Published: 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?
I didn’t enjoy this book near as much as the first one, The House of the Scorpion, because it seemed the author was in a hurry to tie up the loose ends and the end was sort of anticlimactic. BUT, after all that, I still consider it worth reading.
Matteo Alacrán 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.
I gave this book five stars ***** because the plot was unlike any I have read before and once I started reading it I COULD NOT put it down. The characters are very well-developed and the description used throughout the story is very vivid. For me it was a very fast read and I would highly recommend it.
Series: National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book
Release Date: January 25, 2011 | Series: Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein (Book 4)
The war against humanity has begun. In the dead hours of the night, a stranger enters the home of the mayor of Rainbow Falls, Montana. The stranger is in the vanguard of a wave of intruders who will invade other homes . . . offices . . . every local institution, assuming the identities and the lives of those they have been engineered to replace. Before the sun rises, the town will be under full assault, the opening objective in the new Victor Frankenstein’s trajectory of ultimate destruction. Deucalion—Victor’s first, haunted creation—saw his maker die in New Orleans two years earlier. Yet an unshakable intuition tells him that Victor lives—and is at work again. Within hours Deucalion will come together with his old allies, detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison, Victor’s engineered wife, Erika Five, and her companion Jocko to confront new peril. Others will gather around them. But this time Victor has a mysterious, powerful new backer, and he and his army are more formidable, their means and intentions infinitely more deadly, than ever before.
This is the first book that I have read in this series and I only did that because I found the audio version on sale. It had me hooked right away and my mouth dropped open at the end because it left me hanging and I mean hanging. I thought, “No, this can’t be” and looked to see there was another cd, but it was the end and I still can’t believe it. But it is a great story and maybe there will be #5 and I will be sure and get it to find out what happens.