Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The House of the Scorpion By Nancy Farmer

Reading Hammock’s Rating:
5 out of 5
Fiction Genre:
The House of the Scorpion
Nancy Farmer
Author Website:
Publication Date:
September, 2002
Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Hardcover | Paperback | Digital | Audio

Author Synopsis:

Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium — a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster — except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.
As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.

My review:

            I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  While Matt is a clone, he still embodies human qualities.  I was drawn in by Farmer’s technique of exploring Matt’s feelings about life as a clone.  Through her description, I could clearly imagine what his childhood must have been like. The thrilling suspense of whether Matt will sacrifice himself to save El Patrón’s life or choose to free the plantation residents from El Patron’s control, kept me reading late into the night.  Farmer created a fast paced science fiction story that contains unexpected twists in the plot. 

         Although I love this novel by Nancy Farmer, I haven’t found her other novels up to par with this one.  She doesn’t have the same suspense running throughout her other stories.  If you loved “The House of the Scorpion” you shouldn’t have the same expectations for other Nancy Farmer books.  

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