Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release date: January 29, 2013
Author info: Website
Publisher: Angry Robot
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
The Mad Scientist's Daughter is in no way what I expected. First of all, I, for whatever reason, thought it was young adult. It is most definitely not, but that didn't affect my enjoyment in the least. The Mad Scientist's Daughter is a beautiful story of love, redemption, and what makes a human a human.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter covers several decades of the life of Caterina Novak. It begins when she's a young girl and her father brings home a stranger--one she believes to be a ghost. That stranger is Finn, an android that looks exactly like a person. He becomes Cat's tutor and they form a fast and close friendship over the years. We learn to love Finn through Cat's eyes; we love his kindness and gentleness, even though we know somewhere that it's programmed into him.

Cat's upbringing gives her a different view on the world, especially as people begin to fight for the rights of robots--and others fight back. At times I found myself disliking Cat because I felt like she kind of disengages from others and takes a back seat in her own life, though I understood. In the end, she definitely got her redemption, both in my eyes and in her life. It takes some pretty extreme events, but Cat unlocks her heart and is able to realize how to really love and be loved.

I LOVE Finn. (His name is my favorite guy name in the world, so I'm probably predisposed to like him...) Though he's a robot, he's sweet and dedicated. His perspective is one that no one can understand.

My only complaint is that the book gets a little long in the middle. The beginning and the introduction of Finn, Cat, and the world are interesting and compelling. The last third is heartwrenching, exciting, and completely gratifying. It's just that middle third! There's a little too much of detailed day to day life and it just gets boring. If you power through it, though, the ending is completely worth your work.

I'm actually glad I didn't realize this was an adult novel before I requested it on Netgalley. Had I realized, I probably wouldn't have given it the chance, simply because it's not what I normally read and review. Luckily, I DID request it. The Mad Scientist's Daughter is gorgeous, a little bit dark, and a story I fell completely in love with.

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