The House of the Scorpion

Written by Nancy Farmer

Matteo Alácran

Matt is told he's less than human. He was a clone, harvested from a heifer, and then sat in the lap of luxury as a copy of the drug lord, El Patron. He enjoys every luxury he could ever dream of, but is still considered livestock to the rest of the household. El Patron, Celia, his caretaker, and Tam Lin, his bodyguard, are the only ones who show compassion towards him.

Opium, Aztlan, and the United States

During El Patron's rise to power, he struck a deal with the United States and Aztlan (previously Mexico) to stop the illegal movement of drugs and people trafficking across the border. The country of Opium is established, and is ruled by a few very powerful Farmers.

The Farmers are in charge of vast plantations of poppy, which are harvested and refined by workers, called eejits. Eejits are people that have been microchipped so they can only perform menial tasks, and only when told. They are also used in the house to perform chores, and some spend endless days bending and cutting the pods from the poppy in the fields. The drug sold all over the world, resulting in Opium being extremely wealthy, and the man who owns it all, El Patron, one of the most powerful men in the world.

The Alácran Household

Almost everyone in the Alácran family is horrible to Matt. With the exception of Maria, who is the only one who thinks that Matt can be more than a clone. Nonetheless, this hardly makes up for the way he is treated by the rest. Thomas, the son of a family friend, is especially awful towards Matt, but seems like a perfect cherub to everyone else.

Matt proves to be incredibly gifted in many areas. His music talent quickly develops into a mastery of the piano, and his academic abilities are excellent. He receives anything he wishes for from El Patron, and believes that at some point, El Patron means for him to take over the empire. However, El Patron's health is failing, and when you need a new heart, or liver, or eyes, or spinal chord, where better place to get one then from your younger self?


Would You Recommend This Book?

Sure would! Its a great science fiction story that has some in depth characters, and its won multiple awards, including the John Newbery Medal, and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. It's a fantastic read.

Is This Book Part Of A Series?

Yes, it is part of a series. The second book is The Lord of Opium, which I really look forward to reading!

What Did You Like About The Book?

If your into the dystopian world side of literature thats emerging from Hunger Games and Divergent, then you just might like this book! It's not quite the same as those two, but it's still along the same lines! I really liked how it was a cross cultural experience for Matt since he lived on the border of Aztlan and the United States. I could understand some of the Spanish and that was fun!