As a work or literature this book is a 7 star. As a reading experience, a 4.
If I could get inside the head of Senna, I’d rate this 5, no problems. But here’s the thing… I’m a former cheerleader and a musical theatre performer who writes about Mermaids and I can often be caught humming ‘Xanadu’ under my breath (Okay belting loudly) while rollerskating my fluffy white shitzu up the street. So I’m the opposite of Senna in every way. That’s not to say that I’m shallow or anything- I love a dark read- but I am a person on a quest for happiness and this book was a shadow without sunlight.
That being said, I devoured this story. I sank into it in the two-sitting-read kind of sense. I’m officially a Tarryn Fisher addict and every word she writes resonates hard and sharp BUT I enjoyed the Love Me With Lies story more for the hope and the optimism and the eventual HEA.
Mud Vein is deep, dark and desolate. I don’t think I smiled once while reading this. I didn’t smile, I didn’t laugh, I didn’t get worked up in Book-Boyfriend sort of way… but I didn’t cry either and this is where I detract the star. I sort of feel like this was written just to bum people out. As moving as it is, as thrilling- it’s like being on a sub-terranean roller coaster that goes flat into darkness and doesn’t emerge on the other side. It’s hard to feel the ‘low’ when there was never a high. Senna is an enigma to me- at no point in this book would I have done anything she did so I just couldn’t connect with her. And I don’t know if the sort of people who CAN connect with her ought to be reading this- it can’t be good for depression. It is just too bleak.
However I enjoyed this for what it was- a story about a woman with more bad luck than Edward Scissorhands on a jumping castle. I liked the whole premise and the survival parts. To me, the Doc was the protagonist and I am glad that he got somewhat of a happy ending but I don’t think I took anything away from this story except what I already knew- that really bad things can happen to really decent people and there are some people in the world to whom optimism is a luxury they cannot afford. I was moved by this but it won’t be something I re-read.
Then again, I wouldn’t need to re-read it. The author writes too clearly and concisely for a single word to miss its mark. Mud Vein is about a woman’s journey through pain- someone struggling to find something to care about within a world which doesn’t seem to give a fig about her. Her journey has a lovely ending, but it is the inner-peace sort of wrap up rather than the circumstance kind.
I would recommend this to people looking for something out of the ordinary but not necessarily to fans of Tarryn’s other books.