Friday, January 27, 2012

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

**By the way, today I am going to try a new format**

Title: The House of the Scorpion
Author: Nancy Farmer
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Length: 380 pages
Ages: Young Adults
Genera: Fantasy
Subjects: Dystopia, Adventure, Coming of Age
Mature themes. May be frightening for younger children/not understand concept, definitely for young adults or advanced readers.

Matteo Alacrán  wasn't born - he was harvested. Matt is a clone of a powerful lord of a country called Opium, El Patrón. Opium is a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico.
El Patrón loves his clone, for Matt is him. As Matt fights for respect, there are some that wish to kill him.

The House of the Scorpion was just wow. Wow. If this is the norm of the books I'm going to read 2012, than I'm in luck (and just wow will be part of my vocab). It is a brilliant work of art. I had not ever read a Nancy Farmer book (though twice now I rented The Sea of Trolls - but never got to it). I was very happy with this book, begging everyone I know to read it. They didn't - yet.
The "main villain" (I don't really call any of them the main villain because without even one childhood it wouldn't seem the same) is lovable, and by the time he does something bad (though you expected it), you are sad.

Matt is a kind, curious, human character. He is a child in this book, not an adult. He acts like one, and even more he makes child like mistakes. There is one beautiful scene (yet not really) were Matt makes someone do something (I won't specify...) - that a thirteen year old kid would do (chapter 11 - The Giving and Taking of Gifts).
The "villains" were also human. Even the minor-est villains made you hate them and when something bad happens to them you are happy, yet sad for maybe, just maybe they didn't deserve it. A certain Rosa is a good example.

It begins... slowly, but that really builds everything up. It isn't a fast paced book. [Some of] the surprises are expected which slights takes away from the main story line. I guessed about 75% of them, but the author left many clues (probably wanting you to find some of them). The big surprise as a 50/50 surprise, for I guessed who the bad person was yet not what he was going to do - but then again there were lots of clues so if I tried harder, I could have guessed it.

What I enjoyed/didn't:
The was no cussing other than 1 or 2 c and 3 or 4 d, though this was a young adult book. Often, the author will add too much cussing just to make it a young adult book. This book was young adult for themes, not cussing/romance/ect.
The story was realistic because *spoiler* El Patrón is the leader of the Opium fields, yet he isn’t a nice guy as Matt thinks.*/spoiler*
I didn't like Matt's childish reaction to Tom, even though Matt is a child (chapter 10. A Cat with Nine Lives). I felt it was just wrong, though I reward the author for such a realistic chapter. This dislike is more of a personal moral dislike than an actual critism of the book/chapter. 

In conclusion:
The writing was entertaining and easy to read at times, but hard to read at others. I was recently looking around and found Nancy's blog (or some poser I guess). According to my source, she is writing a sequel. The ending left me hanging, but I don't know if I really want "another book". I will read her other books once I get them. Her books are well written. Another good change, from the Twilights and Hunger Games, is that this book has a good and clear moral. I recommend it to mature audiences, Mature 12/13 up.

Favorite Scene & Character: My favorite character is Tam Lin. My favorite scene is actually a part - the first.
Favorite Quote: "What Matt hated about the creature was everyone’s assumption that he and Furball were the same. It didn’t matter that Matt had excellent grades and good manners. They were both animals and thus unimportant." (Narrator)
Recommend: Yeah!
Rating: A+

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