The Lord of Opium
The Lord of Opium
By Nancy Farmer
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781442482548, 411pp.
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
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?
“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.”
* "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.”
* "This highly anticipated sequel to Farmer’s National Book Award–winning 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.... 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."