Author: Nancy Farmer
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2012
ARC provided by publisher
I'm back from my summer hiatus and so happy to be able to review this book for you!
I'm a huge fan of The House of Scorpion, which I listened to on audio, and am thrilled that Nancy Farmer is continuing Matt's story.
I don't think it's much of a secret now that Matt is actually the clone of an evil drug lord known as El Patron and Matt was raised to be his organ donor. El Patron dies at the end of The House of Scorpion and Matt becomes the new Lord of Opium.
The Lord of Opium literally starts the next day after The House of Scorpion ends. If you haven't read The House of Scorpion, you can follow along well enough, but I highly suggest reading The House of Scorpion first. It's a different type of storytelling because it starts when Matt is very young and the reader sees how he grows up and how he learns to assert himself as a real person.
I don't want to give spoilers, but I think fans will appreciate Matt's new obstacles as the Baby Patron, as some call him. Readers get to experience new areas of the land of Opium that Nancy Farmer has created, and there are new secrets to be revealed.
Overall, I do think that The Lord of Opium is an entertaining read, but I also think that it's less of a character study and more plot-driven than The House of Scorpion. There are still moral quandaries and quagmires, but Matt doesn't seem to grow as a character as much as he tries to remain true to himself.
I recommend The Lord of Opium to readers who enjoy thought-provoking science fiction.