The House of the Scorpion

 
0.0
 
3.5 (11)
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Age Range
12+
ISBN
0689852223
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11 reviews

 
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3 stars
 
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(1)
 
(1)
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot 
 
4.3  (11)
Characters 
 
2.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
3.7  (3)
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Fascinating
(Updated: December 04, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The book The House of the Scorpions by Nancy Farmer is a fantastic book. Matt is a clone of a drug dealing lord. While Matt is being taken care of in a hidden place where he to stay in all day so no one finds out about him, he gets discovered. Celia who is always taking care of Matt is like a mother too him, but one day Matt is found and gets taken away from Celia. He is kept in this cellar by a woman named Rosa. Rosa treats Matt like a filthy animal since he is just a clone and no one knows he is El Patron's clone the drug dealing lord. While Matt was taken by Rosa everyday he sees Maria the youngest daughter of Senator Mendoza who is a powerful senator. Matt falls in love with Maria, but he doesn't like how she is always abused by her "boyfriend" Tom even though they are just young children. As Matt gets older he learns a lot more stuff and earns a body guard named Tam Lin which El Patron gave him. Matt soon finds about the dark secrets that El Patron has kept from his and he decides to flee from El Patron's grasp since he is El Patron's property. He ends up in a factory where he thinks he can't get out. This book had me waiting to read every page and finding to find out. Everything in the book is always detailed. The book is one of the best books I ever read. It is full of all the things I love suspense, romance, and adventure. The book was very detailed because for example of the cellar Matt was kept in. Every piece of information needed to imagine how the room looked like was all there. I had such a vivid image of how the room was. Even Matt's escape was very detailed. I suggest this book would be for young adults since there is many things that young children wouldn't understand about the book. The book has won the Nation Book Award, Newberry Honor Award, and Michael L. Printz Award for Young Adult Literature. You should really read the book if you love sci-fi genres.
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Did not Like
Overall rating 
 
1.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
1.0
The only word I can think of to describe The House of the Scorpion is weird. I give it major props for the world building but I didn't like much else. The basic plot was interesting but the exact events were to strange and offsetting. I think this may be because I didn't particularly like the writing style. I don't know what it was about it that I wasn't fond of, there was just something about it that I could not connect with. Or perhaps it wasn't the writing but Matteo I had problems with? Or a combination? I don't know but Matteo did unsettle me. I feel like I'm supposed to feel a lot of sympathy for he and I did for a while but something about his thoughts and actions(especially those involving Maria) ended up seriously creeping me out. So basically I didn't like this and if it weren't for the interesting world I wouldn't be able to see how it could get any of the awards it has gotten. As is I do have a bit of difficulty understanding it.
Good Points
World Building
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Really Well Written, But I Didn't Connect
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Farmer's book has won many awards, most notably the National Book Award, so you do not need me to tell you whether it is well-written or interesting. Although I had not heard it particularly listed as such, The House of the Scorpion is a dystopian novel. Matt lives in the country of Opium, formed as a barrier to immigration between the United States and Mexico. Opium, as its name implies, earns money almost solely from the export of drugs. The workers are treated even worse than slaves. A steady supply of new workers come from the people in the U.S. hoping for better conditions in Mexico and vice versa. There is no better place: there is only Opium. Mexico has become a communist country, with all of the excesses and hypocrisy that brings.

Although the story was incredibly interesting, I had trouble relating to much to the characters. They all seemed to be driven by only one personality trait, which got quite old. People have more depth than that generally. Matt and El Patron were both driven almost entirely by the desire to preserve their lives, although El Patron includes with his life his hoard. Maria wants to save all creatures who cannot save themselves. Tom only cares about screwing with people. None of the characters were particularly likable, even Maria, who could be too trusting of people despite the evidence to the contrary.

Recommended for fans of dystopia and alternative futures. Especially recommended if you liked Neal Shusterman's Unwind.
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House of the scorpion is dope.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by A-Sudi

This book was pretty cool and interesting to read. The time and place of where the story takes place is what really got me interested. Along with the events the author put in the book. I would recomend this book to anyone who is looking for an easy interesting read.
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emotionally inspiring
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kevin G

The House of the Scorpion involves a huge variety of ethical, scientific, and emotionally inspiring events in the story line.  This book is based about 100 years in the future where anti-gravity hovercrafts are the major use of transportation.  The main character is a young clone of a large drug lord, Matteo Alacrán, who rules the land of Opium, the land that was created between the nations of the United States of America and Aztlán (formerly named Mexico).  The United States has become much less appealing to the point that just as many people are crossing the border into Opium on both sides trying to run all the way through Opium, the country.  Opium, the plant, has morphine and other addictive narcotics in it. The addictive chemicals in opium has made opium become a very profitable and popular drug and is now farmed and processed by eejits.  Eejits are people who tried to cross the border, got caught by the border patrol of Opium, and had computer chips installed in their brains(because of the computer chips they can only do simple tasks like farming).  Matt is the clone, and his sole purpose, known to all but Matt, was to become a heart donor to the original Matteo Alacrán.  At the age of 148, the original Matteo Alacrán has a heart attack and needs Matts heart at which point a huge plot twist tells how Matts caretaker has been slowly drugging Matt so that his heart cannot be used as a transplanted organ.  Matt is therefore no longer of any use, and is issued to be killed.  Through a series of detailed events, Matt escapes and barely manages to cross the border into Atzlán.  All but few look at Matt as a beast throughout this story whether it is because of being a clone or his political standpoint on the practicality of eejits allows him to have very few friends and a large amount of enemies with a lot of power over Matt.  Matts life goes from bad to worse when over the border he is put straight into physical laboring.  The heads of the laboring places also dislike matt because of his individuality.  Matts ability to stand up to the heads of the factory causes a revolution in the rest of the workers and Matt has another attempt on his life because of the revolution.  After the life threatening catastrophe Matt is saved by finding his true friend from his life before he left Opium.  This friend has quite a bit of political power and so she made Matt go back to Opium as its rightful heir and destroy the drug producing empire.  I really liked this book because it was more than just a couple of characters and a simple, predictable plot.  The storyline had a lot of plot twisting events, and very complicated and detailed characters.  This book was even better because it explored various disputes between religion, government, consciences, and other sorts of moral dilemmas.

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awesome!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by thea

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer was a fantastic, wonderful, creative, unexpected, and
action packed book. I have not been reading books through lately
because of school and my short attention span, so I vowed that I would
pick out a bunch of books from the library and read them entirely. I
was a bit skeptical to start this book, but I am so glad I did. It was
about 400 pages long, but it seemed much shorter than small books I've
read recently(with boring plots).
Matt is a clone, but he is no different from a normal human, except for the marking on his foot: "Property of the Alacran Estate"
and the method of his conception. He was born from a cow. Nobody wants
to teach a clone , so he educates himself along with the help of Celia,
his "mother." He makes friends with Maria, the only girl not scared of
him, and their relationship grows into something more as the story
progresses. The science part of the story was great. El Patron, Matt's
creator prolongs his life by taking his clones' organs(his body does
not reject them because it's his own DNA). His mind stays sharp by
using fetal brain implants. He controls his side of the world (Mexico)
by catching people going over the border and turning them into
eejits(humans with brain implants) causing them to not think or do
anything by their own free will. A master has to tell them to drink, or
they will thirst to death.

I
love this book and will definitely be recommending it to all of my
friends and family. It was though-provoking and made me think: What if
in the future, clones were made a reality? They would certainly be
discriminated against and treated as if they were inhuman. Clones are
very similar to Homosexuals in the fact that they both would be
alienated and made to feel different, when in reality, they are not.

Rating: 10/10

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AMAZING!!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Liz

This book was amazing! I loved it so very much. Nancy Farmer really knows how to write a good book. It had a great storyline, unforgettable characters (well if you have a good memory, unlike me), and pretty much everything else you can look for in a book. I just can't get over how great the story about Matt was and the way he was able to basically free himself even though he was just a clone. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a good read, trust me you will not want to put this book down!
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Well Deserved Awards
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Robert

The House of the Scorpion is a fascinating futuristic book about a clone, Matt Alacron who shares the DNA of a powerful drug lord referred to as El Patron. Matt had lived in a small cottage, isolated in the poppy fields with Celia (his foster mother) his entire life. When Matt meets some kids, he hurts himself and is rushed to the Big House. He soon is informed that he is a clone. Just about everybody hates Matt because of the fact that he is a clone. They feel as if he is no different than a dog, he even was once called an Unbaptized limb of Satan by a priest! Matts only friends along the way are Celia, Tam Lin, Maria, and El Patron, the man Matt was cloned from who loves Matt as himself because he is himself as a child. Matt is educated and taught well. Matt finds out that clones are created as donors for the people they are cloned from. Later El Patron is near death and needs Matt to survive. Matt has to die in order to keep El Patron alive. The House of the Scorpion has numerous surprises and heart-pounding moments along the way. It is an amazing book and made me always want to turn the page for more. I recommend this book for anyone who like adventure books because this book really opens minds and I am sure that anybody who reads it will enjoy it as much as I did.
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Magnificent
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Amanda

"The House of the Scorpion" is a book you will not want to put down. It is set in the future in the tiny strip of land between the United States and Aztlan(Mexico). It is called Opium and is run by a drug lord name El Patron, who is about 140 years old. Every so many years, he gets computer chips put into his brain to keep him sharp.

The workers in his fields are called eejits. They were once people, but now are as robots because of a computer chip put into their brain to serve his one function, harvest his opium. They can't even drink without being told. They are considered lower than animals and are fed on pellets.

A few years before, El Patron had a clone made of him for the purpose of a perfect donor when he needed an organ in order to stay alive. His name was Matt. Matt was raised in a house in the poppy fields by Celia, a woman El Patron knew. When he was four, an older girl and boy saw him through a window. They had a girl of Matt's age with them. She instantly befriends Matt.
When the three children turn to leave, he jumps out the window and is injured by the glass. The two children carry him to El Patron's house, where they fix his wounds and throw him into a room alone for six months because they found out he was a clone. When Celia finds him, El Patron insists they live with him. There, Matt is given a bodyguard and learns how to run the poppy fields. It won't be easy for Matt since he is a clone in a world where clones are regarded as something to be feared. There is much more I could tell you, but the rest you'll have to read.

I love this book because it's so interesting. You learn a little of the climate of Mexico. It shows how a clone may be treated in the real world. I like to read how brave Matt was and how he stood up for himself. The adventures he has are very interesting. It's no surprise this book won three awards.


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A Great Sci-FI Book
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Shreel Parikh

This is a great book. It is about a boy named Matteo Alacran, who is a clone of the most powerful druglord in the world. The drug lord, El Patron, lives in a country that is in the place of modern day Mexico. Matt was supposed to have his mind destroyed at birth, but under special orders, he did not have the process undergone. This led to him being put in a house with a lady named Celia. The house was situated in the middle of the opium fields of El Patron's country. He desperately wanrs to see the outside world, but Celia keeps all the doors locked and the windows sealed. One day, three kids come to the house. Matt sees them and breaks the window, and jumps out. when he lands, he is badly cut on the glass. the three kids take him to "the big house" or the house in which the real Alacrans live. The story then unfolds, proving to be one of the most exciting books i have ever read.
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