The Mad Scientist's Daughter

The Mad Scientist's Daughter - Cat struggles with her feelings for Finn, the one-of-a-kind sentient robot that her father hired on as her tutor and his lab assistant, as Finn himself struggles to find his place in the world.He had no heartbeat but she could hear something spinning inside of him. She was entranced by it. Like white noise, like the recorded sound of stars.The world the author constructs throughout this novel is similar enough to ours today to understand, but has small differences in the details that make it unique and interesting. The world’s new climate and seasons I found particularly interesting, as the narrator refers to them in passing, not pointing attention to them, but relying on the reader to draw the conclusions about what has happened to make the world such. At some point in the past, the world fell apart, and though the reader doesn’t really know why, it doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t matter to the narrator and the characters — their story transcends that. The implications of a robot capable of affection and love piqued my interest, but despite the fascinating setting and intriguing plot, I found myself disappointed.Cat was utterly clueless as a main character. Her early naivete was excusable, as she was rather sheltered as a child, but as she grew, instead of becoming more aware of herself, her needs and wants, and her relationship with Finn, she seems to just keep digging herself into deeper holes and missing the obvious. The novel dances around the topic of sentient robotics and the moral implications, but avoids addressing it head-on. Cat makes a decision in the end, and we’re led to believe that it’s the “right” one, but Cat’s morals throughout the book have been shaky at best anyways, and seem to be based solely on what she wants or thinks she wants at the time, so even at the end, I question her choices and wonder if she’s once again just doing what she wants despite the cost.Also, a personal pet peeve of mine in books and movies are unrealistic birth scenes. If you share this sentiment, you might want to skip the chapter in which this occurs. You’ll know when it happens — it starts with a very cliched trickle of “Oh, my water broke! Let’s go to the hospital” (Did you know that less than 10% of labors begin this way?) followed by a few very sudden “I’m-going-to-die” contractions before she got some sort of painkiller. Incredibly melodramatic and Hollywood-esque.Heads up: Swearing, drug use, and a number of intimate scenes described in detail make this on par with an “R-rated” movieOverall: An adult novel featuring a subtly futuristic world and fascinating concept, but with too much melancholy and moral ambiguity for my tastes.