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The Lord of Opiumby Nancy Farmer
Synopses & Reviews
As the teenage ruler of his own country, Matt must cope with clones and cartels in this riveting sequel to the modern classic House of the Scorpion, winner of the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and a Printz Honor.
Matt has always been nothing but a clone — grown from a strip of old El Patron’s skin. Now, at age fourteen, he finds himself suddenly thrust into the position of ruling over his own country. The Land of Opium is the largest territory of the Dope Confederacy, which ranges on the map like an intestine from the ruins of San Diego to the ruins of Matamoros. But while Opium thrives, the rest of the world has been devastated by ecological disaster — and hidden in Opium is the cure.
And that isn’t all that awaits within the depths of Opium. Matt is haunted by the ubiquitous army of eejits, zombielike workers harnessed to the old El Patron’s sinister system of drug growing — people stripped of the very qualities that once made them human.
Matt wants to use his newfound power to help, to stop the suffering, but he can’t even find a way to smuggle his childhood love, Maria, across the border and into Opium. Instead, his every move hits a roadblock, some from the enemies that surround him… and some from a voice within himself. For who is Matt really, but the clone of an evil, murderous dictator?
"This highly anticipated sequel to Farmer's National Book Awardwinning The House of the Scorpion (2002) begins soon after the funeral of the drug lord El Patrón and the murder of nearly everyone who attended the event. Fourteen-year-old Matt, the dead drug lord's clone, was originally created to provide spare parts for El Patrón, but is now the Lord of Opium. Surrounded by people who have been surgically conditioned to satisfy his every whim, many of them mindless and virtually helpless eejits, Matt must come to terms with the deep immorality upon which his wealth is based, while fending off another drug lord, the rapacious Glass Eye Dabengwa, and a fanatical U.N. representative, Esperanza Mendoza. Complicating matters further are Matt's involvement with the beautiful eejit Waitress; his lifelong relationship with Mendoza's strong-willed daughter Maraa; and the machinations of the mad physician, Dr. Rivas, who created Matt. Once again, Farmer's near-future world offers an electric blend of horrors and beauty. Lyrically written and filled with well-rounded, sometimes thorny characters, this superb novel is well worth the wait. Ages 12 up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“In the much-anticipated sequel to The House of the Scorpion (2002), 14-year-old Matteo Alacrán returns home as the new Lord of Opium….A vividly imagined tale of a future world full of fascinating characters and moral themes — a tremendous backdrop for one young man’s search for identity.” Kirkus Reviews
"Most young readers who loved The House of the Scorpion (2002) when it was first released are now adults, and today’s teen audience will need to read the first title in order to fully understand Farmer’s brilliantly realized world….A stellar sequel worth the wait.” Booklist, Starred Review
About the Author
Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor books: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion, which, in 2002, also won the National Book Award and the Printz Honor. Other books include The Sea of Trolls, The Land of the Silver Apples, The Islands of the Blessed, Do You Know Me, The Warm Place, and three picture books for young children. She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border and now lives with her family in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona.
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