Title: The Lord of Opium
Author: Nancy Farmer
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: 09/03/13
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: There were several strong elements in this book, and several weak elements. The characters are very strong, especially Matt, who seems to respond to situations as befits his unique circumstances as a drug lord's clone, raised for slaughter. The technological projection in this book is also strong, as it is creative and unique. The action writing, however, is too dry and matter of fact. An important event or action is sometimes summarized in a single sentence, making it easy to miss. It also feels as though the author tries to squeeze too many elements into the book. The multitude of scattered technologies do create the illusion of a ludicrously rich drug lord's kingdom, but they also make it feel as though much of the book is simply the main character wandering through a series of cool ideas the author had, with the climax tacked on.
Memorable or Forgettable: The bulk of this book was memorable, mostly due to its believable characters and smart technological projection. The entire concept of the series is very cool as well, and also contributes to its memorability. The climax itself was forgettable, however, as it was quick, written too dryly, and, in the end, resolved in a matter of a paragraph, with a quick summary of what came together to destroy Matt's opponent and his army.
Cover: The cover matches the contents of the book mildly well, though the book is actually about Matt attempting to stop the drug trade, and it shows his fist crushing a poppy into opium. It has some shock value in attracting attention, but it didn't factor into my decision to read the book as much as some other covers.
Age Range: 12 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
tags: science fiction / dystopian / ya lit