National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2002
Matt is a clone of El Patrón, a powerful drug lord of the land of Opium, which is located between the United States and Mexico. For six years, he has lived in a tiny cottage in the poppy fields with Celia, a kind and deeply religious servant woman who is charged with his care and safety. He knows little about his existence until he is discovered by a group of children playing in the fields and wonders why he isn't like them. Though Matt has been spared the fate of most clones, who have their intelligence destroyed at birth, the evil inhabitants of El Patrón's empire consider him a "beast" and an "eejit".
When El Patrón dies at the age of 146, 14-year-old Matt escapes Opium with the help of Celia and Tam Lin, his devoted bodyguard who wants to right his own wrongs. After a near misadventure in his escape, Matt makes his way back home and begins to rid the country of its evils.
©2004 Nancy Farmer (P)2008 Simon and Schuster
It's hard to describe just how good this book is. The reader was phenomenal -- his pronunciation of the Spanish words was pitch perfect for me, his narration was smooth and mellifluous, each of the characters had a distinctive and appropriate voice to their dialogue.
The story was truly amazing, a rich blend of comedy, horror, science fiction, and authentic human drama and conflict. The narrator really makes you fall in love with the characters, from the ambitious and lonely Matt to the darkly enigmatic Tam Lin to the adorable and heroic Maria and even the majestic, sinister El Patron. The plot itself is unpredictable, a roller coaster ride that doesn't let up.
The science fiction elements were interesting; you don't really see drug lords and mind-control slaves, human cloning, and telenovela style pathos going together.
About the only thing that I didn't like was the ending, and only because it meant that I had to buy the next in the series.
very descriptive passages, that allow a reader to really place themselves in the book, smells, sights all the senses help the reader feel and experience the moments deeply
h h h h h h h h h h h h h h hh h h h h h h h h h h h h h :) uhh gt ft ugh ft by re fuss
The story stands on it's own as a fantastic and well written tale asking deep questions about humanity, love and fairness. The reading is absolutely stellar. Our whole family enjoyed the story from our 11 year old to our 20 year old as well as both of us parents. Perfect road trip story, can't wait to hear the next one!
This is an intriguing concept in today's world where cloning exists. The audio of the book truly brought the story to life. I can't wait to hear the sequel!
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