Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a Kindle copy
I read this book because I saw an author I love mention the sale and that it was one of her favorite books ever. The reviews were stellar, the plot seemed interesting, and I figured it would be something I would like. Sometimes, things don’t happen like we expect them to.
For the majority of the novel, I was rapidly turning the pages in anticipation of the reveal. Senna woke up in a cabin, trapped in the middle of nowhere with no way out. Inside the cabin was Isaac, who was someone that she was familiar with, but I didn’t know why. The writing in Mud Vein was superb because I really didn’t know what was happening until it was revealed and the way it was laid out made it interesting to read.
A lot of reviews focus on how disappointing the reveal was, which I agree with, but that’s not where my disappointment began. It began with the rapid deterioration of the plausibility of the situation and the characters. Once power went out and characters were doing lots of crazy things to injure or otherwise hurt themselves to save themselves or others, things kind of got too crazy for me. As I got to know the characters, I realized I didn’t care for them much, either. Bits of the past were revealed and we finally figured out how Senna and Isaac knew each other and why they weren’t very friendly at that point.
I just.. I don’t like books like this with destructive and destroyed heroines who are dark just to be dark. I don’t believe that Senna could ever be real. And if she was, she’s certainly not anyone I’d ever want to know. She’s selfish, depressing, she cut herself off from the world and was dull and numb in general. The entire situation with Isaac didn’t seem very believable or healthy. And then she went from one tragedy to the next and thinks she’s tough because she does it alone and doesn’t need anyone. While I believe that pain demands to be felt, I don’t think choosing to forgo surgery that would make your leg more comfortable and easier to manage in favor of living with pain to remind yourself of what you’ve done is a healthy decision to make. It’s overdramatic and doesn’t really do anything.
I love dark books. Gritty, raw, terrifying, depressing, etc. Those elements don’t bother me. So that’s not why I didn’t like Mud Vein. I guess I just didn’t really thing it was interesting. I wasn’t impressed with the overall message, the characters, or the events. The reveal about the whole kidnapper thing was underwhelming and I felt like the book was full of unbelievable grit just to be different instead of telling a story that made sense.
I must have missed something because Mud Vein has really awesome reviews and the majority of people seemed to like it. I would not recommend it myself, but I think it’s one of those books that might work for some people. Maybe there was something about the characters that didn’t work for me.