Friday, 8 February 2013

Review: The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication date: February 7th 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars

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 governmnet grant rights to the ever increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

I absolutely loved Cassandra Rose Clarke’s debut novel The Assassin’s Curse, that when I saw a couple of friends mentioning The Mad Scientist’s Daughter I knew I had to request a copy. I know look at me branching out of my contemporary comfort zone. If someone told me this time last year that I would be reading more fantasy and sci-fi books I would have just given them a blank look. But I’m glad to say The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is another book I extremely enjoyed.

The concept of robots living amongst us I admit I find fascinating. I was a girl who grew up watching Short Circuit, Robocop and Terminator, films where scientists created robots (excluding Terminator) to live among humans. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter follows a similar concept, when Cat is just five years old her dad brings a robot to stay with them at their house. Cat being young doesn’t know what he is, he doesn’t look like a robot, and he acts human enough so she mistakes him for a ghost. The robot Finn, was only initially bought home to help Cat’s dad around the house, he’s a scientist and obviously needs an assistant. But before you know it Finn starts spending more time with Cat, he becomes her tutor much to the annoyance of her mother. And soon enough Cat forms a strong friendship with Finn, a friendship that most people wouldn’t foresee or accept. With more and more robots cropping up around the area, in stores as assistants, people are used to them being around but refer to them as it rather than a person. But that’s not the case for Cat; Finn was around for her when she was stranded, when she needed him to cover for her, so he became an important part of her life.

With the films I grew up watching (later on I became obsessed with I, Robot) I kind of thought I had a feeling which way this book would go, I honestly didn’t read the blurb but went with my gut instinct that this would be a solid read as it was by Clarke. And I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint. I was quite surprised the route this book took, but I did like it. I liked the themes it explored, how different Finn was to the other robots, how Cat’s family were too late to really appreciate how lucky they were to have him around before it was too late.

Despite the solid start, however I did have a couple of issues, firstly Cat’s behaviour over the course of the story did begin to aggravate me, it was glaringly obvious how things were meant to be, but she was frustrating as she didn’t do anything about it. I wanted to shake her a few times until she saw sense. But I suppose the way things developed made her realise. Also there was a definite lull in pacing during the middle of the book, it did cause my attention to waver slightly, but thankfully the last third of the book was able to bounce back into its brilliant pace it had started off with.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was so different to what I would usually pick up, but I’m glad I gave it a go because it thoroughly took me by surprise.


  1. I'm embarrassed to admit I don't remember watching any robot movies...(I NEED TO WATCH TERMINATOR AND I ROBOT!!) This sounds really unique and fascinating! I'm really looking forward to meeting Finn :) Great review, Jasprit! Glad you liked it so much :)

  2. I have to agree with you about Cat. Although her reasons were pretty clear to me (starting with self-loathing and going from there) I still hated how she treated Finn, as well as some of the decisions she made.
    And poor Finn, always a victim, especially to those who were supposed to protect him. I liked this book, but it broke my heart at least twice. I gave it a 3.5 too.
    Fantastic review!

  3. I looove robot movies! The Terminator series is probably my favourite robot series of all time. The 2nd one actually made me cry, which is unusual for me! And I also loved I, Robot (Will Smith is excellent!)!

    Thanks for sharing your brilliant, persuasive review with us Jasprit. This sounds like something I would enjoy. :D

  4. I love the idea of more robots in stories and it sounds amazing! I haven't really heard too many negative things. I hate it when characters are so annoying because you want to shake them and make them do something so obvious and they don't until much later. I'm so glad you liked it and I can't wait to read it myself. Love the review :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

  5. I still haven't read The Assassin’s Curse even though everyone seem to love it! :) I must read this one. I guess I'll like it a bit more than you cause contemporary is still one of my fave genres ;) Great review Jasprit! :)

  6. I haven't read the author's other books but I enjoyed this one. I had a couple of issues with this one too, especially the whole sex with a robot thing, but I did like it. glad you enjoyed it too!

  7. I keep getting this one mixed up with The Madman's Daughter Jasprit, and then I read the reviews and I'm like robot? What robot? Clearly, I'm not the brightest bulb when it comes to these two books:) Despite Cat's behavior and the lull in the middle, this sounds like a pretty solid read, and I have to say the whole robot aspect really intrigues me. Ghosts in the machine and all that:) Wonderful review!

  8. I still haven't read Assassin's Curse! But this book does look really good-- and I have this huge love of I, Robot, LOL! It's a totally awesome movie! (: I also have to admit that I love the premise for this-- a future world where robots exist? Yes please! But I'm sure Cat will be a character that I won't forget soon-- LOL! Lovely review, Jasprit! (:

    Megan@The Book Babe

  9. I loved the Assassin's Curse too but this seems so different, I wasn't sure it was something that would interest me. People seem to be liking it though, and I'm glad you were one of them. I think my interest has been piqued lol. Great review Jaspirit :)

  10. Robots among us is intriguing!
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  11. Jasprit, I'm so glad this book worked out for you! As you know, Cat aggravated me to no end and her personality flaws, along with the glossing over of robot politics, made this an unsavory read for me. I'm thrilled you liked it though and am anxiously awaiting The Pirate's Wish. :)

  12. I almost requested this but just didn't have the time. It has such a good premise but the character flaws are a turn off. I am certain this would have been a three or three and a half star for me as well.

  13. Yay for branching out, Jasprit! I've had the opposite thing, actually, I'd never guess that I would start reading so much more contemporary. It's crazy what blogging does to your reading tastes! But anyways, I'm glad that you enjoyed this book so much. Even with Cat's personality in the beginning, I love the concept, so I think I'll have to give this one a try.

    Fantastic review as always! <3

  14. ROBOTS ROBOTS ROBOTS. This premise sounds so cool, but it wasn't until recently that I realized what it's about! The cover is pretty, but Angry Robot really needs to expand more since so many of them look the same.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part. Sounds like the heroine had a bit of Eona syndrome, though. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  15. I've heard quite amazing things about Clarke's books, so I definitely need to pick this one up some time! The premise sounds really intriguing, and I've never read a book about robots yet. Yay for breaking out of your contemporary shell! I think it's rather interesting that this book has no romance, just friendship? I'm curious to see where the plot goes, as you said, it slows down a bit. Thanks for the brilliant review, Jasprit!

  16. Finn seems to play a very important role in Cat's life. To be honest, I didn't feel I could connect with the story based on the synopsis but your review helps me see there is more to the story than robots struggling to find their place in the world. Thanks, Jasprit :)

  17. LOL @ you branching out. i am EXACTLY the same. all about contemporary, but i have been in such a slump for sop long that i have started trying to branch out a bit too.

    i hope my library gets this one in because i am intrigued :)

  18. I haven't finished the Assassin's Curse but I'm liking it so far ...will definitely check it out :)

  19. I'm glad that you enjoyed this overall, despite the slight issues. It probably wouldn't be something I would usually go for either, but I loved Clarke's YA debut and have been curious about this book ever since. Great review, Jasprit!

  20. I'm glad you gave this one a go and managed to enjoy it Jasprit! :)

    I loved this one more than Clarke's debut, but I think different things appeal to all of us.

    Great review.

  21. I haven't seen many reviews of this about, it sounds interesting.


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