Released: April 5, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
“I’m not sure that I can even convey the impact it had on me. Days later, I can’t stop thinking about it.” ~ Under the Covers
I had to collect myself for a few days before writing this review, Mudvein weighed so heavily on my mind. I’ve read the Love Me With Lies series by Tarryn Fisher and absolutely loved it. I enjoy her writing style, the desperation of her characters, the suspense she infuses. Mudvein is a kidnapping story, and I knew this going in. It wasn’t going to be a fuzzy, warm romance or a romance at all, though one could even argue that. I read no spoilers, minimal reviews, and no author updates or commentary regarding the plot. I just dove in.
Senna Richards is a very successful, but reclusive novelist. The details of her past, her neuroses, her trials and tribulations remain to be told. We begin as clueless about her past as she is about her present: post-drugging, awakening in a snowed-in, locked house in the woods. She is a prisoner. I ALMOST don’t want to give aware more. Suffice it to say that she is not alone in this house. Someone from her past is there with her. She knows their kidnapper did not choose him at random. There is a sadistic game she must play, never knowing if the endpoint means freedom or death for one of them or both.
I’ve since read some reviews of Mudvein and I’m not surprised that there are a percentage of readers that didn’t connect with Senna. She is irreparably damaged it seems, not willing to accept love or comfort in any form. She can be cold and distant, confounding and infuriating. Personally I don’t need to connect to or identify with a main character to enjoy a story, or at least be drawn in by it. To require this connection will limit what a reader reads and it avoids challenge. In lieu of this connection, I like the characters have to be fascinating, perhaps provide some sort of philosophical or moral point, etc. Mudvein delivers on this in huge ways. I devoured it in 2 days, eyes often fused to the page, oblivious to the action around me. It’s not east reading. Beware, there is discussion of sexual assault, self-injury, violence and illness. It’s a psychological thriller that plays with you and keeps you guessing. I couldn’t predict anything. In the end, however, for all its coldness, Mudvein crushed me emotionally. It’s not all a game. It is a true examination of unconditional love that transcends all, and this is where the payoff was for me. Included, is the LEAST trite examination of soulmates I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure that I can even convey the impact it had on me. Days later, I can’t stop thinking about it. It has made me rethink my ideas of what it means to love and be loved, that an HEA in the common sense isn’t always what we need. If you can handle the dark, you MUST read it. I read the last 2 pages to my husband with tears rolling down my face and that doesn’t happen often!
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