Title: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Publisher: Angry Robot
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is the heartbreaking story of the journey from childhood to adulthood, with an intriguing science fictional twist.
There’s never been anyone – or anything – quite like Finn.
He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat.
When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.
Why did I read this book? I really enjoy SFR!
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
It’s been quite a while since my last review but not really for lack of reading. It’s been super busy around these here parts and probably will be for the next few months. However, I want to get back to regular posting and I’m happy to do that with The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.
I took this book with me on one of my long train rides that I often take to visit my family. One way is about ten hours. I picked this up on the way home and didn’t put it down until I was done.
This is a very light science fiction novel that is focused heavily on its characters, particularly Cat and Finn. It starts when Cat is a young girl and a stranger comes to live with her and her family. His name is Finn and he is one of a kind. In fact, he’s not even human but the most intricate and life-like android anyone has ever seen. So much so that Cat doesn’t even figure it out until much later. Finn becomes her tutor and we follow their story as Cat grows up.
I found that the novel had a very melancholy feeling to it which I was really in the mood for; I liked the sad, star-crossed lovers’ romance. Cat and Finn develop a special relationship where we are forced to question how we love and who we love. Even though I didn’t particularly like all the self-sabotaging decisions Cat made throughout her life (can you get any more tragic?) I actually really wanted her and Finn to succeed.
In the end, while I felt the ideas around what makes us human (and what can make an android human), the real story here is about Cat. She really develops and grows throughout the story but I also felt she was a flawed person. She becomes obsessed with this seemingly unattainable thing, her love for Finn, which she convinces herself she is never able to share. She goes through many internal struggles about this and sometimes I felt like saying to her “geez, just go for it” because she seemed so attached to the idea of being with him. I found this really bordered on obsession and extreme dependence. As a woman I really wanted her to come into her own and actually believe she did not need any man or robot to fulfil her life. This doesn’t really happen and is my main conflict with the book.
Overall, I was impressed with the quality of writing and the flow of the story. I was absorbed for the entirety of the book and found myself emotionally involved with all the characters. My only issues are the nature of the romance and how Cat’s life is resolved by the end of it. This may not bother others in which case I say go for it, as this is a very engaging story with light science fiction elements. I also plan on checking out Clarke’s other books after what she’s done with this!
Guest post by Cassandra Rose Clarke