Monday, October 16, 2006

The House of Scorpion - by Nancy Farmer

From the Publisher
Matteo Alacran was not Born; He was Harvested. His DNA came from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patron. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patron's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacran Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.

For those of you that missed out discussion at book club, I wanted to share my thoughts on this one. As I was halfway through the book, my friend Katherine remarked to me that she felt the same way reading this book as she felt reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card because she felt sorry for the main character who was picked on and disliked by almost everyone around him. I didn’t think much about it until I finished the book and looking back I’m surprised by all of the similarities between The House of the Scorpion and Ender’s Game. On the surface both books seem to have such different plots, but they both boil down to so many of the same main elements. Ender and Matt both stand out as different from everyone around them, but neither of them fully understands why everyone treats them differently. Both are being raised to fulfill important futures that no one bothers to explain to them. Both are relatively uncared for and have potential for evil, but they are each saved by a young girl who loves them and wants them to turn out to be good. After Ender is sent off to school and Matt is sent to a work camp they are both tortured by the other boys, but they earn loyal followers after they prove their bravery and strength. With the help of their new friends, both boys are able to alter the future of the world and accomplish almost impossible tasks.

For all of their similarities, I still felt like Scorpion was an original works the sci-fi fans will love.

Can you think of another book that would fit in with these two? I can’t.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is so true.