Sunday, December 14, 2008

The House of the Scorpion

A fascinating 380-page sci-fic novel by 3-time Newbery Honor Author, Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion introduces a futuristic predicament that arises from the technology of cloning. (I hesitate to share more, lest I ruin the book for those who have yet to read it. Thus, the requisite warning - Note: Spoiler alert!)

The protagonist, Matteo "Matt" Alacran, is a clone of a wealthy and powerful drug lord.  Though some might consider his status to be enviable, Matt's status marks him as a non-human. Thus, he's considered livestock. His very existence is a stigma to himself.

Although the sci-fic subjects covered in The House of the Scorpion are not novel (the 2005 movie The Island had the same idea about the possible use of clones - but then that movie was released 3 years after the book; this raises the interesting question about The Island's source of inspiration ;) and the initial setting vaguely reminiscent of Fitzgerald's The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,  the story is executed marvelously. There is no gratuitous violence to solve the problems encountered. Solutions to dilemmas are contrived through the wise  cooperation of the characters involved. Indeed, (though this statement seems trite) it is in the characters that lie the strength of this story. Warm enough to elicit empathy, yet shown with enough human nature to retain interest - even the villians get the same treatment, resulting in the sparkling study of an evil, vicious person that still draws commiseration.

The plot is tightly constructed; but not overtly so that the story groans under the burden of its architecture. If you desire suspensive sci-fic with warm, believable characters, this book is tailored to fit. 


(A/N: So... that's my first ever book review, people ;P And, yes, that's a pic of the first edition cover... replete with Newbery Honor shields and a plethora of book awards :O

(A/N #2: I was really holding back on the spoilers, 'coz my bro, the all-wise Prophet S, thinks I've already said too much. *eyeroll* Anyways, I don't think this review is anywhere near perfect yet, so there's a strong likelihood for major editing in the not-so-distant future. Comments and criticism much welcome ^_^) 


  1. Oh my god. I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read it when I was 10 and I still remember the whole plot!!!!!!!!!!! Do you have any idea where can i buy it?

  2. To Cagalli:
    It's great to know that someone out there still loves this book. I was worried that no one would care... since *ahem* it isn't exactly hot news ^_^"

    I discovered it pretty recently and it's my fave sci-fic (for now ;).

    Sorry, this book was borrowed from the library... So, I can't help you out :P
    Real sorry.

    Thanks for your comment, anyways :)