The anthology “DrugTech – The Final Dose” by Marcel Sahade was published for the first time in 2021. It’s the third book in the DrugTech trilogy and follows “DrugTech – The Deep State Deepens“.
DrugTech seems untouchable yet there are people who believe they have the means to break the power it has accumulated. In this clash of powers that can also include mystical ones, a crucial step would be to obtain the acquittal of a man on trial.
The Battle of Lepanto is about to decide whether the Holy League formed by the European powers will succeed in preventing the Ottoman Empire from obtaining total dominion of the Mediterranean Sea. Müezzinzade Ali Pasha, at the command of the Ottoman fleet, is convinced he can get an easy victory but in the Christian fleet, the commander Don John of Austria isn’t the only one who has some tricks up his sleeve.
The DrugTech trilogy was developed in the first two books in the form of anthologies composed of short stories marked by final twists that show increasingly deeper interconnections. They are parts of a larger story, like pieces of a mosaic. For the third book, Marcel Sahade chose to keep the form with a division into short stories but you can see from the start that they’re closer to chapters of a novel. Continuing with the metaphor, you could say that the trilogy consists largely of a mosaic but ends with a fresco.
This sort of final fresco takes up the threads of the various subplots started in the previous books to tell the decisive clash between DrugTech and the group of people who oppose this multinational corporation to eliminate the political and economic influence it obtained in the course of the years. The third book is shorter than the previous ones precisely because it focuses on the conclusion of the great story built piece by piece with characters who were already developed.
One of the peculiarities of the stories in this trilogy is that from the beginning there were parts set in a more or less distant past that slowly revealed the connections with the present. This is all the more true in this final book, of which a significant part is about the Battle of Lepanto, an important historical event.
Past and present are told in parallel in subplots which, in this final book of the DrugTech trilogy, saves the twists especially for the last parts. From the previous books, the explicit science fiction elements are also taken up, which in some cases go into the metaphysical. Marcel Sahade has his own definition of science fiction that includes magic as well. The DrugTech trilogy mixes various genres, not only speculative fiction, and for example, the legal thriller element is central to this final book’s present-day subplot.
In my opinion, “DrugTech – The Final Dose” offers a fully satisfying ending to a very well constructed trilogy that can entertain readers of very different tastes with its mix of genres and at the same time offers a lot of food for thought. For this reason, I recommend reading the DrugTech trilogy regardless of genre labels.