Review: “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer

“In the beginning there were thirty-six of them, thirty-six droplets of life so tiny that Eduardo could see them only under a microscope. He studied them anxiously in the darkened room.”

A Red Raven Reads Review of “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer

houseofthescorpion

www.redravenreads.wordpress.com // www.booksarefood.wordpress.com

THE STORY:

This story is weird, dystopian, and unique to the core. Essentially, Matt is a clone of opium druglord El Patron, and this book is his “coming-of-age” tale as he learns to overcome the adversity of being considered less than human while struggling to prove his own humanity.

THE GOOD:

This book is both beautifully and masterfully written, with vivid descriptions of the Mexican landscape. The passage from Matt as a child to a young adult is so well done—extraordinarily realistic, as well as emotionally accurate for each age that Farmer portrays. I can find no flaw in the structure, characterization, or writing itself. Everything was sound and compelling in a quiet way.

THE BAD:

While this book has every right to the many awards it’s received, I was almost… disappointed. Not because it wasn’t a great book, but because with the amount of awards I expected it to be a life-changing experience, and personally, it was not. The problem is, I can’t really find anything wrong with it besides the feeling of “lacking.” As though this book wasn’t quite enough.

THE CONSENSUS:

This is an incredible book, and well-told. However, I found almost a distance in emotion, connection, and impact, and I can’t exactly frame why. Despite the distance felt, this book was still incredible and I definitely recommend it to lovers of YA or well-done social commentary everywhere.

THE RATING:

I’m happy to give this book four out of five stars!

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