F. Whitney Harrington
Outskirts Press (2009)
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (01/10)
Derf is a farmer in West Virginia who is surprised when a spaceship lands in his fields. The two visitors, Kedion and CaSaundra, inform Derf that he has something they need on their planet. Apparently, the morning glory weeds that grow profusely on Derf’s land contain an element known as Prolifity which greatly slows down the aging process. In exchange for Derf providing them with these weeds, they promise to give him a great deal of money and some alien technology, as well as to teach him such skills as telepathy and telekinesis. Derf accepts their proposition but soon finds himself in danger as other aliens attempt to forcefully take the source of Prolifity.
The concept for this story is very intriguing and the plot in general is good but somehow I was left disappointed. It became monotonous at times due to what I considered too much idle conversation between the characters. The attempts by other townspeople to find out about the strange happenings on Derf’s farm were overdone. As was the fact that every time Kedion and CaSaundra visited, they partook of deerburgers with Provolone cheese and coffee with Kahlua.
“Weeds” falls under the category of fantasy but it contains elements of science fiction as well. There are references to the Stargate system of interplanetary travel. There is alien life with advanced technology in medicine and transportation. The strong points of this book lie in the interesting characters and the plot that leaves a lot of room for imagination. Personally, I think the author could have done so much more to create excitement and intrigue. The story starts strong and ends strong but the middle is somewhat flat. There could have been more character development and less conversation.
“Weeds” by F. Whitney Harrington would be appropriate for teenagers and adults. It was fun to see Derf, a seemingly simple man, encounter the visitors and witness life in their world. I also enjoyed watching him build a relationship with Silissia, another alien who was his doctor in the other world. They made a cute couple who genuinely cared about each other’s welfare.