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The Lord of Opium

(Matteo Alacran #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  6,628 ratings  ·  899 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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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ervin No. It just kind of got swept under the rug and forgotten.
I was really hoping it would have been explained and tied back in to the story.…more
No. It just kind of got swept under the rug and forgotten.
I was really hoping it would have been explained and tied back in to the story.(less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  6,628 ratings  ·  899 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
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
One Man Book Club
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! ...more
Jan 24, 2013 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
Oct 27, 2013 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
Nov 24, 2015 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
Kurt Wittig
Oct 09, 2013 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
Apr 14, 2014 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
Gabriel Seaborn
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very solid, and just as good as the original. Of course people won't get that same feeling when the major twist of the first book happened, but I definitely recommend it to anybody who loved the first. Delves more into the world of Gods Ashtray, and how different Opium is from the rest of the world. ...more
Jan 18, 2014 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 01, 2014 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
Aug 27, 2014 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
Arch Bala
Now, The Lord of Opium may not have the same literary awards received by its predecessor – The House of the Scorpion but it’s still as strong, story-wise.

This book started a good few hours during the funeral of El Patron and from thereon, Matt’s young life is about to really change because he is technically The Lord of Opium (still no spoiler) thus becoming the most powerful man in the world (by default).

This one is as riveting as the first book. I loved the characters of the “Lost Boys” especia
blissful and bookish
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading The Lord of Opium, the sequel to Nancy Farmer's The House of Scorpion.

I didn't really enjoy the first book, but I always try to give the next book a try before deciding whether or not to give up on the story. Boy, I'm glad I continued because The Lord of Opium was way good!

It was very interesting with different conflicts to resolve. I love that so many characters came into play. It was hard to really determine who was the bad guy. 😂 It kept me curious the whole time. I enjo
Olivia Tiseth
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would honestly rather rate this a 3.5, because it was a pretty weird book. It was like oh there's this space station in the sky, and oh yeah it's important. And Matt's character development was pretty weird too. At some points he was exactly like El Patron, or just acted completely different than he would have in the first book because some things Matt would never do. So he was a bit confusing. I did like some characters though, like Listen or Mr. Ortega. And the descriptions of the different ...more
Matthew J
Feb 03, 2016 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, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this series. The premise sounds SO good and interesting, the clones, 140+ year old drug lords, futuristic setting, people with microchips controlling their actions. And then this one seemed like it would improve on the last one, giving actual background information on things that were too vague and giving Matt the power to change things that are corrupt.

But my gosh, NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK. It is literally just Matt wandering around learning things about the country
Sep 28, 2013 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
Hannah Brenchley
Oct 31, 2013 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
Josh Kron
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Lord of Opium is a unique coming of age book following the clone of a drug lord and his journey to becoming viewed as equal to regular people, running a country, and helping the world. Matteo, the clone, travels through Mexico, learning about what life is like outside of his home country of Opium. Opium is a country of drug lords, legally growing and manufacturing drugs to sell them to the world. A major crash in the world economy forced the United States and Mexico to allow a new couuntry t ...more
Victoria A
Jul 11, 2013 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!!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
Vanshaj Garg
May 28, 2015 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... ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-male-author
Not as gripping as #1 but still very good. Picks up immediately where the last book left off. Matt has inherited a great deal of power, and a great many problems. I loved the character Cienfuegos.

Content warnings: child harm, human rights abuses
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Not as good as The House of the Scorpion...
“Oh dear! You’re too young for all the problems you have inherited. But God arranges these things for a purpose. What was I but one of a hundred thousand women El Patron enslaved throughout his long life? Yet Fate decreed that I arrive at the moment you needed me. Maria befriended you when no one else would. Tam Lin gave you the strength to escape when the time came. Without us, you would merely be a heart beating in an old man’s chest. You are meant to end the evil of this place, and you can’t ...more
Jack Higgins
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So, looks like I'm finally mustering up the strength to review this miserable excuse for a sequel. Nancy, I'm so sorry (except for the fact that I'm not). House of the Scorpion was the best YA novel I've read (and I don't take a chance on that genre often).

Just, why? Why did this ungodly late (eleven years, REALLY?!) sequel have to ruin all of it? I finished this just a few months ago, and I literally gave it away the second I was finished with it. I don't want this travesty on my bookshelf. L
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the many major themes to be uncovered in this story is trust. Trust is one of the most crucial elements of life. Your life is like a scale, as reputation is the equivalent of the scale, trust is either gained or lost and the scale is either balanced or unbalanced. In "The Lord of Opium", Matt, the cloned outcast, has to rely upon a close-knit group of friends to bail him out in the darkest times, for example, Matt's caretaker Celia, a poor villager from rescued by El Patron from El Patron ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This book makes you rethink the world. I liked the book and thought it was fun to read. You can really feel matts struggle as he comes to terms with being the new drug lord of opium. The book does a good job of describing how opium is this little bubble of clean wilderness surrounded by decay, and troubles, and death. A lot of this book is centered around saving people who were turned into brainless zombies, and you feel his struggles and frustration as he tries to save these people that nobody ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like how this book dives straight into the conflict (which I won't talk about since it will be spoilers), and how deep it goes into Matt's emotions throughout the book and how it drops subtle details that makes us see how Matt is growing in the book. I also really liked all of the discussions about the identities of the clones. ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Internal and External conflicts 18 6 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 30 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

Other books in the series

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

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