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The Mad Scientist's Daughter Paperback – January 29, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Nominated for the 2014 Phillip K. Dick Award.

Named a B&N Bloggers' Favorite Book of the Year, 2013.

“Cassandra Rose Clarke has delivered a novel that is brave enough to take on one of the largest issue’s confronting all of us today—just what exactly it means to be human in a time when the definition of such seems to alter almost daily in the face of whirlwind technological change. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a haunting, memorable, and very original love story, told in an alluringly graceful prose.”
Peter LaSalle, author of Tell Borges If You See Him: Tales of Contemporary Somnambulism

"one of the most heart-clenching and gut-wrenching love stories I have ever read ... an instant favorite with fantastic re-readability."
-Vicki, Open Book Society

"Fantastic character building and a truly classic love story make The Mad Scientist’s Daughter a literary classic for lovers of both genre fiction and classic romance."
-Catherine Russell, Functional Nerds

"With this second book, Clarke has cemented her status as a must-read author. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is really something special."
-A Fantastical Librarian

“The characters are what drives this story, whether it’s Cat struggling through life, her mad yet grounded and caring father, the friends and lovers Cat meets throughout her life, or Finn, the android who doesn’t want to be human yet seems like the most perfect creation.”
Shades of Sentience

“I urge you to read this book, it will haunt you and stay with you for a long time. It is very hard to believe that this is only the author’s second novel – bravo Miss Clarke!”
Geek Syndicate

If you are looking for hearts, flowers and candle lit dinners you won’t find it here but if you are in the mood for a tear inducing, head shaking, heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting love story, within an unusual setting and with a unique love interest, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is for you.
-Caroline, Big Book Little Book

"The author captures the idea of lonely people circling around each other, coming together briefly and then separating again. I think it’s part of what makes this book so melancholy, but it also makes the times the characters do connect extra sweet."
- Tammy Sparks, Books, Bones & Buffy

"Even if you don’t consider yourself a science fiction fan READ THIS BOOK. It is gorgeous and thought provoking and fascinating. Even better – try and get someone else to read it at the same time. It’s a novel that demands to be talked about."
-More Than Just Magic

"Cat’s longing and desire for Finn is a force of nature, and the tragedy, and joy, of Cat and Finn’s romance will stay with you long after reading the last page."
-My Bookish Ways

"It's a neat premise and Clark examines the ramifications with the precision of a poet, eschewing the genre's typical preoccupation with science and opting instead for a dramatisation of the love affair. Hard SF aficionados be warned: this is SF for admirers of The Time Traveller's Wife."
-Eric Brown, The Guardian

About the Author

Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer and occasional teacher living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of the 2010 Clarion West Writers Workshop and holds a Masters degree in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons. The author lives in Houston, TX.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857662651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857662651
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,408,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What a disappointment. The cover promised a philosophically challenging love story set in a not so distant future where androids have become part of our daily lives. But what I got was bad research, mediocre writing, a thoroughly dislikable heroine and a trashy love story taken right from a dime novel or teenage fanfiction.

"The Mad Scientist's Daughter" tells the life story of Caterina Novak, whose father Daniel is an engineer and cybernetician. Cat lives a very sheltered life in the countryside, far away from the high-tech cities of this futuristic world. Her father acquires an android, Finn, who becomes Cat's personal tutor. But since the cover already mentions a tragic love story, I think you know where this is going without me having to spoil it. And there we have the challenging moral issue this book is about: can an android be loved and can they reciprocate this love?

Clarke could have turned this into a sophisticated tale of love in a futuristic society where humans and androids co-exist. But there is very little philosophical discourse, just a few historical facts thrown in here and there, with any relevant social criticism being drowned out by the heroine's selfish musings. I have never encountered such a dislikable protagonist, especially since the author tries so desperately to make the readers sympathize with her. Please feel free to disagree, but I can't help but despise someone who pretends to like other people (both friends and lovers) just to fake normalcy and who even realizes afterwards how much she has hurt these people, but keeps doing it again and again.

One particular thing really put me off and I'll mark it as a BIG SPOILER here, so please skip this paragraph if you do not want to know.
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Format: Paperback
DISCLAIMER: I received The Mad Scientist's Daughter as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

The blurb for this book is a bit misleading, not so much in a bad way. Don't expect a book from the point of view of an android, that's not what this is about. This book is about a young girl's growth from adolescence to adulthood. It follows Cat in her journey to find herself and figure out who she is in the midst of normalcy.

Catarina Novak is a tangled woman cursed with the burden of beauty and an icy heart. Living a life of denial and empiness, she struggles between being happy and doing what society demands of her. She acts out to make herself feel human in a world running rampant with robots.

She's the daughter of two scientists, raised so that she discovers herself instead of having someone else discover who she is for her. She is tutored from age six by Finn, an android her father has attained. Finn is more realistic than any other androids, and has the ability to think and feel.
Cat spends her life as if floating through a dream, she conforms for the sake of conforming. She considers the opinions of her parents before her own, and it ultimately leads her into situations that knows she will regret.
It isn't until Cat is almost 30 that she discovers what it is that she really wants, and decides to pursue happiness.

I do not like romance books. If I had known before I read this that it was mostly a romance novel, I never would have requested the ARC. I can't believe how close-minded I can be sometimes. This book was amazing, it was better than most science fiction, dystopian, or romance novels put together.
It had me pulling my hair out, crying, and laughing with joy.
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Format: Paperback
In Cassandra Rose Clarke's sophomore novel, The Mad Scientist's Daughter, she has worked to show us that her creative mind fires in all variety of ways, creating a world and story one wouldn't necessarily expect from the creator of the young adult fantasy adventure, The Assassin's Curse. While I applaud Clarke for turning her hand to something new, I have to acknowledge that the audience for these two works will be extremely different, and even I as an eclectic reader do not fall into both categories. I wanted more from The Mad Scientist's Daughter. I wanted Clarke's insight and take on moral dilemmas we as a society are bound to run into in the not-so-distant future, and I wanted an emotional story that would grip my heart and color my life. Instead, I was left feeling as bleak and devoid as this work's beautiful but grey cover.

Due to my enjoyment of The Assassin's Curse, I was determined to read The Mad Scientist's Daughter despite it meeting at a glance two of my personal dealbreakers:

1) A character named Finn.
2) A The ________'s Daughter title.

Perhaps I should have followed my instincts and known that The Mad Scientist's Daughter would not be the right fit for me. Cassandra Rose Clarke tells the story of Cat, the titular mad scientist's daughter, following her from early childhood well into adulthood, along with her relationship with the android who works with her father, Finn. I craved more from Cat's experiences-what it was like to be her father's daughter, how she truly felt about A.I. in general, how she interacted with the world at large. Instead, I felt we were following the story of a selfish, petulant human being who endlessly self-sabotaged her life and grew little as a person.
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