Devoted
From Dean Koontz, the international bestselling master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him.Woody Bookman hasn’t spoken a word in his eleven years of life. Not when his father died in a freak accident. Not when his mother, Megan, tells him she loves him. For Megan, keeping her boy safe and happy is what matters. But Woody believes a monstrous evil was behind his father’s death and now threatens him and his mother. And he’s not alone in his thoughts. An ally unknown to him is listening.A uniquely gifted dog with a heart as golden as his breed, Kipp is devoted beyond reason to people. When he hears the boy who communicates like he does, without speaking, Kipp knows he needs to find him before it’s too late.Woody’s fearful suspicions are taking shape. A man driven by a malicious evil has set a depraved plan into motion. And he’s coming after Woody and his mother. The reasons are primal. His powers are growing. And he’s not alone. Only a force greater than evil can stop what’s coming next.

Devoted Details

TitleDevoted
Author
ReleaseMar 31st, 2020
PublisherThomas & Mercer
ISBN-139781542019507
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Animals, Science Fiction, Dogs, Audiobook, Mystery Thriller

Devoted Review

  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    Nature was a green battlefield where the weak were forever preyed on by the strong. Nature did not care, nor did the earth, which for all its beauty was nonetheless a hard place, indifferent to its creatures. It was mind that mattered, mind that cared, mind that loved, the best works of the mind that changed this hard world for the better. Mindand hearthad bonded people and dogs for tens of thousands of years. They had formed an alliance for survival and a covenant of affection against the Nature was a green battlefield where the weak were forever preyed on by the strong. Nature did not care, nor did the earth, which for all its beauty was nonetheless a hard place, indifferent to its creatures. It was mind that mattered, mind that cared, mind that loved, the best works of the mind that changed this hard world for the better. Mind—and heart—had bonded people and dogs for tens of thousands of years. They had formed an alliance for survival and a covenant of affection against the darkness of the world. Dorothy Hummell smells of death. Kipp, her golden retriever for the last three years, knows. And when Dorothy finally crosses the rainbow bridge, Kipp follows his nose, well not his nose, exactly. He has been picking up an odd murmuring sound coming from the west by northwest, and is determined to check it out. It feels important. Kipp is not just a very, very good dog, he is a very, very special dog, and even he does not realize just how special he is, or what that specialness represents.Dean Koontz with a special friend - image from his FB pagesLee Shacker is a very, very bad man. A young CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company, he has salted away enough money to live the rest of his life in luxury, in Costa Rica. Lee is on the run. Seems the lab he was in charge of went boom, but instead of going down with the ship, this captain of dodgy industry fled in his well-appointed lifeboat, a very flashy Dodge Demon. Lee is special too, and not in a good way. Always a malignant narcissist, at best, he picked up a little something extra in the lab explosion, and is finding that it is possible for him to become even worse. Of course, he believes he is getting better and better. He is determined, to rekindle a flame that was once lit only in his tiny mind, by force if need be. A woman he had briefly dated years before. Neither the law nor any code of morality constrains him, because he knows them to be fantasies of order. In truth, the only rule by which anyone can live successfully, either in the wilds or in civilization, is the sole mandate of cruel Nature: Prey shall submit, and predators shall reign supreme. Lee’s ride. For a guy on the run he is not exactly going for a low profile - image from autoevolution.com Megan is a very good woman. Her husband, Jason, was killed years ago in a helicopter crash. She found the circumstances concerning enough that she keeps a gun in her home. Megan is mom to Woodrow Bookman, eleven. Woody is on the scale, has never spoken. Has not cried since he was four, when he began reading. He now reads at a college level and is an accomplished hacker. He has been looking into the circumstances surrounding his father’s death for some time, and has reached a conclusion. But has his poking around been noticed by people with things to hide? To Woody, the internet was a planet of its own, every site a village or a city with its neighborhoods and streets, a planet across which he traveled as if by magic, typing a brief incantation and, with a click, teleporting from one continent to another. There are a few more characters who figure significantly; Lee’s Bond-villain-evil boss, Dorian Purcell, a passel of hit-men, Dorothy’s good-as-gold caretaker, Rosa Leon, an honorable Medical Examiner, Carson Conroy, a white knight, Ben Hawkins, who is not only a retired SEAL but a writer of novels, and offers Koontz a chance to gripe about critics, and others; but Kipp, Megan, Woody, and Lee are the four pillars of the novel. This is a fast-paced page-burner of a thriller, offering characters that are not exactly deeply drawn, but who engage us nonetheless. The bad guys are really, really bad, the good guys are really, really good, and you will come away slightly out of breath, but very satisfied. The fun includes some sci-fi elements. Kipp can tune in on a special wavelength and pick up messages, or calls, or emanations, something, telepathically, and it is Woody’s unknowing distress call that sets Kipp off on his road trip.The implications of Kipp’s peculiar gift are considerable. Are there more like him? How did he come to have this ability? The science that was going on at Lee’s lab is of interest as well, both of the criminal/frankensteinian and potential-for-human-advancement sorts.Dean Koontz is nothing if not efficient. He is also predictable. I do not mean this as a criticism. When you pick up a Dean Koontz book, you know what you are getting. A thriller that may contain elements of horror, fantasy, and/or science fiction. I have read several, but that was before Goodreads, so retain only dim memories of them. The Nobel committee will not be poring through Koontz’s lifework. But that is like faulting an elephant for not being a gazelle. They are different creatures and do different things. Koontz cranks out a startling volume of work, and has since he began writing as a career in 1968, with over 105 novels to his credit, on top of novellas and collections of short stories. He has sold over 450 million copies of his sundry works. The guy’s gotta be doing something right. I was unable to confirm rumors that Koontz is actually an AI construct designed by some of the brighter lights at PARC, and that revenue from the resulting computer-generated novels funds ongoing research.On the other hand, he is a bit of a crank about things governmental and this took me out of the story at several points. A couple of examples: On Interstate 80, south of Colfax, they pulled into a rest stop that provided bathrooms as filthy as any in the state’s most deteriorated public schools. and As a citizen of the modern state, he had uncountable reasons to understand that a slight excess of power rapidly became a lethal excess, that when an agent of the state insisted he had come to help, there was at least a 70 percent chance that he had come to punish or pillage. There are more. Dude, please, switch off Rush and get back to the very engaging action. And it is one thing to show a recluse’s perception of a hostile government, but another to state that perspective as if it is a universally accepted fact. It’s the equivalent of a politician beginning some very partisan take on an issue with “Everybody knows that…”There are some shortcuts that are taken, which I cannot go into without being too spoilery, so I am putting those under a spoiler tag here  (view spoiler)[How did The Mysterium get its name?How did the Wire get its name?Is Kipp’s fondness for audio books a plug for Amazon?Even humans need to be taught language skills. Who taught Kipp to spell? Or is that included in how Kipp gains his language skills?How does Kipp know that grizzlies do not live in California? (hide spoiler)]And then there are some really lovely motifs spread throughout the novel that let you know you are in the hands of a pro. The title is echoed throughout. It is not just Kipp who is devoted, to Dorothy, and later Woody. Rosa was also devoted to Dorothy, Megan is devoted to her son, Dorian Purcell is devoted to himself, Lee is devoted (or would that be obsessed?) to regaining what he sees as a lost love. Birds make frequent appearances. Ravens, for example, show up during at least two of Lee’s crimes. Birds are flapping about in a mall when Dorian is set to meet a contact. Dreaming is also featured. Woody is a dreamer of the highest order. Kipp dreams of his experiences. The most frequently used motif is wind, whipping up as events are coming to a climax. Koontz has a lot of fun with it. the wind howled down on the house, not a nature sound empty of meaning, but a shriek of blackest madness----------------------------------------The wind sang requiem for the world, and it seemed to Carson that the chilly currents of harried air were more than that, were also time itself racing toward some plug that had been pulled, to drain away and leave the world eternally still, silent, and dark.----------------------------------------the sagging chain-link sang eerily in the wind: Hell’s harp strings strummed by a demon hand. Plastic bags of numerous origins, in a variety of conditions, caught in the gaps between the links, flapped and fluttered, producing a sound like a swarm of wings, as if a colony of bats were passing low overhead.----------------------------------------The wind raving like rabid wolves outside, the building seeming filled with machine sounds, as if the Robots of the Apocalypse were being manufactured there. And there are plenty more.I enjoyed the opposite paths taken by Lee and Woody, each touched by something alien, one becoming more human, the other becoming more bestial. I was also impressed with the concept that joined human and canine. In this, Koontz may have gone from notion to actualization in very quick steps, but this is why we have the lovely tool of suspension of disbelief.In short, you will certainly enjoy this very good book. And who knows? Maybe your dog will too. We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us. - Maurice MaeterlinckReview posted – February 7, 2020Publication date – April 16, 2020The publisher provided a review copy in return for a fair review. It was done in the usual way, no dogs or telepathy involved. =============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter, Instagram and FB pagesItems of Interest-----Special Agent Lewis Erskine-----How Dean Koontz Proved Anyone Can Be a Bestseller - by Travis McBee-----Wiki for the 1975 film A Boy and His Dog-----Wiki for the Harlen Ellison A Boy and His Dog stories on which the film was based-----Just a weeeeee bit fringy - Telepathic Animal Communication: What Is It? - by Mary J Getten – animal Communicator-----A wiki on The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo-----From an Introduction to Nineteenth Century Art, on Goya’s painting, Saturn Devouring His SonMusic-----Bridge Over Troubled Water-----Hopelessly Devoted to You-----Audrey Hepburn - Moon River - from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s-----Boyz II Men - 4 Seasons Of Loneliness -----Daniel Baremnboim plays Pathetique, a Beethoven sonata
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  • J.D. Barker
    January 1, 1970
    Normally when I get an ARC of a Koontz book I try to make it last, read no more than a chapter each day, savor it like a fine wine. With DEVOTED I managed to do that, for a little while. Then I found myself reading a bit longer every night, turning a few extra pages, until I couldnt help myself - with my daughter asleep in my lap, I read the final third of this incredible tale in a single sitting.Like many of you, I first discovered Koontz with a book called WATCHERS - the story of a laboratory Normally when I get an ARC of a Koontz book I try to make it last, read no more than a chapter each day, savor it like a fine wine. With DEVOTED I managed to do that, for a little while. Then I found myself reading a bit longer every night, turning a few extra pages, until I couldn’t help myself - with my daughter asleep in my lap, I read the final third of this incredible tale in a single sitting.Like many of you, I first discovered Koontz with a book called WATCHERS - the story of a laboratory enhanced dog with heightened intelligence and a keen sense of right and wrong on the run from an unimaginable evil. There is no savoring WATCHERS, this is one of those books you gulp down without apology. A thriller through-and-through, one you start in the afternoon and finish somewhere around three in the morning before wondering how you'll get up for work in two short hours. I remember closing the cover on that one and looking at my own dog, a German Shepard named Eva, asleep in the corner of the room and wondering if she'd been holding out on us for the last couple years - maybe a little smarter than she was willing to let on. Maybe unwilling to give up the free room and board. As with most Koontz books, the dog and characters end that story in a good place - the world is bright again and an unknown but promising future lies before them. I suppose that's part of the rub, because like many who read that book, I've often wondered what came next - not necessarily for the humans (because who really cares about the people, right?) but for that damn dog.While DEVOTED isn't a sequel in the traditional sense, it carries the story of WATCHERS into the present by dropping us into the life of a dog descended from the original. Smart, loyal, and kind, unsure of where he comes from or why he's different from most dogs but also knowing he's got a much bigger calling than simply being. This is also the story of Megan Bookman and her son, Woody. A very special little boy who has never spoken but has lots to say, particularly about the suspicious circumstances that took his father's life. When he stumbles into the truth, those responsible are watching, and they'll stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried.Sometimes sweet and poetic, other times dark and bitter, but always engaging, this is Koontz at his best.
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    I havent read a Dean Koontz book in years - but I enjoy his suspense-thriller books as much as the next guy. Devoted, will be released in stores in March, 2020.The stars in Devoted are:....Kipp, a golden retriever with special telepathic abilities. Kipp was physically strong, 70 pounds of muscle and bone. He was mentally strong to but emotionally compassion remained at odds with instinct. ....Woody Bookman: Brilliant, charming, autistic.....He hasnt spoken a word in his 11 years of life. ( by I haven’t read a Dean Koontz book in years - but I enjoy his suspense-thriller books as much as the next guy. “Devoted”, will be released in stores in March, 2020.The stars in “Devoted” are:....Kipp, a golden retriever with special telepathic abilities. Kipp was physically strong, 70 pounds of muscle and bone. He was mentally strong to… but emotionally… compassion remained at odds with instinct. ....Woody Bookman: Brilliant, charming, autistic.....He hasn’t spoken a word in his 11 years of life. ( by choice...for reasons we will discover as time goes on).Woody was a smart kid, who had been reading at college level since he was seven years of age. “which maybe didn’t mean a whole lot, considering that many college graduates didn’t seem to knowanything”. ( humor like this can be found throughout)...Woody was also an accomplished computer hacker. Woody spends hours on the computer. Without realizing it, he made a target for himself by researching his fathers ‘accidental’ death. His fathers killers are now coming after him. ....Megan Bookman, ( mom).She loves her son, Woody, more then life itself - and simply wants to protect him.Megan is a widow of Jason.... who died in a helicopter crash.....Lee Shacket, was Jason’s best friend. Little does Megan ‘really’ know him. Lee is gloomy, sick-at-heart, joyless, barbaric, and bloodthirsty. He has $1 million in cash in his car... and is on the run...He blew up a research facility owned by his company, ‘Refine’. Something went terribly wrong in those Utah laboratories. He has murdered close associates and total strangers. Lee fancies Megan. He plans to take her with him on his escape to Costa Rica... but without Woody. But Woody and his mom have a guardian angel - an allied on their side: Kipp. Kipp receives the thoughts of human beings... and received one from Woody. He knows Woody is in trouble and will do anything to help. Fun thriller ride -filled with warmth -suspense, (but not terribly intense) -with memorable main and minor characters.“All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog” ...Franz Kafka “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” ...Josh Billings
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  • Tonya
    January 1, 1970
    Outstanding Dean Koontz read, Devoted grabbed my attention from the first chapter and did not let go! Seriously good. I am not as interested today in telling you what the book is about as that is what a synopsis is for...I will share that the writing, characters, story- line and twisty plots are really great from the beginning. I can not think of any place where this book drags. Hoping that the stories of Woody, his mom and friends continues... especially the dogs! I found myself having so much Outstanding Dean Koontz read, Devoted grabbed my attention from the first chapter and did not let go! Seriously good. I am not as interested today in telling you what the book is about as that is what a synopsis is for...I will share that the writing, characters, story- line and twisty plots are really great from the beginning. I can not think of any place where this book drags. Hoping that the stories of Woody, his mom and friends continues... especially the dogs! I found myself having so much compassion for many of the characters in the book because I felt like I knew them, knew what they felt and thought so well from the writing. I also found several bad guys that I did not like - and for the same reasons... they were written out so well and developed enough that I felt like I was in the scenes with them!Big compliments to Dean Koontz. It has been awhile since I have enjoyed his writing... now I am ready for more!This book involves the supernatural or the extra gifts that seem so extraordinary that it is hard to imagine them being real. Koontz makes it believable, and I can really tell that he knows the natures of dogs..specifically golden retrievers in all their loyalty and love. Kindle Unlimited Selection!
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  • Kacy❁
    January 1, 1970
    This was the complete opposite of what I expected, and I have no idea how to explain why I am disappointed. First of all, I really thought this would be more about golden retrievers, but boy was I wrong..Try more along the lines of a super creepy villain and his weirdness.But then the main villain gets put on the back burner of the story and it gets BORING AF because all of these new characters are introduced and have zero depth. I feel like it was just missing so much!It was a solid 4 star This was the complete opposite of what I expected, and I have no idea how to explain why I am disappointed. First of all, I really thought this would be more about golden retrievers, but boy was I wrong..Try more along the lines of a super creepy villain and his weirdness.But then the main villain gets put on the back burner of the story and it gets BORING AF because all of these new characters are introduced and have zero depth. I feel like it was just missing so much!It was a solid 4 star until we hit halfway, then it just went downhill from there. Very anticlimactic. I was really expecting to love this like I did Odd Thomas. Maybe next time.
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  • Cody | CodysBookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    If youre into psychic dog hotlines and mute children fantasizing of licking dead mens gums, have I got a book for you! I really struggled with deciding how to rate this book, but Im feeling generous and I really fing loved this and it made my heart full, which is really all anyone can ask for in these confusing times. Its weird, but in a classic Koontzy way. Ya know, the reason you fell in love with Dean Koontz in the first place? Remember the man turning into a computer in Midnight? Remember If you’re into psychic dog hotlines and mute children fantasizing of licking dead men’s gums, have I got a book for you! I really struggled with deciding how to rate this book, but I’m feeling generous and I really f’ing loved this and it made my heart full, which is really all anyone can ask for in these confusing times. It’s weird, but in a classic Koontzy way. Ya know, the reason you fell in love with Dean Koontz in the first place? Remember the man turning into a computer in Midnight? Remember the end of The Taking? Yeah, that is the Koontz who wrote Devoted (and I have to say a better title for this novel would’ve been Transhuman, but I can understand why Thomas & Mercer probably wouldn’t have wanted to open that can o’ worms . . .)Here we’ve got dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. We’ve got a hyper-intelligent autistic child. We’ve got mourning hot widows, muscle-bound Navy SEALS, an inhuman and paranoid villain. This is Koontz, folks, and he’s playing the greatest hits. What separates this effort from the turgid shit he put out in the late ‘00s and early ‘10s is he’s writing like he gives a damn again. He made me believe. Perhaps changing publisher houses did it, or maybe he has a new editor? But this is vital Koontz, Koontz embracing all his weird dorky tendencies and creating a dynamic story. I’m purposefully not going into specifics because spoilers. I want folks to read this, and (hopefully) enjoy. When I first stumbled across this book’s synopsis I groaned, just knowing it would be a repeat of so many Koontz books that came before it . . . instead this has the heart and inventiveness of Watchers, the wacky spirituality of From the Corner of His Eye, the techie paranoia of the Jane Hawk saga, yet this book is wholly memorable and necessary all its own. What makes the difference, I think, is the characters. These are some of my favorite Koontz characters to date, especially sweet Woody. I work with mentally challenged people, and I can say I think Koontz nails them well. But I can’t say for sure—I am not autistic myself. And there’s Megan, Rosa, Kipp . . . people (and doggies!) I won’t soon forget. This book proves there’s still gas in the ole Koontz tank.
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  • Greg Markwardt
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 So this one started well and actually had a few decently scary moments. I thought we may be going back to some of the older Koontz that I fondly remember. However towards the last quarter of the novel it started to unravel. Too many new characters were introduced and never expounded upon and while things wrapped up nice enough it made the last half less enjoyable to read. It checks the Dean Koontz hit lists: genius dog, handicapped child, and sinister douce bag, monster, or some 3.5/5 So this one started well and actually had a few decently scary moments. I thought we may be going back to some of the older Koontz that I fondly remember. However towards the last quarter of the novel it started to unravel. Too many new characters were introduced and never expounded upon and while things wrapped up nice enough it made the last half less enjoyable to read. It checks the Dean Koontz hit lists: genius dog, handicapped child, and sinister douce bag, monster, or some combination of the two. Still a decent read specifically during the earlier parts, but having a solid protagonist and intruder story was way more thrilling than the main plot involving super intelligent canines and political cover up of other things going on that were probably explained but I just zoned out to.
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  • Yodamom
    January 1, 1970
    Woot Woot Second Book I've won this week. I have been depressed this is a bit in sunshine in this pandemic nightmare
  • Lance Kirby
    January 1, 1970
    This is another quintessential Dean Koontz book that any fan of his will have trouble putting down I highly recommend it and if I was greedy I would of loved this to be the start of a series rather than a stand alone
  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    Dnf. This book is like another version of his past book Watchers. But instead of one highly intelligent dog there are others. IMO this book lacks originality. And I'm come to realize that although this author writes great suspense scenes, his brand of horror falls on the old fashioned side.
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  • Angelique
    January 1, 1970
    So so good!! Golden retriever Kipp is wonderful. This book had so much of the feel of Watchers. I hope Koontz continues this story line.
  • Vannetta Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    I am usually a Dean Koontz fan, and especially his books that feature dogs. And while I wanted to like Devoted, I didn't. It was a struggle to finish. The premise is good -- who doesn't like dogs let alone special dogs. And they're helping an autistic boy. Unfortunately, things go downhill from there.In particular,--the bad guys were ridiculously "bad"--the action-packed scenes were too crass and violent, even for a mainstream novel--the good characters were one dimensional--but by far the I am usually a Dean Koontz fan, and especially his books that feature dogs. And while I wanted to like Devoted, I didn't. It was a struggle to finish. The premise is good -- who doesn't like dogs let alone special dogs. And they're helping an autistic boy. Unfortunately, things go downhill from there.In particular,--the bad guys were ridiculously "bad"--the action-packed scenes were too crass and violent, even for a mainstream novel--the good characters were one dimensional--but by far the biggest problem I had with this book is there was simply too much telling. Pages and pages describing the bad guy's mansion. Pages and pages describing the protagonist cooking or painting. Just lots of pages where nothing happens but the reader is being told stuff.If this is your first Koontz book, I highly recommend you try another. There are some good ones out there. This just isn't one of them.
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  • Donna Magoun
    January 1, 1970
    They are very few times in your life when you read a book that feels like magic. This book is. There is violence and mystery and sadness in it but an overriding sense of specialness and amazement that lifts this book above most.
  • Carrie Shields
    January 1, 1970
    I did not want this beautiful story to end! I've loved this man's writing since I was 15 years old. He's an amazing storyteller, but the one thing that sets his stories apart is that he believes in the goodness of man. No matter how vile a villain he creates, and he's created some of the worst, the promise of hope and good always supercedes evil.
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  • Angela Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Another golden retriever?!! Seriously?!! It's like Koontz has been set on repeat. Jesus...No thanks.
  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a Dean Koontz fan for thirty years. I admit that I have not read all his work, but Devoted, his newest, reminded me again what a skilled and deft writer he is.Woody Bookman is autistic, eleven years old and convinced that his dad did not die accidentally, according to his mom. Woody also believes that a strange and unknown monster is coming for him and his mom. And nobody will believe or help. This is the story of Devoted. Koontz writes with a veteran assurance and confidence that I have been a Dean Koontz fan for thirty years. I admit that I have not read all his work, but Devoted, his newest, reminded me again what a skilled and deft writer he is.Woody Bookman is autistic, eleven years old and convinced that his dad did not die accidentally, according to his mom. Woody also believes that a strange and unknown monster is coming for him and his mom. And nobody will believe or help. This is the story of Devoted. Koontz writes with a veteran assurance and confidence that only a few possess. Think of Stephan King, James Patterson, and David Baldacci. Now add Koontz to this list. Combine terrific writing, outstanding plotting, and wonderful pacing. When you do you have Devoted, one of the best new books to come out in quite a while.
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  • Kate Ayers
    January 1, 1970
    Plain and simple: I loved it. It's been probably 15 years since I read a Koontz book. Glad I came back. His love for dogs shines through in Devoted. Kipp is a Golden Retriever who loses his elderly companion. Kipp has a special connection to other highly intelligent dogs on the Wire, and when his lady dies, he senses a need from Woody, an 11-year-old autistic boy. Thus begins a classic Good vs. Evil struggle. It's a delight to read although it can be tough sometimes because the bad man has sunk Plain and simple: I loved it. It's been probably 15 years since I read a Koontz book. Glad I came back. His love for dogs shines through in Devoted. Kipp is a Golden Retriever who loses his elderly companion. Kipp has a special connection to other highly intelligent dogs on the Wire, and when his lady dies, he senses a need from Woody, an 11-year-old autistic boy. Thus begins a classic Good vs. Evil struggle. It's a delight to read although it can be tough sometimes because the bad man has sunk so deep into the dark side you dread what might come next. But, wow, the pairing of a powerful, loving dog with a bright, special child is magical.
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  • Trish R.
    January 1, 1970
    OMG I loved this book. It was soooo totally different than any other mystery Ive ever read.Love, love, loved Megan and her autistic son Woody. Well, and Ben, Rosa, Dorothy, Carson and that wonderful dog Kipp. What a fantastic book. There were a lot of characters in this, but you really didnt have to remember a lot of their names. Oh, and all the bad guys got exactly what they deserved, especially, Dorian and Shacket! And there was no romance. The F-bomb was used 9 times.As to the narration: Holy O…M…G… I loved this book. It was soooo totally different than any other mystery I’ve ever read.Love, love, loved Megan and her autistic son Woody. Well, and Ben, Rosa, Dorothy, Carson and that wonderful dog Kipp. What a fantastic book. There were a lot of characters in this, but you really didn’t have to remember a lot of their names. Oh, and all the bad guys got exactly what they deserved, especially, Dorian and Shacket! And there was no romance. The F-bomb was used 9 times.As to the narration: Holy crap!!! Edoardo Ballerini was absolutely awesome!
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  • Carolyn Stover
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 actually. Pluses were the bond between dogs and humans, and especially the story of kip and his humans. Lots of action. This was just a bit too gruesome for me in many spots.
  • Kat, lover of bears...
    January 1, 1970
    If Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and the Jane Hawk series had a baby... it would be this book. Lee Shacket is ruthless, deranged, sick, megalomaniac. Megan is his obsession and Woodrow is her high functioning, non-verbal autistic son. Our hero is Kipp, a highly intelligent golden lab (anyone who moans over another dog in a Koontz story, scroll on, I have no time for your negativity). Being a dog lover, I enjoy the amazing dogs Koontz is fond of weaving into his stories. If only.....The way If Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and the Jane Hawk series had a baby... it would be this book. Lee Shacket is ruthless, deranged, sick, megalomaniac. Megan is his obsession and Woodrow is her high functioning, non-verbal autistic son. Our hero is Kipp, a highly intelligent golden lab (anyone who moans over “another dog” in a Koontz story, scroll on, I have no time for your negativity). Being a dog lover, I enjoy the amazing dogs Koontz is fond of weaving into his stories. If only.....The way Koontz writes his characters; each chapter contains a handful of characters that he lets us get to know thoroughly before moving onto another chapter and handful of characters. I never need to keep a list of characters in a Koontz book because he develops them so completely and individually before adding more. Several things I can happily count on with a Koontz book:Believable characters (sick or not)Good people doing amazing things for other good peopleGolden Labs <3The “what if?” FactorA satisfying ending
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  • Michael Kress
    January 1, 1970
    I'm more of a cat person.This is the second comfort-read I've completed during quarantine, and it was interesting enough that I finished it rather quickly. The only other book I can think of about a dog that I've read is Cujo, and Cujo is more suitable to my taste. Koontz's characters are easily divided up as either good or evil, with hardly any middle ground. The good guys seemed too goody-goody; it would've been nice if they'd had one or two vices. The bad guys, with their adventures and I'm more of a cat person.This is the second comfort-read I've completed during quarantine, and it was interesting enough that I finished it rather quickly. The only other book I can think of about a dog that I've read is Cujo, and Cujo is more suitable to my taste. Koontz's characters are easily divided up as either good or evil, with hardly any middle ground. The good guys seemed too goody-goody; it would've been nice if they'd had one or two vices. The bad guys, with their adventures and schemes, on the other hand, were more interesting. Dorian Purcell was one of the most interesting villains and it was fun to explore the inner world of this demented, powerful, hedonistic, sociopath. Kipp, the dog, was one of the worst characters. As much as he was portrayed as a perfect, virtuous individual, he still had these annoying opinions about abstract art and nose rings, among other things, which I imagine are the same as the opinion of the author. As much as I complained about some aspects of the book, it was still entertaining and Koontz is an insanely talented author.
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  • Kira FlowerChild
    January 1, 1970
    I used to read Dean Koontz books, but I haven't in a long time. Now I remember why. When it got to the point in this book where I was skipping more pages than I was reading, I gave up.The idea of sentient dogs is an attractive one, especially for dog lovers like me. It's not a new one, of course. As early as 1944, Clifford D. Simak wrote about a society of intelligent canines. And one could look as far back as 4,000 years to the story of Balaam and the ass to find a talking donkey.However, I do I used to read Dean Koontz books, but I haven't in a long time. Now I remember why. When it got to the point in this book where I was skipping more pages than I was reading, I gave up.The idea of sentient dogs is an attractive one, especially for dog lovers like me. It's not a new one, of course. As early as 1944, Clifford D. Simak wrote about a society of intelligent canines. And one could look as far back as 4,000 years to the story of Balaam and the ass to find a talking donkey.However, I do not like books that feature extensive passages from the point of view of a serial killer or madman. Some of the things this one was thinking about made me physically ill. That's when I first started skimming. I got to 60% in the book, skimming at least 30%, when I stopped. Never reading Koontz again.
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  • Renee V. Reingold
    January 1, 1970
    Fabulous ReadOnce again Mr. Koontz has out done himself with this book. Without giving away anything, think Watchers. Please hit me again!
  • Deborah Brown
    January 1, 1970
    So disappointing. Like Watchers rewritten by a 9 year old. He used to be one of my favorite authors, but the last 10 or 15 years, he's become a pretentious, pompous, overly verbose blowhard.
  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    Devoted by Dean Koontz. Loved Kipp, reminiscent of THE WATCHERS which is an all time favorite by Mr. Koontz, and would have liked to read more Kipp's background and interactions. A multitude of vile, evil villains populate the story. Parts of the book are gory, violent and repulsive but balanced with the charm and appeal of Kipp, Woody and Megan and the good guys/dogs. Devoted by Dean Koontz. Loved Kipp, reminiscent of THE WATCHERS which is an all time favorite by Mr. Koontz, and would have liked to read more Kipp's background and interactions. A multitude of vile, evil villains populate the story. Parts of the book are gory, violent and repulsive but balanced with the charm and appeal of Kipp, Woody and Megan and the “good guys/dogs”.
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  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    Dogs and humans have a long history of loving and living with each other. Our four-legged friends are becoming ever more special. In DEVOTED, Kipp, a golden retriever, has been a companion to Dorothy, who unfortunately is on her deathbed. He stays by her side to the bitter end, then mourns her passing. Dorothy always understood how extraordinary Kipps mind and abilities were, and she planned ahead for that.Kipp, though, made a plan, too, and his involves 11-year-old Woody Bookman, a boy Dogs and humans have a long history of loving and living with each other. Our four-legged friends are becoming ever more special. In DEVOTED, Kipp, a golden retriever, has been a companion to Dorothy, who unfortunately is on her deathbed. He stays by her side to the bitter end, then mourns her passing. Dorothy always understood how extraordinary Kipp’s mind and abilities were, and she planned ahead for that.Kipp, though, made a plan, too, and his involves 11-year-old Woody Bookman, a boy suffering from autism. Woody has been mute his entire life, never speaking, except when alone in his backyard, in the dark late at night, softly whispering encouragement to the nearby deer. His mother, Megan, treasures him above all else in her life, even more now than ever. She lost her husband, Jason --- Woody’s father --- to a helicopter crash years ago. Woody means the world to her, and, although he can’t say it, she means the world to him. And Jason’s death has left a huge hole in both of their hearts. All of that love has given them amazing strength.Now Kipp is on the way to find the boy. He knows Woody is going to need him --- very soon. Something momentous is happening, and the boy’s future may depend on the dog. An explosion at a Utah research facility seems like a totally unrelated event, except that the lone survivor is obsessed with Megan. That man, Lee Shacket, has set out on a mission to make her his own. He believes that Jason stole Megan from him, and now he intends to right that wrong. Shacket’s journey, though, is no less fraught with obstacles than is Kipp’s, as each makes his way toward the Bookman house in tiny Pine Haven, just as a dawning consciousness begins to awaken in Woody. This peaceful little town has never seen the likes of what is coming their way.DEVOTED is a classic tale of good vs. evil. Shacket may never have been evil personified exactly, but he likely was not a good person much of his life. And now, at this point, with his judgment possibly affected by outside influences, he may be unable to tell right from wrong. Or could it be that he doesn’t care? Meanwhile, the partnership formed by Kipp and Woody gives them a strength larger than the sum of a boy and a dog, and brings others in, too, to fight off the evil.Dean Koontz’s love for dogs shines through brilliantly in this wonderful, frightening tale. He infuses Kipp with all of the best qualities of our canine buddies, and then amps it up many levels beyond. And the pairing of an exceptional dog with an autistic child is perfect. Woody makes the ideal receptacle for Kipp’s powerful message of hope. This is a page-turner for certain, but sometimes it’s so scary you might want to resist turning that next page. Koontz has a flawless intuition for knowing precisely how much tension to mount before backing off. Nonetheless, you may need to read some parts of DEVOTED with one eye closed.Reviewed by Kate Ayers
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  • Nathan
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It was classic Koontz style but brought in elements of the dark web, Trans humanism, people being owned yet playing a fake roll, white hats, conspiracy theories and telepathy. I started it yesterday and finished it today. 1 of my favorite books ever by him, with characters and different elements of the story that was multilayered depending on what you believe and how you perceive the world in general and what you know and have researched and what you believe I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It was classic Koontz style but brought in elements of the dark web, Trans humanism, people being owned yet playing a fake roll, white hats, conspiracy theories and telepathy. I started it yesterday and finished it today. 1 of my favorite books ever by him, with characters and different elements of the story that was multilayered depending on what you believe and how you perceive the world in general and what you know and have researched and what you believe about different things, that is unlike any other I have read. It had some of his basic elements but reached out and took on a lot of controversial topics and subjects that needed to be addressed and talked about so it was unlike any of his other books and so surprising that it got released when the world is quarantined, and his book from 1981 speaks about a virus that is transmitted person to person, that originates in China, called Wuhan something. This book talks about a world changing event as well although I won't give any more away than that. I loved this audio book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Dean Koontz, who has read him and wants a little old mixed with new, anyone who has never read him who wants a great first book by him to start with or anyone looking for a great story that opens up ideas and things just enough to get you interested in the truth behind different things that will have you questioning what you thought you knew or believed about things and make you want to research further if you are not already on that journey, also, to anyone who is on that journey and the timing and the topics will not seem coincidental at all to you. He put in enough truth and layered it into a fiction story that it was very informative and well done!
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  • Johnny
    January 1, 1970
    The classic Koontz is back! It has been five years since he released a standalone story. The last was "Ashley Bell" in 2015, also worth it. In the meantime, he wrote the thriller series about Jane Hawk, but it never really charmed me. "Devoted", on the other hand, is the kind of book that makes me want to reread his entire oeuvre.Those who know Koontz's books from the 80s and 90s will see a lot of them in this new story. We have the damsel in distress, of course very beautiful, who accidentally The classic Koontz is back! It has been five years since he released a standalone story. The last was "Ashley Bell" in 2015, also worth it. In the meantime, he wrote the thriller series about Jane Hawk, but it never really charmed me. "Devoted", on the other hand, is the kind of book that makes me want to reread his entire oeuvre.Those who know Koontz's books from the 80s and 90s will see a lot of them in this new story. We have the damsel in distress, of course very beautiful, who accidentally meets her knight in shining armor, obviously a guy with a military background who knows how to handle things, like Nora and Travis in "Watchers" (and there are more similarities with this book that fans will enjoy discovering as they read). We have a clever child with a disability, such as Regina in "Hideaway", but he's also a bit like Barty in "From the Corner of His Eye" and Milo in "Relentless". We have a villain whose science experiment fails and transforms him, like Eric Leben in "Shadowfires" and Thomas Shaddack in "Midnight". And of course we also have a dog, like Einstein in "Watchers", and Woofer in "Dragon Tears".You might think, "But then you've read all of this before, right?" And yes, the book follows the old familiar formula, it is more a combination of already used elements than an original story. Koontz also applies his own style. Many chapters start with a short placement of the characters without using verbs, which I find very cool but which I always have to adjust in my own Creative Writing lessons. Everything is told from the third person past tense, except the chapters of the villain, where Koontz uses the present tense. A technique that he has been applying for years and that provides extra dynamism. The story takes place in two days. What I love about the graphic design is that the book consists of four main parts. Part one starts with a title page with a microscopic image of cells. With each subsequent part we zoom out until we actually get the tree that is also on the cover.Despite the familiar elements, the story is exciting, definitely fresh, perhaps a little less humorous than we are used to, perhaps a little too preachy than what many people, who are fans of the old Koontz but dropped out in the last decade, would like. But it all works for me personally. Maybe it's because of the nostalgia, and sometimes I just need something familiar. I am already looking forward to his next book, "Elsewhere", to be released in late October.
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  • Ozsaur
    January 1, 1970
    I read Watchers years ago and enjoyed it, so I was hoping this one would be similar. It is, sort of. It's not a direct sequel, but there are definite ties. You don't need to read Watchers to understand this one.There are several plot threads that meander around but eventually tie up at the end. There's Woody (an eleven year old autistic boy), Kipp (an intelligent dog), Ben (an ex-Navy Seal), Shacket (one of the bad guys) and many more. That's one of the issues I had with the book. Far too many I read Watchers years ago and enjoyed it, so I was hoping this one would be similar. It is, sort of. It's not a direct sequel, but there are definite ties. You don't need to read Watchers to understand this one.There are several plot threads that meander around but eventually tie up at the end. There's Woody (an eleven year old autistic boy), Kipp (an intelligent dog), Ben (an ex-Navy Seal), Shacket (one of the bad guys) and many more. That's one of the issues I had with the book. Far too many characters, all of them named and with their own history, and most of them dead or gone within pages of being introduced. Was it really necessary to know the names of every business partner, assassin, police officer, and random side character?The other issue was Lee Shacket. His chapters were told in present tense, and every time I was reading along and getting into the flow of the story, I was jarred by the tense change. Not to mention there were far too many chapters from his ugly POV. Fully half could have been cut out, and it would have tightened the pacing considerably. It wasn't a terrible book. I loved Kipp, I'm a total sucker for dogs. I liked many of the ideas, like the telepathy, and the evolution of humans and dogs. The author's writing style is polished, but needs content editing. Even popular professional writers need editors. If you go in expecting something like Watchers you're going to be disappointed. If you take it for what it is, a messy, sometimes suspenseful book with a cute dog, you might like it.
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  • Shawn Callon
    January 1, 1970
    I was an avid reader of Dean's novels years ago but wanted a change so I switched genres. So I'm reviewing this book as if his work was a new experience for me. Devoted is really well structured with well-developed characters. I liked how he framed Woody - how he would retreat to his pretend castle if he felt threatened and how he was able at such a young age to delve into the dark web to discover his father's murderers. It is a great thriller, kept encouraging me to work out the ending. There I was an avid reader of Dean's novels years ago but wanted a change so I switched genres. So I'm reviewing this book as if his work was a new experience for me. Devoted is really well structured with well-developed characters. I liked how he framed Woody - how he would retreat to his pretend castle if he felt threatened and how he was able at such a young age to delve into the dark web to discover his father's murderers. It is a great thriller, kept encouraging me to work out the ending. There were some excellent surprises, in particular the appearance of all those special dogs and their owners who helped to overcome and capture the four killers intent on removing Woody, Ben,etc. I liked the way Dean defined Ben's character - the way Ben dealt with the four killers. What concerned me were the number of characters and the aliases some of them used. I really had to keep on top of all these folks otherwise I would have lost the plot. I like Dean's style of writing - the imaginative way he paints his characters, the action and the environment. I'm not a great lover of the supernatural so I did not really appreciate the canine/human co-development thesis that the book promoted.This review was written by Shawn Callon author of The Diplomatic Spy.
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