Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
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.
*There may be spoilers from the first half of the book*
Man I have no idea how this book received such praise from some people. I would think the reviews are all fake or something, but I have read rants on how amazing this book is from people I trust, people who wouldn't just say they loved it when they didn't. I don't get it. I really cannot wrap my head around it. It was not a good book. I have a really hard time not finishing a book once I start, even if it is terrible, but I just couldn't. I read half of it and couldn't make it any farther. I told myself I had to give it at least half way before giving up, hoping it would get better. If anything it got worse.
So I was very excited to start reading this because the synopsis sounds amazing. Girl locked away in a house all by herself needing to figure out how her past can set her free. Amazing. Only that is not really this story. It is a great synopsis for a different book. One where this fits the story (or at least the first half of the story). Yes she is locked up in a house, but not by herself. A guy is there. So they are locked up together. I know that is little, but she finds the guy in the house pretty quick so it is not like she thought she was alone then later after some time someone else was added to the mix. Anyways the first part of the book, Shock and Denial, I thought I had lost my ability to comprehend the written word. I kept being like what is going on? Did I go crazy? Can I just not read anymore? What is happening (and not in a cool! What is going on? I can't wait to find out!! way but in a what is wrong with me that I cannot understand this kind of way)? There were just lots of little things that I couldn't wrap my head around. There is a trap door in the floor that is locked. The girl had already found a key so she gets it and then stares at the key for a while and gets really freaked out because the key is old and just almost melts down because of the key. Um..okay. What is going on? It was such a strange reaction and I couldn't figure out why she would react that way to an old key. She didn't make any sense. Another example? She is exploring the house and thinks maybe she can break a window to get out. So what does she do? Try to hit it with the butt of her knife? Trying to break it with a pot? No she looks for a bench or some large piece of furniture she can throw at it. Sure. That is the first think I would do when I was trying to escape somewhere. Lift all the heavy furniture. And when I find the heavy furniture is bolted down think well there goes that idea. There are no other ways to break a window. Everyone knows that is the only way glass will break....it was just so strange her reactions to everything. I didn't get her or how she thought. Maybe it is explained in the second half of the book.
Then she is on the second floor. She goes down a flight of stairs and then she says how she sees something down the next flight of stairs. So she was on the 3rd floor? There are 3 doors on the second/first/whatever floor she is on until she is exploring them then there are only 2. What happened to the third door? Is this house magic and can make things appear and disappear? What is happening? Can I just not comprehend the words on the page? Well after going back and re-reading to make sure I didn't just imagine the first description it is just like okay so the author either has continuity issues or there is some magical element to the place where she is being held. Either would make sense, but I don't think it is supposed to be a magical book.
So the first part, with all the confusing sections, was well rather boring. Senna and Isaac are locked up together with food and water and heat and clothes and whatever they need. They don't really talk, but when they do the conversation is a little strange and some of it is also confusing. At one point Senna asks Isaac about his flying red bike and it was so out of the blue and just like what is going on?!? I don't understand. Well later, in the second part, that flying red bike gets explained, but man it was just...the conversations were not good. They just seemed to do nothing all day except eat when they were hungry and sit around. Sounds great.
So the first part of the book was pretty boring and confusing. The second part I thought yey! Now we get the back story. Now I can figure out what happened. Well part two is even more boring than the first part! I just barely made it through it. Senna gets raped at the beginning, then shortly thereafter she finds out she has breast cancer. How can you take these two events that should make me feel sympathy for the main character and make me just apathetic towards her? How is that possible? How can I not really care that she was raped or had cancer besides the concern that I have for anyone who I hear had something horrible happen to them. And then how did the author make me so bored that I just didn't care at all anymore? I didn't get Isaac and why he kept showing up. I didn't get what was happening. The Nick book chapters...oh my goodness if that was a real book I wouldn't have made it halfway through. I had a hard time getting through those chapters and ended up skimming them just so I could move it along. They were bad. I'm guessing there would be more of it later in the book since it didn't really tell much of the Senna/Nick story but I hope not. Maybe she could just tell someone what happened or something. I don't know and I don't really care what happened.
I didn't understand Senna at all. You get bits and pieces of her past pre-rape/cancer but she doesn't seem to have changed much after those events. She was still closed off before hand. Her mom left her when she was young leaving her with a father who didn't care. He was never abusive to her or anything she said at one point, he just didn't care. Poor her...I kept waiting for the super horrible terrible awful thing that happened to make her so...lethargic and boring and cut off from everyone. Maybe there is something and you find out in the second half. I guess I will never know.
So this has been my rant for just the first 50% of the book. I can't imagine what the second half would entail.
Update: So I held this review a few days to see if I would go back and finish this book. I really do have a hard time not finishing a book once I start. I keep thinking maybe it gets better. So I did go back and skim the rest of Mud Vein and...it did not get better. When I found out who had done this, who was behind everything and why...it was just...no. I still don't understand Senna or Isaac or how they would go together. They just...nothing really made sense to me. I couldn't identify with either of them or why they would do the things they did. It was not good. And the Carousel, what happened there, so disappointing. It was built up so much with the room and everything I expected something to happen. Instead it was another time where I didn't really understand the characters.