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.
It pains me to write this review because I adore Tarryn Fisher, so I am going to keep it as short as possible.
There was an unbelievable amount of hype surrounding this book, and with Tarryn Fisher being one of my favorite authors, I ate it up. My excitement levels kept rising and by the time Mud Vein was released, I was almost shaking with anticipation. I dove in, reading to be blown away; to read it start to finish in one sitting. I was expecting greatness. I didn’t get it. I got *sigh* disappointment. It took me 3 days to get 31% into this book, that’s how little it pulled me in. Boredom was the main thing I felt during the first third of the book. It seemed repetitive, and there was little to no advancement. I understand the need for detail, to paint a picture of the nightmare that these two were living, but it just didn’t draw me in. I was purposely finding other things to do instead of reading this book. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I rarely ever label a book DNF without giving it a fair shot. I always try to at least make it to 50% and if at that point I’m still struggling, I’ll throw in the towel. So, I stuck with it – not just because of my own little rule and not just because I heard from other readers that it picks up exponentially after the halfway mark – but also because I refused to believe that Tarryn Fisher could write a book that I wouldn’t be able to finish. There was just no way that was possible. It had to get better, it just had to.
I read the final 70% in one sitting – partially because it did pick up around 55% which peaked my interest level, but partially because I just wanted to finish it. So, now that I have had some time to really contemplate how I feel about this story, here are my final thoughts…
It wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t great. It was just…okay, I guess. I have seen so many rave reviews (Erica LOVED IT) but personally, I just don’t get it. And that sucks.
I am incredibly bummed that I didn’t fall in love with this novel like so many other readers did. The storyline was creative, I like psychological thrillers, I absolutely love Tarryn Fisher’s writing, but this novel just fell flat for me. The main characters weren’t tugging at my heartstrings, and to be honest, I didn’t even like Senna the majority of the time. Did I feel for her in certain situations? Absolutely. But she had so few redeeming qualities in my eyes that it was hard for me to legitimately care about her. Isaac was just…*shrugs* I don’t quite know what to say about him. I didn’t dislike him, but I didn’t really like him either. He was just there.I was also incredibly disappointed with the carousel scene. It was built up into this huge incident that clearly made both of them unnerved considering the room, and when I actually found out what the significance of the carousel room was…and what happened on a carousel years ago…I was sitting there thinking “That’s it??? THAT’S why the room is so dreaded?!”.
Regardless of how I feel about this novel, Tarryn Fisher will always be an auto-buy author for me. Her writing is wonderful, but this particular story just didn’t capture me. I wish it had. I think the slow beginning and my nonchalance for the characters are what killed it for me. Also, I didn’t necessarily buy the identity of the “zookeeper.” I mean, I guess it makes sense and I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that person but…meh, I don’t know. That’s kind of how I feel about this book. “Meehhh.”
So, I’m going to stop talking about it and move on. It wasn’t for me, that’s the bottom line. Even though I didn’t like it, PLEASE don’t let this deter you from reading it. This is strictly my opinion. Tarryn Fisher is an amazing author, and I don’t regret reading this simply because her writing is superb and there were some wonderful lines that I highlighted – I just wish I had better things to say about it overall.