When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
I was completely blown away by Tarryn Fisher's Love Me with Lies series. While I didn't love it as much as everyone else did, I still liked it enough for it to be on my mind for a long time after I finished reading it. I was quite excited about Mud Vein as the both the cover and the summary intrigued me at first glance. Unfortunately- and I say unfortunately because I don't particularly like this feeling- I have mixed feelings about the book. If this were a book I had to study, I would have opted for a detailed character analysis, but because it isn't, I'll just try to sum up my thoughts on the plot, the psychology, the characters and the writing. And as usual, I will leave it up to readers to know the story. That's not my part to tell, but the reader's to figure out.
The plot: This was one interesting and engaging plot. The book started out very slow and I have no idea what made me continue with it. I was just about to give up when something really astounding came up and I knew I had to know what would come next. The approach was something new and great but the way in which it was executed was not all that fancy. The book is basically divided into three parts, each named as per the stages of grief and that was something truly kick-ass to do. The second part was really well put down. It just flowed and it was the only part where I felt connected to the story. Other than that, I found the plot to be less engaging. I felt like I was waiting for something that never happened. I especially did not like the conclusion of the whole issue that was going on. It was too average for my liking. Although what I did love was the end. For a change, I found a kind of ending that I like to read about and that's real.
The psychology: Like with her Love Me with Lies series, Tarryn Fisher takes up basic human psychology in Mud Vein as well, and that is such a feat. The author puts down human emotions and human nature in their natural, raw and true form. It's messed up but then it gets too messed up. Inertly, we are all very similar but we aren't very open about how we really feel. But the main character in this book is exactly the way she is, inside and out. It's all a game in this novel. Life is a game and everyone plays hard. The psychological aspect was pretty apt and strong. At the same time, it was too heavy and suicidal.
The characters: The main female character is Senna. The main male character is Isaac. Then we have Senna's love, her shrink and her parents. What I didn't get about Senna is that she calls what her shrink says "existential crap", she hurts herself, she likes pain, she loves death, she is isolated, she doesn't take well to conventions and society and yet, she exists. Some might say she is strong to survive, while others might say she's just too weak to give up. She doesn't accept love, she doesn't express herself, she lives alone, and she walks out of conversations midway. She has an entire room painted white. I get it. I understand her. Even I can be as dangerous as her sometimes. But my point is, why inflict so much torture upon yourself? No matter what she does, she suffers anyway. Isaac and her shrink try hard to get her on track but she won't listen to anyone. Why? Because she's just like that. With Senna, it's either love or hate. There's no in-between. She is a modern, independent, strong yet confused woman whom I didn't really understand and I'm not even trying.
The writing: Wow. Tarryn Fisher's writing is so cool. I absolutely love it. If there's anything I absolutely love about this book, it's the writing. It's so pure and full of passion. I could actually make out how much the author loves writing and how passionate she is about her words. Her words have so much depth to them, it's hard to not praise it and fall in love with it. Even simple stuff was put down so meticulously and some of the lines were just too magical and so real. I loved loved loved the writing.
Mud Vein was a dark, deep, dirty, disgusting and dangerous read that I both liked and disliked. I loved certain significations in it and I loved the whole concept behind the title. It was something very different and that, for me, was refreshing, but at the same time, if I am to read only one book for the rest of my life, this wouldn't be the book I'd pick. Tarryn Fisher has some absolutely smashing ideas and she is a superb writer. She shows human nature in its true and unfiltered form and I love that about her. While Mud Vein had some great stuff in it, I wanted more. It didn't blow me away and I really wish it had. Save aside an incident or two, I didn't feel anything throughout the course of the story and I feel nothing after having finished it. Maybe that's the point of it or maybe it isn't.