Book Reviews

Review: The Abscission Zone by Samuel Muggington

I really wanted to like this book, but as I was doing more research, I began to feel an ominous music begin to play behind my back. The Abscission Zone has so much promise, and to a few degrees it fulfills its claims, but in many, and too many, it falls flat.


A freak accident renders Dr. Texie Raynott the victim of a killer pollen incident. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as many suspicious deaths follow. It seems that the plants are attacking humans. Texie and Dr. Dock Hatman seem to be one of Earth’s remaining hopes. The Abscission Zone follows the two unlikely heroes as they navigate the dangerous Earth and beyond.


When I first saw this book, I thought the plot sounded fantastic. (Someone later pointed out to me that it is reminiscent of The Happening). However, it failed to live up to many of the promises I predicted from the somewhat vague summary. I do want to begin with what I did enjoy: the scientific aspects. I am not a botanist, so I have no clue how accurate it is. But it did present a little light at the end of the tunnel to learn about a few of the more unusual plant varieties. But now on to what didn’t work for me: the plot and characters.

From the summary, the plot lacks a real purpose or outline. The book was no different. I felt like events just happened to the characters. Until the end, I was waiting for something to change or a resolution, but there never was one. It almost felt like we were watching all possible events occur, but merely as spectators. I felt it lacked a purpose and intrigue for my protagonists. It remained at the end, a mystery, and many things weren’t explained

On to the characters. While I had some empathy for them, I couldn’t connect to them at all. We rarely get glimpses into their thoughts, their memories, and they have very few ‘wants’. Dock and Texie seem to be primarily motivated by love, which is why I did empathize, but I couldn’t connect to them emotionally. At the end of the day I just didn’t really mind what happened to them. Additionally, characters would ‘die’ or just pop up again and I could never get a sense of the side characters. Even though there were many that held promise!

In conclusion,

I suppose that sums up my entire feelings about the book: it had promise, but ultimately it didn’t fulfill on its potential. I wanted to be surprised and have it exceed my expectations, but unfortunately it never did. Perhaps I should have taken a clue from Goodreads, but even till the end I was hoping it would turn around. However, if you want to read about these killer plants, then it is a quick read that does not take too much away from your day, but do not expect to fall in love with the characters.

You can check this book out on Amazon or Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.


What would you do if there were killer plants?

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