Top critical review
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS POTENTIAL SPOILERS
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2016
Mud Vein is the first book I've read by Fisher. I love horror and spec fic and dark fic and, based on the description, I thought I was getting some dark fic with a nice little mystery. Nope. What I got was disappointed by a romance, again (I don't like romance novels and if that is the point of a book I generally choose not to read it). Granted, it wasn't a traditional bodice ripper, but it was an exploration of a woman's feeling about finding love (her "true love" versus her "soulmate") in a ridiculous setting.
Being an avid reader of fiction, there is an active suspension of belief that happens when I read sci-fi, horror, dark fic, etc., but when they're well fleshed-out, there's a feeling of realism to them. Nothing made sense: not her horrible predicament(s), the hastily pulled together explanation for the execution of the plan in the last few chapters of the book, the psychological back-story of the Senna/Brenna, the love interests, or her eventual acceptance. Also, and I'm not apologizing for this (spoiler alert and there's also a bad word so skip the rest of this sentence and the next if necessary, but it really doesn't ruin the story), but what the actual heck was the author thinking about when she basically had Isaac stalking a rape victim to "help her." Seriously?! Yeah, well, see, Senna just lived through something vile and life-altering, but let me have this stranger dude (who happens to be a doctor who, did I mention, DOESN'T KNOW HER and just decides to insert himself into her life, because, hey, yeah, that's ethical) shadow her 24/7 and not give her a moment alone because THAT will make her feel more comfortable. I think the getting a restraining order against him was one of the smartest things she did in the entire book.
Why two stars? The writing isn't bad. I was able to finish the book. Fisher also happened to reference one of my favorite songs (however, I really don't think it fit because, well, see above).
This is definitely a potential spoiler, so possibly stop reading here. Mud veins aren't poisonous (it was mentioned that they were). They're simply the digestive tract of a shrimp and look unsightly. In small shrimp, most times they go unnoticed. In larger shrimp, it may affect the taste a little, but it won't make you sick, let alone poison you. So the implication of Senna's toxicity by comparing her to a mud vein really doesn't work.