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Clone with a soul?

The House of the Scorpion

Title: The House of the Scorpion
By: Nancy Farmer

Over a hundred years in the future, Matt Alacran lives in the Land of Opium, where he is the clone of the Lord of Opium, El Patron. The 100+ year-old ruler was once a powerful crime/drug lord who took much of the southern United States and northern Mexico and formed the Drug Countries, where each grows a different Drug and sells it internationally. But Matt isn't too worried about all that; he’s more focused on surviving the tense internal politics of one of the richest and powerful families in the country, possibly the world.

Through Matt's treatment in this bizarre world, Farmer brings up lots of questions about what it means to be a person. In Opium Matt is nothing but a clone, and thus property, and so he is treated like the intelligent family dog. The Catholic religious practices of several of the characters touch Matt's thoughts and make him wonder if he even has a soul, since animals apparently don't. This novel isheavy in concepts, but whimsical in its descriptions of the poppy fields and land of Opium.

Also, the opposing themes in this book—for example, the mixture of old fashioned traditions and futuristic technology—make it dynamic and provocative. I very much look forward to reading (or listening to) the next book in this series, The Lord Of Opium.

View similarly tagged posts: science fiction, teen fiction

Posted on April 11, 2016 at 6:45 a.m.

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