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The Lord of Opium (Matteo Alacran #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  4,252 Ratings  ·  668 Reviews
The new book continues the story of Matt, the boy who was cloned from evil drug lord El Patrón in The House of the Scorpion. Now 14 years old, Matt rules his own country, the Land of Opium, the only thriving place in a world ravaged by ecological disaster. Though he knows that the cure for ending the suffering is hidden in Opium, Matt faces obstacles and enemies at every t ...more
Hardcover, 411 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Lisa I really enjoyed the second one. Usually the 2nd book is a disappointment but I really liked this one and I hope a third book comes out soon. This…moreI really enjoyed the second one. Usually the 2nd book is a disappointment but I really liked this one and I hope a third book comes out soon. This book is obviously written for a 7-9 grade level but I am "older" and I enjoyed the story line and the futuristic aspect.(less)

Community Reviews

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I read The House of the Scorpion in fifth or sixth grade, and I loved it. I have a vivid memory of being excited for standardized testing because it meant I had time to read (I liked standardized testing when I was younger because I've always been a fast test-taker, which meant at least half an hour of reading time for me). I remember sitting in a desk that I'd shoved into a corner of the room, being absolutely enthralled by the book.

Now, I don't remember that much of it. I remember how it mad
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
This is one of those cases where I think memory did me a disservice. See, The House of the Scorpion is praised as one of the best dystopian novels, and I do agree that might be true, as it does focus on world building (not a claim many YA dystopians can make). However, when I read it, The House of the Scorpion was in the 3-3.5 range for me. Despite that, I was convinced that younger me missed something and that I would enjoy the series more now. Sadly, this didn't turn out to be the case. From w ...more
May 13, 2015 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's some pretty harsh reviews for Lord of Opium, but I don't understand why. This follow up to The House of the Scorpion was very, very good!
Aug 27, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
To start, I gave this one 4 stars because, while this was a great book, I still liked the first one a lot more. Something about the development of Matt's character and his POV was more interesting in House of Scorpion.

This book picks up right where the other one left us. Due to the countries laws of clones, Matt is now a "human" and ruler of Opium. We follow his journey into this new role that comes with some serious danger. Especially when you put this responsibility and peril in the hands of
Jan 24, 2013 Miriam rated it did not like it
I am so disappointed.

I was highly impressed by THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION and very excited to be able to read an ARC of the sequel. Alas, so much of what I admired in the first book is absent from the second. While reading SCORPION I was swept up into Matt's experiences, his gradual understanding of the dystopia he inhabits and his highly unsettling place within it. And, of course, there was considerable tension arising from his struggle to survive and keep his friends safe.

In reading OPIUM, I f
*~Lan Lan~*
2.5 stars. I am so sad that I did not enjoy this. The first book was amazing and this missed the mark entirely.

I don't know what happened. I just did not liked this at all. I felt so detached from all the characters and the plot. There didn't even seem to be a story arc and things were just happening. I felt like the characters were just going through the motions with no actual reason for any of it.

I had a hard time getting through this for those reasons. Don't get me wrong, the first book was a
Oct 27, 2013 Cornmaven rated it did not like it
I abandoned this about 2/3 of the way through, and should have done it sooner. I absolutely loved The House of the Scorpion and was so excited about this sequel. The problem:

Nothing happens. There are many opportunities for action and tense moments, all of which are ignored. Every other drug lord in the world should have been immediately moving in on the territory, but no, they just supposedly complain about their drug shipments, that's all. Far too much describing of stuff instead of showing or
May 24, 2014 Sid rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-just-right
I really loved this book as it was a great follow up to the house of scorpion. The plot was interesting. The only thing that I was disappointed with was that the initial 150 pages were slow and then the last 70 pages were amazingly intense and I wasn't really able to keep up and I had to re-read some pages to understand what was going on but it really helped as every time i re-read a page i would interpret it differently and that gave me a greater understanding of the book, characters and the pl ...more
Kurt Wittig
Oct 09, 2013 Kurt Wittig rated it really liked it
Nancy Farmer’s The Lord of Opium was a joy to read. I quite enjoyed the first book, The House of the Scorpion, even though I found it relatively flat throughout. The dystopian content of Scorpion was enough to keep me interested until the very end. I enjoyed The Lord of Opium even more than the first book. Religion, agriculture, family, environment, are prominent themes in the book and presented with significance for Matteo’s life and the fate of the world. The reader is taken deeper into the co ...more
Jan 18, 2014 Jill rated it it was ok
Note: There are no spoilers for this book, but there will be spoilers for Book One.

More than ten years after the first book in this series, The House of The Scorpion, Farmer picks up where she left off - in fact, immediately after the end of Book One. The year is 2136, and the whole world has been divided into drug empires following ecological devastation. It has been three months since the death of El Patrón, the ruler of Opium, a dedicated drug-crop country between Mexico (now called Aztlán),
Kay Mcgriff
Jan 08, 2014 Kay Mcgriff rated it really liked it
I first met Matteo Alacran when he was still the clone of El Patron in The House of the Scorpion. I cheered when he escaped his fate and cried when he learned of the cruelty of El Patron that even reached out from beyond the grave. When I learned that Nancy Farmer had written a sequel, I wasn't sure what to think. Of course, I wanted to know what happened to Matt, but how could a second book live up to the mind-blowing experience of reading the first one?

I needn't have worried. The Lord of Opium
Tyler Detering
Sep 29, 2014 Tyler Detering rated it really liked it
In the book The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer, Matteo Alacran is a fourteen year old boy, has inherited the land of Opium. He is a clone of El Patron, the previous drug lord of Opium. Now he has a land filled with problems he has to deal with. Enemies close in around him, can he and his friends survive the harsh challenges Opium has to offer?
I very much enjoyed this book. The character development felt very organic and alive. The way the author writes is very clear, while also including more ad
Hannah Brenchley
Oct 31, 2013 Hannah Brenchley rated it it was ok
I was so excited when I saw that House of the Scorpion had a sequel. Scorpion has been one of my favorite books since I first read it, and I was always captivated by the futuristic world and Matt's complicated situation. However, when I read The Lord of Opium, I was severely disappointed.
The book has almost no story arc. It's a whole bunch of Matt exploring Opium and struggling with becoming the new Patron, which honestly didn't interest me at all. The introduction and development of characters
Vanshaj Garg
Jun 14, 2015 Vanshaj Garg rated it really liked it very good book, explaining about the life of our fellow clone, matt, and how he is in the patrons position in a power stuggle, where there is betrayal at every corner...
Matthew J
Feb 15, 2016 Matthew J rated it it was amazing
In my opinion The Lord of Opium is a great sequel to the House of Scorpions. It has a a exciting conflict at every chapter that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book for ages 13 and up.
Jul 11, 2013 Victoria marked it as to-read
Shelves: books-me
A friend just recommended the first book to me on here. I remember reading it sometime either in middle school or high school. Then when I check out the author I'm like, There. Is. A. Sequel!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stephanie Pieck
Jul 10, 2016 Stephanie Pieck rated it really liked it
Shelves: braille
Nancy Farmer concludes the story of Matt, the ninth clone of a now-deceased drug lord who is thrust into the unenviable position of ruling Opium, the country his originator created through a vast ring of corruption, smuggling, and murder.
Matt, 14, knew the original El Patron, and while he admired aspects of the old man's ascent to power, there were others that repelled him. Chief among these was his use of eejits, Illegals whose brains have been implanted with microchips so that they can perform
Oct 11, 2016 Tessa rated it did not like it

On Sunday past I did something I've never done before: I returned a book I had purchased before I had finished it because after 6 chapters(which I had to force myself to get through) I gave up. It wasn't going to get better. I didn't care the slightest about any of the mysteries I was leaving unsolved by not finishing the book. I knew that I would never, ever wonder what happened to whats-her-face or who-cares-his-face and whether or not that plot they were hatching would work out or who was rea
Aug 09, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
This is the sequel to the award-winning The House of the Scorpion, which came out in 2004. Matt, clone of the dead drug lord El Patron, is now master of the Land of Opium, his own country. All of the problems he saw as he grew up in Opium are still there. The eejits, people who have been made into zombies by having computer chips placed in their brains, are still required for Opium to thrive. Making opium and selling it is still the way that everything is funded. And everyone expects Matt to ste ...more
A nauseatingly bad book. Such a disappointment after The House of Scorpions. Where are all the editors? Did no one dare to tell her that this needed a major rewrite?

Customer review on Amazon (I couldn't paste in the Booklist or the School Library Journal review, because the were exceedingly positive - did they actually read the book??):
The House of Scorpion has won a Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and the National Book Award. It was an excellent book, and we have waited years for this one. Well, I
Oct 16, 2013 Katrina rated it liked it
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 th
Bonnie Jean
Nov 15, 2013 Bonnie Jean rated it really liked it
I'll admit to originally being somewhat skeptical at the news that Nancy Farmer was writing a sequel to House of the Scorpion, but seeing how Nancy Farmer has yet to let me down, I figured I would give her the benefit of the doubt and give it a try. I was not disappointed (though that being said, Nancy Farmer has stated on her blog that she has absolutely no intentions of making this into a trilogy, and I really hope that is true). Farmer makes the problems that Matt faces as the new Lord of Opi ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Kendall rated it really liked it
4 stars...the only thing disappointing about this book is the fact that it will certainly become a trilogy with "The Bug" as the new antagonist. I am tired of the trilogy thing...although I am so glad that publishers have decided on three as the holy grail instead of 12---it's just too hard to keep up with as a reader and as a budget-strapped librarian!

Although Scorpion most certainly could've stood on its own, I am so thrilled that Farmer continued the story with this complex read. Although I l
Adia Schamber
Jan 10, 2015 Adia Schamber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book was really good. Great descriptions of everything, the writing makes me feel like I'm with Matteo Alacran throughout the story. I especially enjoy the fact that this book doesn't talk about drugs or crime, although Matt is a drug lord. It's nice to read about his life as a clone and how he makes it through the situations he finds himself in.

Matt is a unique character, in that he's a clone of a terrible drug lord, and he's also a young teenager, trying to figure out life. He's a respec
Sarina Madan
Jul 06, 2015 Sarina Madan rated it it was ok
I really liked the House of the Scorpion and this book was a big disappointment.

There seemed to be so many plot holes and devices that were too convenient. Why in a world where clones are considered disgusting, would there be a law stating that when the original person dies their clone inherits all of their possessions? When one twin dies does the other stop being a twin? That did not make any sense.

Also Matt is such a weak leader. He puts up with obvious psychopaths by not doing anything. He d
4.5 stars
A satisfying sequel to House of the Scorpion. Both books ended with enough resolution for the story to be complete, but I really liked where she went with this follow-up. Like the first book, there's a lot to ponder, and there's much more focus on the eejits. (view spoiler)
Nov 10, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Matt is the new Lord of Opium, but with the death of El Patron there is a power vacuum within the drug world. Will Matt be able to maintain his tentative hold upon this empire, and what's more, be able to change it?

Nancy Farmer has written a solid follow-up to her award winning The House of the Scorpion. She continues to investigate the morality of her characters, such as is the sacrifice of the few for the benefit of the many worth the price?

I also found Farmer's inclusion of real-world scienc
Sep 10, 2016 Antonia rated it liked it
Not as good as The House of the Scorpion...
Feb 08, 2015 Nidofito rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-reads
The only character I liked in this edition was the jefe. I feel like I shouldn't have waited so long to read The Lord of Opium as my book taste seems to have changed since I read its prequel. Not that the book was exceptionally good. It was anticlimactic and a bit of a let down tbh.

I feel the author had trapped herself into a corner because on one hand Opium was this terrible land but it was also the only preserved area in the otherwise destroyed Earth. They were two sides of the same coin. The
Feb 19, 2014 BookwormJayde rated it liked it
This was sort of a let down after the first book. I mean, the first book was tight, well written with plenty of action. This one... well, the plot had so many tangles and the main conflict was hard to sort out. They sort of weaved in and out, loosely knitted and the resolution happened so fast and quickly it left me thinking that it hadn't resolved itself at all. Also, the author tries a hand at romance... and lets just say it doesn't suit her style at at all. I'll give this a three because the ...more
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HMSA Reads: Book Review - The Lord of Opium 1 2 Jan 10, 2017 04:54PM  
Internal and External conflicts 18 3 Dec 21, 2015 10:16AM  
Dialouge 13 5 Dec 03, 2015 10:18AM  
Flat and round Characters 3 6 Nov 09, 2015 10:39AM  
Fell flat 2 28 Dec 16, 2014 08:52AM  
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Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona-Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine. She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River. She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963. Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to ...more
More about Nancy Farmer...

Other Books in the Series

Matteo Alacran (2 books)
  • The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1)

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