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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Review of The House of The Scorpion

House of the scorpion-5c14b200
Dan Dodge

Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion is one of my absolute favorite novels. It is a beautifully written story following Matteo Alacrán, or Matt, a young clone in the futuristic environment of Opium, the country separating the United States and Aztlán, which has replaced Mexico.

A wonderful book for sci-fi lovers, The House of The Scorpion, provides an interesting conflict and a moral dilemma in both the protagonist and the reader. Is it wrong to create clones of yourself just to use them for your own survival? Is it wrong to give them life just to steal it from them when you need it?

These are real modern problems, and Matteo seems to think he has the answers. There is serious corruption going on in the Alacrán household, and Matteo might just be the change they need. But this isn’t your everyday happy ending story. Matteo is going to face corruption, cruelty, bullying, death, and discrimination throughout this book. It makes you ask yourself questions about immigration, drug policy, and even bioethics. Farmer’s unique take on the classic ‘evil clone’ trope is fresh and exciting. I especially enjoyed how realistic it all felt. Commercialized immortality truly does feel like a future possibility after reading this book. I loved the interpersonal relationships of all the characters. Everyone is family, everyone is connected, and no one is happy about it.

Of course, there are the negatives as well. The book is very interesting and has many twists and turns and shocking moments, but in between each key event, the content becomes a bit bleak and slow-paced. The language can also be a bit advanced at times for a novel targeted towards youths. There are also some moments that would prevent me from recommending this book to the faint of heart.

Overall, I believe that this book is very good – especially for those interested in sci-fi or political writing. It is a good introduction for those interested in more profound political literature. There is mild romance, many moral and ethical issues, and violence as well as drinking, drug addiction, and smoking. I would recommend this book to a more mature audience, like the Early College crowd. For those who enjoy this book, I would also recommend The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin. 

My final decision? 8/10! Would recommend it. Would read again.

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