Review: The Plants by Kenneth McKenney

It is the most stupendous summer England has ever known. Long hot days relieved by refreshing showers transform the country into a garden of paradise. In the little village of Brandling, vegetation is growing in lush profusion. Gardens are thriving. But the people of Brandling are not. They are being stalked, strangled, mutilated by…The Plants!

The Plants by Kenneth McKenney. Golden Apple paperback edition, December 1984, 244 pages. Originally published in the UK, 1976.

Oh man! The premise for this story is right up my alley! Plants are out to get humans. Why are the plants rebelling? Because they are tired of humans destroying the planet! I love that kind of stuff! And just look at that cover! So cool!! I couldn’t wait to read this book.

Starts off pretty slow. The first 6 chapters don’t really do much… Mostly just people saying the weather is weird and a squash growing really large. Ok. That’s cool… We are slowly moving along, building up how something is just not right in this town. Cool, cool. I don’t mind the slow build because I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop, the storm to break…


It never really does. Man, this book was way too slow. It never felt like we got anywhere! It felt like the plot just kept moving in the same circles and never really progressing much at all! Again and again the main characters just kept repeating the same info dumps over and over again while sprinkling in a lot of overly preachy social commentary about environmental concerns.

Holy cacti was The Plants boring AF! Wow. Not a high body count, not much crazy carnage at all. The majority of the book the plants just stood there and trembled in warning. And…….. NOTHING! Nothing really happened! Sure, a few people die through the book, but the plant action was super underutilized! Extremely disappointing! šŸ˜¦

Along with the super slow-goes-nowhere plot, you have the vaguest explanations ever. Like, this whole side story with Dr. Martin. He is doing an experiment on bean sprouts to see if they can remember things. The doctor has them on a tray, with these flashing lights above them. The lights are flashing in a sequence order. He is tracking to see if the bean sprouts can figure out the correct sequence of the lights coming on. Er….. Ok. Some how he figures out that not only are the bean sprouts guessing it correctly, but now they are starting to predict the colors in advance, which leads the good doctor to the conclusion that the bean sprouts can now predict the future and that they are telepathic. Uh….. Do what now?? So the author doesn’t explain how the doctor figured any of this shit out. It was so vague and ultra convoluted that it just left you feeling kind of confused as to what was going on. If you don’t want to explain something, that’s fine, but you can’t just start making insane leaps in logic without some sort of follow up or explaination as to how you got there!

Let’s talk about the dialogue real quick. Yowie wowie! It was so….unnatural. It felt stilted and forced. None of it had any sort of flow to it. It made me cringe and it didn’t help you feel any great connection, empathy, or warmth towards anyone. The tone is just all over the place! One minute we are all panicking, the next minute we are basically sitting down for a beer and a calm chat. Then we are all angry and yelling. Next second we are scared. It just felt so inconsistent and this sort of thing just made it frustrating and no fun at all. All that tension you built up in the first half of the book is just gone by this point.

The characters aren’t much better. I legit don’t know what is going on with half of these characters. Like, what the hell is going on with the main character and his wife? They don’t like each other most of the book, but it’s not adequately explained ( just like everything else in The Plants), and just leaves you really confused about what’s going on.

This was just…. yikes! I was so sad that it turned to to be so…. not fun. D: I had been looking forward to this for a while and was so disappointed… and I’m an extremely lenient reader. I can over look a lot of things… but this… It was… Hard. To. Read. D:


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