BOOK REVIEWS

The House of the Scorpion Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-04-07 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0689852231
LANGUAGE: English

"First of all there is a whole lot going on in this novel. It is out if my usual preferred genre. I prefer to read about real people, with real problems. While this story is futuristic and science fiction it does deal with the century old questions of power, human relationships, and empathy for mankind. The setting takes place between Arizona and Northern Mexico. It prompted me to do a little research on the Ajo Mountains and salt mines as the author repeatedly referred to them. Matt, the protagonist is the type of character you want to root for since he has been given a bad lot in life. Created in a Petri dish and artificially inseminated and born of a cow solely to be used as parts later on to prolong the life of his original human, El Patron who lives to be 148 years old. There are so many moral questions that are raised by this story. Who should live? Who should die? Whose life is more important? Should poor people be destined to a life of slavery/servitude? Are their lives less important? What happens when the government makes bad decisions for the people in the name of the people? Who has the power to right the wrong? We will be using this with our inquiry unit to answer some of these questions. We will start the book in November in our Advanced ELA class. " said.

"“The House of the Scorpion” is about Matteo Alacran, who is the clone of another Matteo Alacran. The original Matteo Alacran, also known as El Patron, was a power-hungry drug-dealer that created an evil empire filled with eejits, or people that have no will. Due to Matt being a clone, he is always treated differently – usually for the worse. He is trapped in the Alacran estate, a large mansion filled with people that have a personal distaste for him. Although he does make a few friends, such as Celia, a maid in the Alacran estate that treats Matt like her own son, Tam Lin, one of El Patron’s bodyguards, and Maria, a very emotional girl that has a large mouth and a big heart. And although El Patron is very kind to Matt, he has a wicked plan in store for him, and it has something to do with Patron being over 140 years old…

Finally, a novel worthy of five stars! It has been such a long time since I’ve read one, so, it’s kind of exciting. Anyway, on to my personal opinion of the book. I totally loved everything about it. The characters were well-developed, the world was unique and intriguing, and the plot was very well thought-out. The world Farmer created seemed reminiscent of Neal Shusterman’s “Unwind”, which was also a very good novel. Another thing I liked about this book was that although I’m not a huge fan of Sci-fi novels, the prose and dialogue made everything easier for me to digest. I really cared about the characters, I was (pathetically) almost in tears at the end when I learned about a certain character’s fate. So I would highly recommend this book to everyone I know.
" said.

" When I first started to read this book, I was completely uninterested. However, this book was a genre that I normally read. So I gave it a chance. I actually ended up really liking this book. I loved all the backstabbing and mysteries this book provided, and the characters were lovable. However, I wished that María and Matt were more than friends (Sorry, these are the kinds of books I read...). Overall, a great book that I would definitely recommend to others. " said.

"Nancy Farmer has a unique talent for creating action-packed novels set in some pretty wild places. In this case, the future is ruled by a Mexican druglord who clones himself in order to harvest organs when he needs them. The book follows the life of a clone.

Science meets social issues in Nancy Farmer's books. People who try to flee the Mexican border into the U.S. are captured in a new country ruled by the druglord, where they are imbedded with a computer chip in the brain to make them complacent slaves who work until they drop dead. The book is written for teens. There's a lot in here to lead a book group into a variety of discussions: slavery, border patrol and cloning just to start. This could be compared with other teen books like Feed by Anderson, The Uglies/Pretties series by Westerfield or The Ear The Eye and The Arm, also by Farmer for her look into the future of Africa.

This book has scenes that you will never see on tv or read about anywhere else. Despite the fact that the setting is in the future and involves some very imaginative situations, the book is written so well that it's not difficult to imagine the scenes. Very, very interesting!
" said.

"You can also view this review, and others, on my blog thatgirlbookworm

I'm so happy that I've been reading such unique books lately! Before now I had heard of this book, as is normal since it's quite old, but I had no idea what it was about. I saw it recently at the library and read the blurb and it interested me so when I found it really cheap at a used bookstore I decided to buy it.
I'm glad I did! I really enjoyed it.
The setting is probably my favourite part. I love that it's pretty much in Mexico. I feel like there are a lack of books that are set in Mexico and it was refreshing to read a little bit about their culture and urban legends and things.
This book is such a great fantasy book. I love the eejits, the idea of clones and everything else. It's futuristic but doesn't feel that way at all. It felt like it could have been modern day.
The characters were also great. Matt was such a precious child and I felt so bad for him so much throughout the book. His life was so tragic and sad. Celia is another character I love because she was so loving and Tam Lin was probably my favourite minor character. The antagonists in this book are so well written because I was so frustrated with them the entire time I read the book!

My one and only problem was Ton Ton's dialogue. The author kept including random "uh" in the middle of every sentence and I didn't understand what they were meant to be? Maybe a stutter or something but either way it would lose the flow of the book for me. Thankfully he was not in a lot of the book but I am hoping that by the second book this will be easier to read or less of an issue for Ton Ton.

Such a creative and unique book!

Book Challenge book #37 - A Book Set In The Future
" said.

"freaking addicting read it 4 times.

This is the story of a clone named Matteo Alacran, or matt. Matt is a clone of the drug lord el patron. El Patron is very concerned about the wellbeing of matt. In this book matt grows from a skin cell to the age 16. During this time period he slowly learns why el patron is so worried about matt's well being. el patron has had clones before matt, he uses them for orgam transplants so he can live long. el patron is 140.


This book takes place in the future. America and mexico are having problems with immagration and drugs. The drug lords went to the governments and told them this and recomended something that would solve these problems. The country of Opium. it is a ten mile wide strip between Aztlan (prestent day mexico) and america. The country Opium captures the border hoppers and makes them into eejits, which are people with computer chips in there brains so they listen to orders. They have problems if the don't hear there leader say something like stop working and go back to the pens, they keep doing there last order. If they are asked to work they will work until somebody says stop, If they don't hear that order they will keep working until they actually hear it or die. it is that strait. they are great workers. Opium send people out to Aztlan as "guides" for people wanting to cross Opium into america, they just lead them strait to where they are made into eejits.




The person that is the most influintal person in matts life is Celia. Celia is basicly his mother. She cares for him the same as a mother would. When El Patron has a heart attack and might need a transplant she gives him something that makes it unsafe for el patron to get the transeplant. She gave hime to much, he is not hurt but now she has to find something else to do the job. She hears about butterflies. (i know butterflies). Some butterflies eat milkweed so that that they can still live but if something eats them they are poisendl. she keeps him alive.

his other influence is tam lin his personal body gaurd, Tam Lin. He teaches him how to be a man he shows him how to fish. Tam Lin had a history that got el patron to like him as a body gaurd. Tam Lin ran into a problem when he tried to blow up a political figure, a bus with twenty kids drove by. All of them died, without el patron he would be in jail. Matt finds out about this and it crushes him becuase Tam lin was his hero and all he heard was that he killed 20 kids. Tam lin felt extremly bad about this and ended up dieing.





This is also a devolopling love story. What i mean is that matt is growing up and is slowly falling in love with maria. It is like any love stories it has ups and downs. When matt kidnapps her dog to get her to talk to him agian. Felicia kills the dog and it all falls upon matt.






I thought that the author had a good idea, and pull through.

I believe that it is possible for this story to pull through. Some of the science i think very possible, I don't believe that you could grow a human clone in a cow. I do think if they do have clones they will not be availible to people other than rich people like El Patron. I also think that clone will be treated like matt is by rosa, as a monster or beast.

I believe that there could not be eejits, because it is not scientificly possible.


the ending is hardcore


Fenwick
" said.

"That was amazing.

Why hadn’t I heard of this award winning book?

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer absolutely captivated me. I read it in about a day and could not put it down. Essentially it’s a middle school to young adult book but the beauty of it is that it can be read on so many levels that anyone from about age 12 and up can get something out of this book. The book touches upon many themes: religion, politics, ethics, cloning, slavery, the drug trade, corruption and probably a few others that I have not mentioned.

The story is beautifully written and is told in the voice of a young child. Matt is born to this world with a purpose. He is seen as a beast and treated like an animal. Later on in the story, he moves into the drug lord’s home and is given an indulgent childhood. He is educated, allowed to play the piano, and allowed to ride a horse. Matt has his own personal body guard who teaches him survival training. There are some dark undertones to this book and while El Patron looks like a doting father, something sinister is afoot.

Don’t read the blurbs. Just go into the story with an open mind and enjoy.
" said.

"First things first: I need to mention I received this book in Goodreads giveaways. I also need to mention that the real rating for this book is 3.5 stars as it is better than the majority of the books I rated with 3 stars, but it does not quite reach 4-star rating. I never felt more strongly about having 0.5 star rating on Goodreads since I joined it.

The plot: Matteo Alacran (Matt most of the time) is a clone of a very powerful drug lord El Patron who was created to provide replacement organs for the latter. The problem was, El Patron also wanted to have somebody who reminded him about his childhood - and who is the better candidate than his own clone? As a result Matt's brain was not destroyed unlike other clones' that were created for other people. So we have an intelligent almost-but-not-quite human being on one hand and people who regard Matt as something lower than an animal on the other hand. It does not help any that El Patron's clan members hate each other - and everybody else for that matter.

The book raises a lot of interesting and important questions: cloning, slavery, free will, drug use - just to name a few. The plot itself is interesting if slow in the beginning and way too fast in the end.

Now for the bad parts: the characters that surround Matt at El Patron's residence are all two-dimensional without exceptions. Matt himself is a typical Mary Sue, I always thought about Oliver Twist when I read the first part of the book. Once the book switches to other places, we finally get interesting people and interactions between them - other than just blind hate.

I already mentioned plot moving way too slow in the beginning and being rushed in the end. I can actually point to the particular place in the text where the author decided it is time to wrap up everything; the result is that the end feels very simplistic and unfinished.

All in all this is not a bad book, but I expected it to be much better from the amount of awards it received. It did not help any that I was reading an adult dystopia book at the same time which had more depth.
" said.

May 2017 New Book:

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