A cancelled work day, a caffe mocha balanced on my thigh, the beautiful sound of rain pattering against the window, and I have the freaking sequel to The House of the Scorpion in my hands, called ‘The Lord of Opium’ by Nancy Farmer.
OH. MY. GODS.
What a perfect day. I’d woken up this morning to the sound of rain, which until last year would’ve normally depressed me, but considering I hate the excessively bright California sun, the sound of rain to me is now the sound of manna falling from the sky (hallelujah!). And to sweeten the deal, I found out later that morning that I had the day off from lab. So I zipped on over to Barnes and Noble, and stayed glued there for three hours until I finished The Lord of Opium.
Now even before I started reading this book, I was wary about getting my hopes up. Sequels in general never measure up to the beauty of the original, and I didn’t want to end up disappointed. But let me tell you–this was GREAT. I felt that the addition of Listen and Cier-I-can’t-spell-what’s-his-name as new characters was really dynamic and added hugely to the plot. I even forgave Nancy Farmer for skimping out on the old cast like Celia and Maria, just because she made the new characters so vivid and exciting. The suspense and emotion was always there, and The Lord of Opium is truly nothing less than the most worthy sequel to The House of the Scorpion.
A sequel that did NOT disappoint? Gasp.
Now is this book better than The House of the Scorpion? Well yes–and no. The House of the Scorpion is full of suspenseful energy, the plot is constantly evolving, and its conclusion is so much more impactful than that of The Lord of Opium. However, in The Lord of Opium’s defense, there were fourteen long years of Matt’s life that The House of the Scorpion got to work with, whereas The Lord of Opium had ONE MEASLY YEAR to chronicle; and yet The Lord of Opium managed to pack in just as much excitement. Very impressive.
In such respects, I think that The Lord of Opium may just be the more successful writing endeavor of the two. Probably not the more popular one, but definitely the more impressive. Either way, I adore both of these books to death, and I’m very pleased that I’ve read them.
Now a quick question: Am I the only one who keeps missing out on these awesome sequels? Has anyone else pounded their head in frustration because they hadn’t known that the sequel to their favorite book had already been published years before?
Because it’s happened me too many recent times. Just the other day I was shaking like a drug addict when I found that I’d been missing out on this book for three freaking years. Much too long.
So someone get me a notification squad–with all these new releases I’m missing out on, DAMN TURKEY NOODLES I’m driving myself crazy.