The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Published by Angry Robot
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Romance
For Fans of: Wonderful male leads, realistic heroines, and intense, well-written books that give you FEELINGS.
My Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”
Finn 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 now to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion…and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world, and in Cat’s heart
My heart still weeps over this book
I’m so glad my scheduling worked out so that this could be the last book I reviewed for this year. 2016 has been a tumultuous year for us all, and it’s finally drawing to a close, and I honestly wanted my final review to be a good one. Yay me.
The Assassin’s Curse, Clarke’s first series, were two of the first reviews I did on the blog. This was almost two years ago, and while I enjoyed the duology (I really recommend you read the books together as one long book) I couldn’t also help but feel a little disappointed. Despite the fact that the second book balanced the first one well, I always sort of felt that the duology was lacking something – I just couldn’t put my finger on the what of it.
With The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, Clarke made up for the disappointment with TAC and then some. This book was absolutely breathtaking. I could think about nothing else in couple of days it took me to read this. I could think of nothing else for days after. Even as I slaved away on work and assignments for college, I couldn’t stop thinking about this fabulous, fabulous book.
Clarke’s writing in this book was simple, but atmospheric and evocative. The characters in this just come alive with her simple, faultless prose. It just fit the tone of this book so well – if anyone else had decided to tell this same story, I don’t think they could have done it as well as Clarke did, because she nailed the tone of this.
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter tells the tale of Cat Novak and an android named Finn, who was first her tutor, her friend, and then something more. It’s a beautiful tale of character growth and love, and it touched me so deeply – I don’t think I’ll ever look at another sci-fi novel the same again.
The characters, too, were brilliantly crafted. Cat was not a perfect heroine. She was flawed, reckless, incredibly selfish, and a lot of the time, pretty unlikable. But she was real. So incredibly real in her imperfections. She felt like someone you could know. She felt like she could have been you, had you been in her shoes.
And Finn. Finn, Finn, Finn. Finn is one of the best heroes I’ve seen in literature. I’m not even kidding. He’s right up there, just under Kaz Brekker, Peeta Mellark and Adam Hauptman. He’s vulnerable, and steadfast, and caring. So he’s an android. Who gives a whoop? Despite being a frigging robot, he’s still a hundred times more lovable and more human than so many human YA (and adult, tbh) literary heroes out there right now.
Love, and not just romantic love, was a huge theme in this book. It dealt with love between mother and daughter. Love between father and daughter. Love between friends. Love between people who haven’t really ever grasped the concept of love in any real way, but learn together. This book will challenge your ideas of love – it will make you step back and have a good long think about what love means to you, and how you experience it.
Whether you like her or not, you will feel everything alongside Cat. You will break when she breaks, you will yearn when she yearns, and your heart will sink when her world starts crumbling and she starts undergoing her major changes. This is a book that will grab you by your emotions and force you to sit up straight and pay attention. It might also make you ugly cry.
And I urge you to read it.