Monday, January 27, 2014

Audio: Lord of Opium by Matteo Alacran

Author: Nancy Farmer
Narrator: Raul Esparza
Series: Matteo Alacran #2
Title: The Lord of Opium
Length: 11 hrs,  31 mins
Publication: 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Source: Audiobookjukebox
As the teenage ruler of his own country, Matt must cope with clones and cartels in this riveting sequel to the modern classic House of the Scorpion, winner of the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and a Printz Honor.

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?

Not really for me, I thought the story was interesting but I never really could connect to any of the characters. I think Matteo had his moments where acts like his predecessor, El Patron but his heart is different. He wants the best for everyone, no one should have to suffer. He has a few people who are against him being in charge and will do their best to make him feel inferior and look incompetent because of his age and lack of experience. Matteo has big plans to change the land of Opium from a drug haven to a place that prospers on real crops that don't kill. He hopes to save the eejits and give them back their humanity. I think the world from Matteo's eyes is pure and innocent. His beliefs that the world could be better is touching and I enjoyed hearing Esparza give life to this character as well the others. The production and sound are good. Esparza keeps pace with text well but this book wasn't for me. At times, I lost focus on the story because it seemed slower than what I'm used, however I would suggest those that enjoyed the first book and are looking for a good story about a boy trying to find his way in a world of drugs, chaos and murder...then I'd say check it out. 

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