3 out of 4 stars
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For Matt, the high desert landscape and mountains of New Mexico provided an ideal atmosphere for working outdoors. As did Uncle Joe, he identified with the 'bear clan,' and in summer, he often worked all day with horses and cattle without so much as breaking a sweat, something that made him one of the best cowhands for his age. In equal measure, he looked forward to the times he spent with his uncle in the mountains camping. During such times, he learned a great deal about his Indian side of the family. And even more, according to his father, a major revelation that touched on his identity and destiny was to happen, when he attained his eighteenth birthday.
Never one to be caught sitting on his laurels or even daydreaming about his future, Matt volunteered as a member of Colonel Roosevelt’s Rough Riders before the age of revelation. Later, his experiences with the Colonel in the Spanish-American War would open doors to opportunities he could never have imagined, like attaining education at West Point. In a nutshell, as his father’s son, Matt was destined to emulate his father’s greatness: a man who was the recipient of the Medal of Honor during the War Between the States.
I found the title to the book The Midas Plot by Frankie Albritton relatable. This is because of the popular tale of a king, Midas, “who could turn anything he touched into gold.” The plot is, however, anything but simple. Since earlier times, the demand for gold fueled by its scarcity, luster, and ability to act as money, and the subsequent gold rush (hence increased ownership of gold) following the discovery of America, has spawned the perfect tale of a conspiracy that’s presently addressed in Albritton’s novel.
As you can imagine, then, the writing is peppered with economic terms, like “laissez-faire,” “antitrust,” and “the gold standard.” And thanks to a brilliant plot twist, Matt, our hero, in the pursuit of more education, is smack in the middle of it. As it were, Albritton manages to strike a balance between writing on a subject that he’s passionate about, and a fictional story that highlights on the evils of hoarding gold whilst despising others because of their economic circumstances.
However, I thought Albritton could have invested more in the emotional aspects of his characters. I felt the relationship between Matt and his fiancée, Helena, could do with more sparks, for example. Not to mention, the instances where death is broached touching on Matt’s close relative or associate—as in the case of Matt’s father, or Matt’s friend, Sam—the details could have been fleshed out to give a realistic impression of someone in mourning.
In any event, I enjoyed the discussion about the Indian “bear clan,” succession planning, and the role of oral literature in the preservation of cultural identity (both Indian and German). Moreover, Albritton was bold enough to incorporate historical figures as part of his characterization while trying not to deviate from what is known about them: as an example, I took the character of President Roosevelt as depicted in Albritton’s novel, and I compared him to the historical figure contained in the President’s biographical account. I must say, I wasn’t disappointed.
As I conclude, I enjoyed reading this 407-page book, and I hope the book gets another round of editing to weed out numerous errors that touched on misplaced words, homonyms, and typos. And it’s for this reason, I mark it down by a star to rate it at 3 out of 4 stars. Also, readers may be interested to know that the book contains a cliffhanger as it’s part of a series.
I recommend the novel to those who enjoy reading conspiracy theory novels that cut across an indigenous culture, sci-fi, economics, and finance. At times, however, the writing became long-winded because of the many economic terms and discussions employed by the author. A unique redeeming feature of this book, nevertheless, is the clean language used throughout its pages. Lastly, due to the nature of the themes broached, it’ll be more suitable for a mature audience.
The Midas Plot
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