Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

About the book:

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.

Pages: 284
Published by: Independent
Genre: Adult Suspense/Mystery/Romance

My rating: 5 stars

My review: My first introduction to Tarryn Fisher was the novella Never Never she co-wrote with Colleen HooverAs you might guess, I didn't get a good grasp of Fisher's writing style until now.

And I have fallen in dark, psychotic love with her words.

They are dark, maniacal, true, and emotive. Mud Vein is a shorter book (less than 300 pages) but I felt like it would never end because every word lingers, making me reread and absorb each unspoken and spoken thought, each action the characters makes. Her words fill my heart and drain my soul. They make me fall in love with her flawed characters and go crazy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I've been more reactive to these words than I have been to any other author's. I've groaned, sighed, squealed, laughed, and bawled my eyes out while reading books. I've even had to pace the room and take breaks because the emotions were too overwhelming; but the words in this novel made me do all that and more. I gasped, threw my kindle down, ran around my room, and attempted to not hyperventilate more than a dozen times. Tarryn's word speak to me as a person, a reader, a writer, and as I read, I am in awe of what she is able to breathe life, and death, into.

"That's why writers write--to say things loudly with ink. 
To give feet to thoughts; to make quiet, still feelings loudly heard."

Senna is broken and so so human. She isn’t completely okay in the head, and yet, she’s the truest characters you'll ever know. Fisher ingrains us so deeply into Senna’s mind that as a reader we are given nothing outside of what she is thinking, feeling, or sensing at a specific moment. Fisher doesn’t clarify Senna’s fleeting thoughts or seemingly random questions, and I am absolutely enthralled by this narrowed character perspective. We see the grittiest, rawest side of someone who is damaged, and I love Senna for it. I love her personality and her view on the world despite everything else I've gathered about her.

There is hardly any romance in here, and yet, the entire book revolves around love. Each sentence is strung together with beautiful meaning, making Senna and Isaac’s relationship so much more. So few words pass between Senna and Isaac (in the scenes of past and present) but I still feel so many conflicting emotions. The nonverbal communication in this book is a powerful element on its own and it makes me love these characters inevitably.

In Mud Vein, time passes oddly. You can’t always keep track of it, but it is deliberate and conveys Senna’s sense of the world. The way we become a part of Senna’s mind guides the plot and mystery, which sucked me in from the get-go. I can’t tell you how many times I looked down at my reading progress and thought "I'm only this far in and all THIS has happened already?!" The plot is insane and there was no alleviation to my freak-outs. I tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together before everything was revealed and drove myself equally as crazy as Senna in the process.

Mud Vein is all consuming. Every aspect of it drew me in. Even the names that were chosen for the characters were intriguing. I honestly don’t know how Tarryn Fisher did it. Her mind operates in scary ways. This is not a happy book, but it does have moments that will make you smile. The ending is a mixture of insanity, heartbreak, and satisfaction that is just too unbearable to handle. I now know that Fisher doesn't write HEAs and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm hurting inside, but it might be a good hurt. I cannot tell. All I know is I want more. You might as well call me a masochist because this won’t be my last Tarryn Fisher experience.

P.S. I'm not a fan of playlists to match books, but when a couple songs have a strong connection to a book and are introduced to the characters, I latch to them like they're my lifeline. "Landscape" by Florence + the Machine and "Kill Your Heroes" by AWOLNATION are too perfect for this story and I'm currently listening to them, dying a little inside because the emotions are still swirling to hard and fast for me to understand them. Go read this book and listen to these songs when they're mentioned. Simply. Incredible.


  1. Mud Vein is absolutely my favourite book in this entire universe. I have read and listened countless times already and it still only gets better. Isaac and Senna's not love story is stunning. Isaac the surgeon raised my standards on what love is. Still so engrossed to it until now when it's been years since I've read it. Hope you can recommend books as good as this. Thanks, Holly! Great review, btw.

    1. Thank you, Louisse the lovely comment! I absolutely agree with you. And I just reread Mud Vein this past April/May and fell in love with it all over again! It's such a different, yet, captivating story!