May 8, 2013

Waiting on The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights any upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Matt has always been nothing but a clone—grown from a strip of old El Patron’s skin. Now, at age fourteen, he finds himself suddenly thrust into the position of ruling over his own country. The Land of Opium is the largest territory of the Dope Confederacy, which ranges on the map like an intestine from the ruins of San Diego to the ruins of Matamoros. But while Opium thrives, the rest of the world has been devastated by ecological disaster—and hidden in Opium is the cure.

And that isn’t all that awaits within the depths of Opium. Matt is haunted by the ubiquitous army of eejits, zombielike workers harnessed to the old El Patron’s sinister system of drug growing—people stripped of the very qualities that once made them human.

Matt wants to use his newfound power to help, to stop the suffering, but he can’t even find a way to smuggle his childhood love, Maria, across the border and into Opium. Instead, his every move hits a roadblock, some from the enemies that surround him…and some from a voice within himself. For who is Matt really, but the clone of an evil, murderous dictator?(Amazon)
Allow me to confess my deep and unabiding love for Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion. The novel tells the story of Matteo Alacran's first fourteenish years of life, from being created as the clone of a powerful drug lord in a post-apocalyptic Mexico to discovering the truth about his identity and about Opium, the land he's grown up in. It's an incredibly well-imagined and thought-provoking piece of middle-grade fiction. It definitely deserved every award it won, and then some.

Imagine my delight, therefore, to learn that Nancy Farmer has returned to this story after nearly ten years. I know there's the very real potential that this sequel will not live up to the first book, but I do not want to consider that possibility. The few Farmer books I've read are genius, and I am so excited to read about the next segment of Matt's life. Although there aren't many books that I feel the need to read in advance, this is definitely one of them. 

What are you waiting on?
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Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.

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