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THE LORD OF OPIUM by Nancy Farmer


by Nancy Farmer

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-8254-8
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

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.

Matt was a clone of El Patrón, drug lord of Opium, but with El Patrón dead, Matt is now considered by international law to be fully human and El Patrón’s rightful heir. But it’s a corrupt land, now part of a larger Dope Confederacy carved out of the southeastern United States and northern Mexico, ruled over by drug lords and worked by armies of Illegals turned into “eejits,” or zombies. Matt wants to bring reform: cure the eejits, disband the evil Farm Patrol, uproot the opium, shut down the drug distribution network, plant new crops and, if that’s not enough, heal the planet, since the outside world is in the midst of an ecological disaster. But how can an innocent 14-year-old do all of this and keep warring drug lords at bay? If this volume lacks the mystery and deft plotting of its predecessor (and sometimes feels like an extended epilogue to it), it has an imagined world that will keep readers marveling at the sheer weirdness of it all—the zombies and clones, drug lord Glass Eye Dabengwa, a ghost army, the Mushroom Master, biospheres and a space station.

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. (cast of characters, map, chronology, appendix) (Science fiction. 12 & up)