Parents' Guide to

The Lord of Opium

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sci-fi sequel is gripping but can't top original.

The Lord of Opium Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (10):

THE LORD OF OPIUM benefits from the strong world-building that author Nancy Farmer devised for its predecessor, the National Book Award-winning The House of the Scorpion. Matt is still a fascinatingly complex character, and the cast of supporting players is lively and well drawn.

But this volume feels much more episodic than the first, with Matt moving around his embattled empire, witnessing disturbing events, and skirmishing with various enemies, without as focused a conflict as before. None of the villains is the equal of El Patron from the first book. And, while powerful, the ending seems a bit too easy, given the craftiness of the old drug lord. The Lord of Opium is a solid follow-up that never quite matches the impact of the original.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate