Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mad Scientist’s Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,168 ratings  ·  649 reviews
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 primar
Paperback, UK/RoW, 400 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Angry Robot (first published January 28th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,168 ratings  ·  649 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Mad Scientist’s Daughter
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Navessa by: Rashika (is tired)

For those of you who know me well, you know what kind of declaration that is. For those of you who don’t, allow me elaborate. I have malfunctioning tear ducts. I cry, on average, about once every six years. This book broke me, absolutely shattered me in a way that I’m not entirely comfortable with.

The thing is, there wasn’t any one scene that did me in either. The entire book left me with a raw, achy feeling, like I
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies by: Navessa
"It's impossible to love something you know's made out of wire and metal."
"You talk about him like he's a computer."
"He is a computer," said Dr Condon. "That's what I'm trying to tell you."
"It's not flesh and blood," she said. "It's not normal."
Mind: blown. Preconceptions: dashed to pieces. I cannot say in all honesty that this has converted me to the genre, but my god, what a fabulous read. What a fantastic work of literature. This is going to be such a difficult review to write bec
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter takes place over the course of many years. At the beginning, Cat, the daughter of two accomplished scientist, is only eight years old. Her father brings home a strange man, Finn, to live with them and be Cat’s tutor. At first, Cat doesn’t understand what this man is, his reactions and behavior unlike anything she’d ever seen before. As she grows up, what he is no longer matters as Finn becomes her anchor, that one immutable thing that holds together her very chaotic, ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Slow and atmospheric, this book is nostalgia at its finest - the one we feel while looking at our past and our forgotten dreams - except Cat's nostalgia wraps every part of her life : past, present, future. Readers have been saying that she's selfish and thoughtless, going through life without never thinking about anyone else than herself, and yes, it's true. I should hate her for it, and yet, I can't. I can't because the way she's portrayed let me see how much her life seems... pointless to her
Ash Wednesday
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Megan Hart fans

I've been dreading this… moment, my entire day. I finished this book a good 9 hours ago. Went to work. Stared at the wall while having too much coffee. Fought with my boyfriend. Had a bit more coffee. Did a bit of mole surgery (the patient was okay despite the caffeine). Ate a shitload of carbs with coffee on the side with my cousins.

I did all that while thinking of this book.

And dreading the moment, this moment, when I have to keep the voices in my head quiet and forge my thoughts
Looking back, I think I can acknowledge that The Mad Scientist's Daughter is more of a tragic love story than anything else. Although it's been marketed as sci-fi, focusing on robots and a dystopian future that seems eerily similar to something our own children may experience, at the core, it is all romance and not much else. Let me clarify - all dramatic and angst-ridden romance. Unfortunately, I didn't even feel much for this main romance since I was too preoccupied coming up with ways to murd ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Buddy-read with one of my favourite girlies, Heather. Coming to a goodreads near you, October 2015!

Happy Spooktober, ladies and gents! For those of you who may somehow have missed that I have a love affair with Halloween, seriously, where have you been?? Anyways… I LOVE Halloween, all the things that go bump in the night. And while The Mad Scientist’s Daughter may not seem like it fits that bill, for me; it did.

Some Vampire Ninja backstory (feel free to scroll on by if you don’t care to read th
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
Years ago, I saw a movie called Bicentennial Man. It made me cry rivers. I see an echo of that movie in this book, and a new river of tears was forged today.
Usually when I don't like the main character in a book, the whole thing goes to shit. I'm very judgmental with my books. I'm also very unforgiving. The Mad Scientist's Daughter allowed me to despise the main, Cat, but fall in love with the story and the other characters.
We are told the tale of Cat and Finn, which spans many years. Cat, who
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

I am totally in love with this book, probably the first time since "Ready Player One". And if you know me, you will realize how BIG that is.

5 thousand stars. And where the hell is my Finn??!?

Full Review:

Caterina Novak is the daughter of Daniel Novak, a "mad scientist" who specializes in cybernetics. As a younger girl, Daniel brings home Finn, an android, to tutor his daughter. Through the years, Cat grows to see Finn as less a machine and more of a man. But does Finn love her back?
Deborah Ideiosepius
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deborah by: Brenda
Four and a half stars! But until Goodreads gives us half stars, it deserves the five.

Cat is the daughter of a scientist, well two really, because her father is a cybernetics scientist and his wife also worked in the field, although it is not clear if she still is working at the time the book covers. The story begins when Cat is a small child, about the age to start school. One day her father brings Finn home and establishes him as Cat’s tutor. Initially Cat is scared of him, sure he is a ghost b
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
Buddy read with Karly in October.

This is how I feel about reading this book:


We all know what happens when your expectations for a book are too high, don't we? This is how I feel now:

I've read this story before, and it was done better. The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee is about a girl and the robot she loves. The difference is (besides way better worldbuilding and actual sci-fi things) the MC of TSML fights magnificently for her love, while in this book Cat ... does not.

A lot of revi
Erin O'Roark
Alright. Let me wipe the tears off my kindle so I can see what I'm typing.

Holy sh-i-te. That was a ride. I think my heart physically hurts from the 336 pages of emotional rollercoast-ing.

Welcome to Forrest Gump...with ROBOTS! And also told from the story of Jenny. That's really the vibe I got with this book.


This book was a hard pill for me to swallow. It was unique in so many ways in that I got to read and felt as though I lived the life of our main character, Caterina. I crie
A post-apocalyptic fairy tale for the robotics age about a girl who falls in love with a mechanical boy. I picked this book up on a whim not knowing much about it other than the author's name, which sounded vaguely familiar, and I'm glad I gave it a chance because it's a great story told by a talented writer.

This is YA but not too YA that it lost me completely. There's enough YA in it for those who like YA, and there's enough robot things in it for those who like robots and robot theories. The w
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own


cassandra rose clarke squished my heart into a bloody pulp in the palms of her hands. thank you! and moar please?
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Cat’s life was not ever going to be normal; the daughter of a mad scientist can never be easy. When her father created an android to be her tutor, she was a little afraid to begin with but soon Finn became her best friend. While Finn is programmed to assist his owners, this billion dollar construction becomes a whole lot more to Cat. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a coming of age novel with a science fiction twist.

While this is a coming of age type novel, it’s both Cat and Finn that have to try
Liz Janet
“Desire is simple," he said. "Desire is something even a machine can understand." There was a stillness in the air that mirrored the stillness of his body. "But when I desired you I began to love you. You were the first being I ever loved. I didn't know it, of course. I had no idea what it meant, no idea what I was feeling. Love was never something I was supposed to experience. I don't think I was supposed to know desire, either, but she never expected me to meet you." He laughed against her ...more
Rashika (is tired)
It’s been two weeks since I’ve read this book and I still don’t feel ready to write a review. I’d rather just post all the quotes I collected and force people to read this book. Because yes this book was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I knew that would be the case before I went in (I have good instincts okay?) but that still didn’t prepare me for the amount of love I would feel for this book.

I’ll admit I didn’t cry while reading it but I wanted to. I had class right after I fin
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum:

The Mad Scientist's Daughter ended up giving me all sorts of contradictory and inconsistent feelings. Even though I loved this novel, there were still a ton of things that drove me nuts about it, and yet I can't help but suspect a lot of it was by design.

First of all, while I enjoyed this book, I also have to say it was also one of the most depressing stories I've ever read. Even though the tagline is "A tale of love, lo
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"I realized, after you asked me if I thought you were pretty, that I needed to work with a different algorithm. Previously, I had only contemplated the concept of beauty in regards to works of art. But the definition of beauty in a human being is different than the definition of beauty in an object. This is a philosophical question, of course, and philosophy is difficult for me. It's too abstract. I sill have problems with abstraction." He paused. His eyes shook. "I considered facial shape and t ...more
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to join the reviewers who state that the synopsis is misleading since it gives the impression that the novel is about Finn. It is not. The novel is about Cat, she is the centre from the first page and until the last one.

In many ways this book is deeply philosophical. It concerns itself with artificial intelligence, with the definition of love, with consciousness, with those who make decisions guided by society's definitions of right and wrong instead of their own hearts and heads a
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

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 robot
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-ya, sci-fi

Despite spanning nearly thirty-odd years, there is something extremely still and perpetually sad about this story. Liked it a lot more than I expected to.
This was not an easy novel to read on many accounts. In fact, I still don’t quite know how I feel about it.

The biggest problem I had was the pacing. The novel, instead of occurring within a set of period of time, follows Cat, the titular daughter, from a very young age until she is in her mid-thirties (or so I deduced from the amount of time that had passed). Events occurred and then recurred and things just seemed to go around a circle without any progress being made. It felt that we (the reade
It's a bit odd to shelve a book on my yearly fave shelf that I only rate 3 stars but... then, my feelings on this book are odd. I loved it, but it made me deeply uncomfortable, and 3 stars is really the only compromise I can make.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter is an incredibly well-written work. I found myself repeatedly taken aback by how realistic it felt - almost less like a novel and more like a very poetic biography, meandering in the nonlinear way of a human life rather than following conven
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful yet heart-rending story. I've cried and cried over this with sadness, joy and heartbreak. This should be a compulsory read. I'm definitely getting the rest of her works. ...more
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

No summary could do The Mad Scientist’s Daughter justice. Look up there. That is an awful summary. I don’t want to read that book. That makes the story look like it’s about Finn and the fight for robot rights. Now, those are certainly in the book, but The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is about Caterina Novak, Cat for short, growing, learning, changing, learning she’s changed in the wrong ways, and growing some more. It’s about love and loss and
When I visited Angry Robot, Leah was adamant that I hurry up and read this book. I got approved for it on Netgalley, too. So of course I had to get round to reading it sometime soon! I'm not getting paid for this review, I just got the book on Netgalley (and ended up reading it from the library instead while I was at a loose end).

It's lovely. When I was younger I was obsessed with Isaac Asimov's The Positronic Man -- the novel-length version, not the short story in the collection called The Bice
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 categ ...more
Laura Lam
I've hidden part of the review in care they're spoilers, but I stay away from specific plot points and the resolution.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is hard to pin down. If I had to give it an elevator pitch, I’d say it’s about a girl who falls in love with an android that’s a bit like Data from Star Trek, but written in the literary tone of Margaret Atwood.

It’s a book that’s light on the science fiction and heavy on story and characters. Say all of the events in this book really happened—the unna
When I started The Mad Scientist's Daughter I couldn't fathom what I was getting myself into. My friend Nastya told me about it a couple of times, and I assumed it would be a pretty light sci-fi read: the perfect one for my current mood! Probably, I should've listened better. The Mad Scientist's Daughter is a great example of the book that leaves you thinking whether something is or isn't (ab)normal and whether you are or aren't a hypocrite that justifies actions of one character, while without ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Silver Metal Lover (Silver Metal Lover, #1)
  • The Owl Prince (Green Labyrinth, #1)
  • The Season of You & Me
  • The Adventures of Sam Spade and Other Stories
  • Simple Jess (Marrying Stone, #2)
  • The Ghost Tree
  • The Dragon Round
  • Possessed by the Highlander (The MacLerie Clan #3)
  • Mystique
  • The Apartment
  • Between Here and Forever
  • Rules of Survival
  • Escape with a Scoundrel (Escape with a Scoundrel, #1)
  • The Sleeping Arrangement
  • The Lady Upstairs
  • The Rogue Pirate's Bride (The Sons of the Revolution, #3)
  • Strange Tide (Bryant & May #13)
  • Star Road
See similar books…
Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and in 2008 she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well.

During the summe

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
19 likes · 3 comments
“There is nothing else like me in the entire world, said Finn. "That's what you wrote. I'm the only one. I can't tell you what it means to be the only one of my kind," he said. "I can't...There is a lack in myself. But your thesis almost filled it in. It was...a start.” 11 likes
“She’d never encountered any stories as intricate or compelling as the stories he gave her, nor anything that made her sigh when she read it. She liked best the stories about people becoming other things. Stories where women became swans or echoes. In the evenings, when Finn disappeared into the mysterious recesses of the laboratory, Cat went out to the garden or down to the river and wondered what it would be like to be a stream of water, a cypress tree, a star burning a million miles away.” 9 likes
More quotes…