“The Mad Scientist’s Daughter” by Cassandra Rose Clarke has, among its characters, an android, the novel however is not suggested for science fiction readers (better to have a look at Asimov’s works for robots) but is an extremely enjoyable reading.
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter
Talking about androids, robots, it’s impossible to not think about the main creator of the genre, one of the main classic science fiction masters, Isaac Asimov.
To deal with this topic is difficult, lots is already written and various thematic – ethics, morals and social, were dealt with in various novels and stories. Concerning science fiction this novel is quite lacking: the Earth has overcome a not well-defined energetic crisis – background of the novel – and the use of automata is more and more usual.
Cat’s father, a scientist, one days introduces to his family Finn, a human like android – so different from the other robots. Cat’s growth will then be linked to the android presence (as well as influenced by other main events)
Concerning robots in the background issues and evolutions appear: movements for robot’s rights and freedom, mistrust from humans and such.
All these topics were addressed in other works of fiction (referring to Asimov: Daneel and the robot cycle, Robbie, The Bicentennial Man and so on).
Considering only the science fiction theme this novel surely merits a negative opinion, instead it stands out for the use of language and the main plot, so the evolution of Cat and her relation with Finn and the other people around her.
The novel follows the point of view of the main character, for this reason various topics – potentially interesting – are left only as background: Cat has specific interests (far from cybernetics and social movements) and a marked introversion toward egoism.
One of the better described parts is the almost rarefied atmosphere during her marriage, well expressing Cat’s oppression.
Cat is a well depicted character and her evolution is believable: icy but bound to other people judgments: friends and in particular her mother. Her relation with her father – the mad scientist – seems also unimportant (he is almost always working in the lab) but it will be one of the most important parts in the story, moreover it’s clear how Cat’s behaviour with robots derives from her father.
The love story, moving, is well-built and not so forseeable in its development; the novel has some flaws (and it is not suggested to science fiction readers) but the emotive component – and the well finished and evocative language supporting it – is one of its strong points.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.
* The mad scientist’s daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke ★★★★☆
*I read this book in English