Thursday, October 17, 2013

Title: The Lord of Opium (Matteo Alacran #2)
Author: Nancy Farmer
Release date: September 3, 2013

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?

3/5 Stars

While The House of the Scorpion did leave some loose ends, I found that The Lord of Opium tended to flat line a tad for me.

In book two we see the major characters with a few new ones added in to. I would recommend re-reading the first book before this one, to refresh ones memory if need be. Depending upon how long ago you read it.

This book mainly revolves around Matt adjusting to his role as The Lord of Opium. As much as I wanted to see more of Maria and Matt they were fairly well separated throughout this instalment. I’d like to have seen a little more romance, and interaction between these main characters. I do realize that it is not a romance novel but as a reader would certainly have liked more.

I enjoyed the added twist with Matt to cure one of the secondary characters. But I have to say I didn’t enjoy her much as a character – she didn’t seem to have much depth for me. A minion if anything.

Matt has a character that is believable and flawed. Not perfect what so ever, we see conflict within himself from his emotions to his thoughts about his new position and himself as a person.
The author does a wonderful job of building the world created and I definitely give a gold star for this. It’s one thing I do enjoy seeing in my read. Creativity and Uniqueness’s! lol.

This instalment was not as strong as the previous book, but certainly had some great factors. The complexity alone was intriguing and the authors’ writing was great. Just the storyline fell a little short for me.

For all those readers who enjoyed Divergent by Veronica Roth you may also like this story.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for supplying me this copy of the book for my honest review.

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