Released on September 3, 2013, The Lord of Opium
is the sequel to Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion
and follows fourteen-year-old Matt's role as the new ruler of Opium. As clone of the deceased despot El Patron, Matt finds himself inheriting El Patron's empire, including its vast eejit army, but nonetheless finds himself powerless to put an end to the suffering he had witnessed. With external and internal enemies impeding his progress, Matt is unable to even smuggle Maria, his childhood love, back into Opium. Faced with opposition from rival drug cartels and his own doubt, Matt must confront these challenges and seek the means to revitalize the dying world around his nation.
Lord of Opium provides examples of:
- City in a Bottle: The biosphere.
- Creepy Child: El Bicho, and Listen to a lesser extent.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Matt destroys the Scorpion Star and the 300 people on it in order to free the eejits.
- Electronic Eyes: Glass Eye Dabengwa.
- The Future: The events of this story are set in the 22nd century.
- Gaia's Lament: By the events in The Lord of Opium, the entire world had suffered extensive ecological devastation.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Some high-functioning eejits like Cienfuegos cannot commit suicide, due to their programming.
- Last Fertile Region: Opium is apparently the only country left with an intact natural ecosystem.
- Little Miss Snarker: Listen.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Feral zoo escapees such as lions have established themselves in Arizona.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: Holoports are apparently wormhole generators, rather than simply displaying the other area to the viewers via a camera. While it is possible to cross the wormhole, whatever is in-between them is said to be freezing cold, and using a holoport to transmit objects is not recommended, and it will kill living beings unless they protect themselves, however, since time is said to be measured differently in a wormhole, it is unknown how long it takes for the person inside to travel.
- Space Station: The Scorpion Star. Also used to control the eeijts in the Dope Confederacy.
- United Nations Is A Super Power: Implied. The UN by the time of the book has the authority to launch airstrikes on sovereign nations, and its peacekeepers seem to be more outfitted for full-out combat than they are today.
- Urban Segregation: New York City is said to have this, with what remains of the American wealthy living in the top levels, and the poor living on the bottom and on the streets.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Possibly with anyone that goes through a holoport. Implied, but never confirmed, since Maria's memories got scrambled when she did it.
- Young and in Charge: At the age of fourteen, Matt rules over an entire nation, but lacking any experience, finds it difficult to exercise his will.