Book Two – The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

Continuing on from last post, the second book on my list this past month was:

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke.

This is a real science fiction story that doesn’t feel quite like a real science fiction story. Yes, the SF is in the forefront from the beginning, but the story is always deeply about (and told around) the main character, Catrina. It’s told in such close point of view that you feel the SF sections of the story are just, well, just part of the world rather than truly speculative. (Note to Ron, write a kick-ass character and you can “get away” with a bunch, eh?).

Anyway, Cat is a young girl when the book opens, and the daughter of a cybernetic engineer. She has an android named Finn as what is essentially a personal babysitter. Cat doesn’t find this strange, and in fact thinks perhaps Finn is a ghost (and doesn’t find this strange, either). This relationship is the heart of the story that moves in ways that seemed completely natural. Along the way we get to think about how we, as human beings, behave toward each other, what is it that makes us admirable, what is it that makes us beautiful, what is love, and how we form our most important relationships.

Cat grows through her adolescence, into her youth and young womanhood, before becoming her own somewhat weathered adult, always looking for the elusive magic that will let her see what life is about, and discovering (is it perhaps too late?) as perhaps we all do, that she’s always known the answer to that question, but just has never been able to see it.

It reminds me a little bit of what Forrest Gump (the movie) might have been like if it had been told fom Jenny’s point of view.

Also highly recommended.

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