Posts Tagged With: Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

MadScientistsDaughter

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

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 primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

Following her acclaimed Young Adult debut for our sister imprint Strange Chemistry, The Assassin’s Curse, the very talented Cassandra Rose Clarke moves on to more adult themes, in a heartbreaking story of love, loss … and robots.

First of all, I think this has to be one of my favourite covers, it makes me sigh every time I see it. I was luck enough to receive an ecopy to review, but I think I shall need a physical copy too, just so I can have it on my shelf!

Anyway, onto the story, which opens with a young Cat being introduced to Finn, a robot who seems a little different to the others we are introduced to. The story is set in a time when robots are quite common, helping to rebuild a world affected by severe climate changes. Most are though, fairly simple beings, designed only for a certain role. Finn, however, looks and acts just like a human.

The events of the book happen over a long period, as we share in Cat’s life as she grows. There is the underlying scientific feel, touching on the rights of the robots as they evolve, but the emphasis is on the characters and their relationships. At it’s heart, it’s a beautifully written story, not only exploring the complexities between Cat and Finn, but also her changing relationships with her parents, and the other men who enter her life.

This is a rather unusual love story, which you will, well, fall in love with!

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter will be published by Angry Robot – visit here for further info.

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The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The YA genre is rapidly growing, and there are more than a few Fantasy YA. It’s difficult to come up with a fantasy world which is fresh and different, but with The Assassin’s Curse, Cassandra seems to have done just that.

It’s a difficult world to jump straight into, so give yourself some time to adjust as you start. Ananna of the Tanarau is a pirate, and her parents plan to marry her off to another clan, but she soon realises this is definitely not what she wants, so she runs away. This second clan does not like being scorned, and so an assassin is sent after her. When she faces him down, she actually manages to save his life using magic, and by doing so, activates a curse binding them together.

Assassins are nothing new in the fantasy realm, but this is the first time I’ve read about pirate clans, and the world ranges from the sea to the dessert. Added to this is the aspect of magic, the magic of the water used by the pirates, and the darker magic of blood, used by the assassins.

There’s a clever twist to the two main characters – Ananna is what you expect from a pirate, she’s been brought up to get what she wants, and she’s quite outgoing. At the same time however, she shows her age, and needs to grow up as the book progresses.

Naji, the assassin she finds herself bound to, is the opposite, being calm and controlled, and quiet. He also changes during the book, gradually opening up more.

The Assassin’s Curse is a combination of fantasy and adventure, and is well paced. There are a couple of things to be aware of though. Sometimes the language is a reflection of how Ananna would speak, such as the opening sentence: “I ain’t never been on to trust beautiful people, and Tarrin of the Hariri was the most beautiful man I ever saw.” It’s not overdone, and it didn’t bother me, but it may some. Also, this is the is to be followed by a sequel next year. Ananna’s and Naji’s story is not yet completely told, but it does end at a natural pausing point.

If you’re looking for something a little different, this combination of fantasy and adventure, blending pirates, assassins and magic, may just be for you!

Published by Strange Chemistry 4th October 2012

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