Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

**unsolicited** (I’m working my way through my kindle TBR pile. If you’ve submitted a book, it’s in my list.)

Things I disliked about the book:

It was pretentious.

It was over-written. 

It badly needed a content editor to chop away some the extraneous wordage.

It needed a new female lead who wasn’t an overwrought, melodramatic narcissist. 

It needed a villain with a less altruistic motive, or no villain at all (seriously, if this story was open to the reader’s imagination, and we were left to our own devices to imagine who put them in the house, and why they were there, it would have been awesome.

It needed an ending with a punch, not a cringe-inducing Nicholas Sparks’ ending.

What I liked:

When it wasn’t too wordy or existential, it was a good book. 

The story itself was decent, if overthought and overwritten.

Isaac was a great character. 

 

It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t good. It was WAY WAY WAY WAY too wordy and wishy-washy and just all over the place. A good editor would have really helped chop some of the extra wordage out, streamline the story, and turn it into something with a punch. There were very, very strong moments in the writing/story that easily sucked me in–and then Senna, the main character, did/said something so incredibly melodramatic that she reminded me she’s a character in a book. I didn’t like her at all. There was something so blatantly “I’m a character in a book” about her that it was a turn off. It’s possible to write a depressed, withdrawn, untouchable character without turning them into a caricature of a stereotype. Fisher just went way overboard. Senna is in no way relatable, or even easy to read about (and not in a good way). She’s selfish, narcissistic, melodramatic, and missing way too many vital components to exist in real life.

Isaac is a fantastic character, though. He’s well-written, fully-formed, 3-dimensional. I believed everything about him–except that a man as smart, intelligent, and handsome as him would repeatedly go back to a woman who was 100%, unapologetically emotionally unavailable.

The story itself was pretty good. I think the villain needed more motivation, and we readers needed more of an explanation of why she did what she did.

The end of the book was a HUGE crashing letdown. A book like this needs to end on a note that leaves the reader breathless, desperate to know more, with our own resolutions stomping through our brains. Leave us with a mystery. Awesome ending would have been Senna being stuck in the house, stewing in her own self-misery.

Fisher’s writing is smooth and poetic. Her characters, though, were too poetic. Too fictional. Too literary-trope. They lacked an element of realism that would have brought them fully to flesh. Even Isaac, as well as he was developed, lacked the flaws of human beings. Senna was too perfectly horrible and miserable. I lost sympathy for her because she didn’t try to survive. She got raped. She got cancer. She got kidnapped. She got cancer again. She just shut doors and stared at walls and occasionally pissed her pants. There was no character growth, other than a few halfhearted attempts that always sent her plopping right back into her own head. I kept waiting for this moment of rebirth, reemergence into life…and there was nothing. The book was well-written on one hand, but incredibly pretentious at times. The author’s note to readers on the Amazon page is pretentious. I had this moment of, “Um, you’re not Stephen King…chill.” 

The letter to Isaac at the end was overkill. HUGE massive overkill. Hated that part. Again, an ending that left the reader on an emotional cliff would have had such an amazingly huge impact for this type of novel.

 

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