Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 2013
Pages: 432
Source: e-book from Edelweiss
For: Review
Series: Sequel to House of the Scorpion

Summary from goodreads:
The new book continues the story of Matt, the boy who was cloned from evil drug lord El PatrĂ³n in The House of the Scorpion. Now 14 years old, Matt rules his own country, the Land of Opium, the only thriving place in a world ravaged by ecological disaster. Though he knows that the cure for ending the suffering is hidden in Opium, Matt faces obstacles and enemies at every turn when he tries to use his power to help.
Things I Liked:
I have to admit I had really high expectations on this one, as I adored House of the Scorpion.  While it still had a lot of the same stuff that was so good about the first: the medical ethics of clones and eejits (implanted with brain chips), the corrupt and difficult world of drug trafficking, etc.  I found it to be a LOT slower and a lot less exciting than the first.  It wasn't that I didn't find it interesting, because it was.  I loved Matt discovering what else was going on in his world and what other things El Patron had hidden away.  There was a lot for him to find out.  I enjoyed seeing a more complete picture of Opium as well.  The end did pick up quite a bit and things began to be more exciting, but then I found some of the resolution to be a bit disappointing.

Things I Didn't Like:
As I mentioned, it moved along at a very slow pace, story wise.  It seemed like nothing ever really happened, except Matt would tour his new lands and see lots of new things he didn't know about.  There was some careful plotting involved in seeing all those things, but not enough to make this a quick read.  It took me a long time to finish.  The ending, as I said, picked up quite a bit and things began to get more intense.  But, the ultimate resolution to one of the biggest things Matt faced was so quick, easy, and complete that I couldn't believe it just happened.  It felt like a big cop-out.  Things ended really neatly as well and seemed a little bit too happy for the place/time Farmer had created.  I don't know, I felt a bit cheated.  Still, overall, I enjoyed seeing what happened after the events in House of the Scorpion, but I think I expected a bit too much.

Definitely start with House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

s-factor: !@
a few

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
definitely some fighting and other difficult/abusive things discussed

Overall rating:***.5

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I remember thinking House of the Scorpion was kinda weird. Sorry this one was a disappointment. It sucks having your hopes shot.

    1. Yes, yes it does. I really loved House of the Scorpion.


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