enough scientific constraints in place to establish a more convincing world. As mentioned before, a book about an ability of this nature could’ve easily gone off the deep end.

Furthermore, Manuel Dorado’s characters were well-developed and believable. They each possessed unique characteristics, including little nervous ticks and other details that made them realistic. However, these same details sometimes came off as repetitive.

Unfortunately, even with such a tantalizing premise, it seemed like The Midas Effect fell short of being truly mind-expanding. Perhaps the author was hesitant to bite off more than he could chew. A great foundation for some seriously cool world-building was being developed, and the story seemed to be gearing up for a larger franchise, but alas, it ended up plateauing into something self-contained and modest.

Still, The Midas Effect is a moderately detailed story that neatly wraps itself up in the end. Anyone looking for an easy-to-digest thriller that pays proper respect to science and religion alike will enjoy this. Even though this book failed to reach its true potential, it was a great one-off tale with many lessons, twists, and turns.

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