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.
There are two things I want to point out before you pick up this novel that accounts for the half a star less than perfect on my rating.
1. This book is very slow. It takes a long time for anything to happen, but that in no way means that it is boring. I enjoyed every minute of it, but it can get frustrating waiting for the obvious to happen.
2. Catarina is frustratingly selfless. To the point where it was hard to believe she would sacrifice so much of her happiness to make her parents and society happy.
I loved Cat’s character. She was ballsy, and she stood up for those she loved. She is impulsive and stubborn, but she never really knew what she wanted. As the reader, of course I knew what she wanted, but we had to watch Cat figure it out, and she also had to figure out that it was okay to be different in order to be happy.
This novel is a beautifully written, incomparably powerful love story. I loved and hated it for how it made me feel. My heart broke (along with Cat’s) multiple times. The perspective throughout the book as Cat ages is impeccable. In the beginning, I felt like I was reading through a five year old’s thoughts, in her teenage years, I felt exactly as I did as a troubled young girl, and in her older years, I felt her passion and contempt for the life she had chosen more powerfully than anything I’ve ever felt about my own life.
This books contains sexual situations, I don’t recommend you let your 9 year old read it, but it’s a great Science Fiction novel (though lacking a bit in the actual sci-fi department, it doesn’t take away from the story at all). If you love romance novels, and want romance with a twist, it’s a must read.