BOOK REVIEW – The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

BOOK REVIEW – The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose ClarkeThe Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
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"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.

Slow and atmospheric, this book is nostalgia at its finest – the one we feel while looking at our past and our forgotten dreams – except Cat’s nostalgia wraps every part of her life : past, present, future. Readers have been saying that she’s selfish and thoughtless, going through life without never thinking about anyone else than herself, and yes, it’s true. I should hate her for it, and yet, I can’t. I can’t because the way she’s portrayed let me see how much her life seems… pointless to her.

“She felt like a seashell, pretty enough but empty and easily broken.”

When the only path leading to happiness is unthinkable, how to find the strength to care?

A better person might have found it. Cat is not that likeable person, and that fact itself added so much layers to the story. Who wants to read about a perfect character whose choices are always wise? Definitely not me. She uses people’s weaknesses to make her life easier, she lies, cheats and doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions. She’s reckless, and yet, the sense of doom constantly hovering over her head touched me and let me unable to hate her.

“Something inside of her – her calcified heart, her numbness – had cracked in two, and she was trembling and she thought, Here, this, this is what it feels like to feel something.”

Her life is filled with the tragedy of caving in. To the world. To other’s expectations. And while she loses herself along the way, Finn is the only one who can pick up the pieces of her shattered life. At what cost, though?

What makes you human? Is it your ability to love, to hate? Is it your consciousness?

Finn’s character brings all these questions to life – can I just say? He is a fantastic male-lead in my opinion and I’m not even ashamed to say that I fell a little more in love with him each time he made an apparition. Yes, he is an android. He is one of a kind and is crushed by the loneliness of it. His hesitations, his sensibility (yes, I realize how paradoxical it appears) resonated in my heart and made me feel so, so much. I adored him.

But above all that, this book speaks to me because of its undercurrent of pessimism. I know, it seems awful, but hear me out, okay? The way people are portrayed here, the way they act, the way they judge is so realistic unfortunately. Everybody wants to live in a world where differences are not an issue and where everyone respects everyone. If you know this world please tell me where it is, because it’s not the world I’m living in.

No. I’m living in a world where your sexual life, your genre, your job, your appearance, your origin are under the judgment of others, and if I don’t live my life to fulfill these endless expectations, I can’t deny that it is here. However, every day as a teacher I feel hope, and in the end, with Cat’s growth, that’s also what this book gave to me. Hope. It might seem cheesy, but to me there’s nothing more important, even more because my knee-jerks reactions are those of a pessimist.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter caused such a visceral reaction in me – slowly building from the start, never wavering – that it will keep a special place in my heart. For that, I’m grateful.

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1 Comment

  1. kathia

    I know I’m a little late to the post but i’m gonna comment anyway,
    I just bought this book on amazon kindle and devoured it in like… two days.
    It’s not just that I have a thing for human-like robots but the story itself was so heart-warming and relatable I just couldn’t help but get absorbed into it.
    I know a lot of people did not like the book and hated Cat, I, on the other hand, felt so related to her and, yes,it’s true, I sometimes got mad at her for her choices and views of some things, but I understood her anyway.
    She always loved Finn and she just was in denial, I even think she never even denied her feelings at all. the way she always thought of him, wondered about him and missed him.
    She blamed herself on being selfish and not noticing somethings, but it wasn’t even her fault!, how would she know he was capable to feel if he told her otherwise, if her father told her otherwise. How would she know something was wrong with her father if they both lied to her.
    I would define Cat as an introvert, she never asked to much until the end and still she kept her questions to herself until she had no more sources to look up, I can identify with her so much on that.
    Also, how would she know about Finn if Finn himself told her constantly he was not capable to love. if he told her he was a machine, if his voice went steady and emotionless while telling her she was married after she told him she missed him. Yes, she should have known better, but how could she?, still it was clear she loved him from the start. nobody else ever mattered to Cat but Finn.
    It was always him.

    About Finn,
    I just loved him ever since he first appeared. he was complex and a surprise box. a machine that was always more than a machine. I imagined his pain since she told him she was getting married, then I got in denial saying : no, that wouldn’t be logic, but his actions told otherwise, I think he was difficult to read for Cat and for us, readers even. we also didn’t get much information about him since all was under Cat’s POV, but still everytime he appeared I felt all this emotion ball getting bigger like a snow ball growing as it fell inside of me, his answers, his being there for cat always, it make me loved him also from the start and I do, too, believe he was a GREAT male lead, one of the best love interests I’ve read

    and I loved it.
    Loved cat’s father, loved Miguel and Felix, loved Cat and Finn, I just loved The Mad Scientist’s daughter so much, all I could think about when I finished it was that I wanted for a film adaptation to be done and to get to audition for Cat’s role.

    Also, thanks for the wonderful review, since all reviews I’ve read so far are full of hate and I don’t understand that at all.

    great story <3

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