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The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion - Nancy Farmer First things first: I need to mention I received this book in Goodreads giveaways. I also need to mention that the real rating for this book is 3.5 stars as it is better than the majority of the books I rated with 3 stars, but it does not quite reach 4-star rating. I never felt more strongly about having 0.5 star rating on Goodreads since I joined it.

The plot: Matteo Alacran (Matt most of the time) is a clone of a very powerful drug lord El Patron who was created to provide replacement organs for the latter. The problem was, El Patron also wanted to have somebody who reminded him about his childhood - and who is the better candidate than his own clone? As a result Matt's brain was not destroyed unlike other clones' that were created for other people. So we have an intelligent almost-but-not-quite human being on one hand and people who regard Matt as something lower than an animal on the other hand. It does not help any that El Patron's clan members hate each other - and everybody else for that matter.

The book raises a lot of interesting and important questions: cloning, slavery, free will, drug use - just to name a few. The plot itself is interesting if slow in the beginning and way too fast in the end.

Now for the bad parts: the characters that surround Matt at El Patron's residence are all two-dimensional without exceptions. Matt himself is a typical Mary Sue, I always thought about [b:Oliver Twist|18254|Oliver Twist|Charles Dickens|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327868529s/18254.jpg|3057979] when I read the first part of the book. Once the book switches to other places, we finally get interesting people and interactions between them - other than just blind hate.

I already mentioned plot moving way too slow in the beginning and being rushed in the end. I can actually point to the particular place in the text where the author decided it is time to wrap up everything; the result is that the end feels very simplistic and unfinished.

All in all this is not a bad book, but I expected it to be much better from the amount of awards it received. It did not help any that I was reading an adult dystopia book at the same time which had more depth.