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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.

389 pages, Hardcover

First published March 31, 2020

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About the author

Dean Koontz

955 books35.1k followers
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

Facebook: Facebook.com/DeanKoontzOfficial
Twitter: @DeanKoontz
Website: DeanKoontz.com

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Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,309 reviews120k followers
May 4, 2020
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 pages

Lee 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.
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 

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 Maeterlinck

Review posted – February 7, 2020

Publication date – April 16, 2020

The publisher provided a review copy in return for a fair review. It was done in the usual way, no dogs or telepathy involved.

=============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s personal, Twitter, Instagram and FB pages

Items 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 Son

-----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
Profile Image for Peter.
2,778 reviews498 followers
July 26, 2020
This is the first full length novel from Dean Koontz I read since the early 90s. He still has all his typical ingredients. Genetic experiments gone wrong, an out of control tycoon, a fairy tale relationship between dog and autistic boy having a telepathic communication by the "wire", romance between man and woman who fall in love, heartwarming stuff and brutal psychopath and former CEO (Lee Shacket) on the loose on the other hand. I especially liked the tour of Lee Shacket and what he became in the end (some really hard gory scenes here). Reading this novel was like a timewarp back to the 80s. This is a typical Koontz novel with conspiracy theory, corrupt authorities, transhumanism, a compelling mixture between hard thriller, bit of horror, fantasy and fairy tale. Koontz really imagines weird personalities like no one else. Lee Shacket is a character you can really be afraid of. Overall an excellent novel that kept you reading. Koontz sticks to his guns. If you like an intriguing story you definitely should have a look here. Reads like a movie!
Profile Image for J.D. Barker.
Author 18 books4,939 followers
February 19, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
2,033 reviews765 followers
September 19, 2023
This novel took me by surprise. The villain is so heinous and twisted that I felt sick when he showed up. 🤮 Koontz did a tremendous job with this character.

Pinehaven, California. Megan is a widow and has to protect her son Woody who is smart and also described as high-functioning autistic. Her husband Jason died in a helicopter crash, Woody believes his dad was murdered.

A friend of Jason who dated Megan briefly before she got married is on the run after the company's research had a major setback. He's CREEEEPY!

Kipp, a golden retriever with telepathic abilities knows Woody is in trouble and has to rescue the boy.

As much as I hate the creepy dude, he was the fun part of the book and made the story interesting. I felt the story dragged a bit in the second half with many characters to keep track of. The conclusion was good (maybe wrapped up too neatly), love all the dogs and it felt like a big happy family. 3.5⭐

A buddy read with Jennifer and she loves this one.
Profile Image for Kacy❁.
351 reviews44 followers
July 24, 2020
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. The title should've been "Deceived".
Try more along the lines of a super creepy villain and his weird actions and thoughts and urges (ew).
But then the main villain gets put on the back burner of the story like he isn't important anymore 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 and didn't hold my attention long as if the story was rushed.

I was going to rate it 4 star until we hit maybe 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.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews598 followers
December 31, 2019
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 know
anything”. ( 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

Profile Image for Rick.
Author 114 books1,031 followers
May 3, 2020
I think I'm done with Dean Koontz. He's prolific and I've read a lot of his stuff. Some, I really liked: Watchers and the Odd Thomas book. Other works I've been less than thrilled by. His purple prose, his requirement that I suspend my disbelief to the breaking point, his awkward word choices and phrasing have all had me figuratively throwing many of his books, with great force, at the wall. But Devoted sounded good, like Watchers, so I thought I was in for a treat. What I got was a trick. Bad writing and a silly story that was derivative of the author's own--and much better and more inspired--work. I gave it until 40% before giving up, but when I realized I was dreading coming back to reading more of Devoted, I knew it was not for me. I also knew I was unlikely to read more of Mr. Koontz's work. I'm certain he will be crushed by my decision--all the way to the bank.
Profile Image for Lisa.
782 reviews
June 22, 2021
Another fantastic read by Koontz it kept me glued to back to his best in this one each page enjoyed his writing style
Profile Image for Yodamom.
2,003 reviews195 followers
August 11, 2021
After last Dean Koontz book I read a couple years ago I said never again. Sigh, I was gifted this book. His style of writing and my style of reading don't mix. Yeh well the blurbs are always so good they suck me in. Then give me a dog in the story and I can't say no. I should have donated it.
I'll start with what I liked. There was a moment of intense fear in the middle, a child was in danger, a mother on the edge, that was the best scene in the book. I liked the connection made between man and dog, it felt right, even the wire while out there was interesting till it was repeated too many times.
Whoops I went into the what I didn't like part too soon.
What went wrong for this reader. Repetitive everything, how many times do we need to hear about how it works, what they thought... HOW MANY ? I got it the first 3 times okay. Second there was the weird over sharing of inner dialogs from these bad guys. Really what was that is didn't form a connection to them or the story it was just filler. The characters, except for the boy were cookie cut out unrealistically written poor actors. Finally and most importantly, all the ducks just got in a row so easily. All the right people showed up on time from far and wide, from some weird coincidence, all the right contacts were made, all the good people won, all the bad people lost.
Two stars is generous .
Profile Image for Vannetta Chapman.
Author 134 books1,389 followers
April 22, 2020
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.
Profile Image for NILTON TEIXEIRA.
890 reviews306 followers
October 15, 2021
Initially I was going to rate it 4 stars, but…

I discovered this author back in 1989, Burning my first visit to USA, and the first 3 books that I read were Demon Seed, The Fanhouse and Cold Fire. His books were not known in Brazil, that early.
He is the first author that I attempted to read in English only. I have not read a book written in or translated into Portuguese, which is my first language, since then.
I was amazed by his writing style and how easy to read and engaging his books were (are).

I have read at least 65 books by Koontz and I own at least 75 ebooks, plus some hardcovers and paperbacks, but I have not read any of his early science fiction work (I do own several copies, unopened), the Frankenstein series or Odd series (excerpt for one). Some books were terrific and some were really bad, but I cannot stop praising his writing and his skill as a storyteller.

When I started reading this one I felt as if I was reading one of his books from the 80’s or 90’s.
If it wasn’t for the mention of computers and hacking and iPhones, I would think that this one was planned back then and left in one of his shelves filled with drafts to be worked on later.
All of Koontz’s traits are in this book.
The storyline line is interesting.
His characters are fruit of his great imagination.
There is a dog (of course, a golden retriever), a boy with special needs, a caring mother, an obsessive evil man, a corrupt corporation and genetic experiences.
The evil man is unbelievably evil and so delusional.
There are some gory scenes and moments that I was left on the edge of my seat.
Overall I enjoyed this book, it was better than expected, but there were times that I found the writing very repetitive and, as one reviewer said, sugary.
Also, somewhere between 65% and 85% was a bit boring. This is definitely not one of his best works.
But boy, how I wish that I could have a dog like Skipp!
14 reviews
May 7, 2020

I used to love Dean Koontz, I had every book he wrote, and really enjoyed them. But in the last 15 or 20 years, he's become a pretentious, overly verbose pompous blowhard.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,435 reviews770 followers
May 6, 2020
Enchanting. Tear-jerking. Edge-of-seat scary. All this and more await readers of this exquisitely written book. If I had to describe it in a single word, it would be mesmerizing.

At the heart of the activity is a telepathic dog named Kipp; Woody, a high-functioning autistic boy who hasn't spoken a word for all of his 11 years; and a diabolic plan to increase human longevity that goes horribly wrong. It's sort of a The Art of Racing in the Rain meets The Shining. Seriously, how can you top that?

Woody's dad was killed three years ago, leaving his mom, Megan, as a single parent who loves her son unconditionally. Woody returns her love even though he's unable to express it; what she doesn't know is that he's convinced that his dad's death was murder, not an accident. Elsewhere, an elderly lady named Dorothy has watched over her beloved Kipp for years, understanding his human-like abilities that include membership in the "Mysterium," a group of 86 golden retrievers and Labs who communicate with each other on the "Wire."

And in Utah, a man who was an executive at that research laboratory working on longevity is on the run. Lee Shacket, who escaped a major disaster there with a ton of money, briefly dated Megan before she got married and knows she's now a widow. On the spur of the moment, he decides that she would be the perfect companion as he flees to another country to spend the rest of his life in luxury. But when he calls her to ask, she rebuffs him - triggering an intensive desire for revenge that grows stronger and more dangerous by the page.

Meanwhile, Kipp begins to intercept messages on the Wire from someone he believes may be a young boy - certainly a first among the heretofore all-doggie system. Kipp doesn't understand why the boy is intent on proving that his father was murdered, but he knows he needs help and sets off to find him. All that sets in motion the events that follow - events that kept me glued to the book almost nonstop till the end. My emotions pretty much ran wild, with the extremes tempered by a bit of humor here and there (my favorite laugh-out-loud line came when one character was described as having "the attention span of a Chihuahua with ADHD").

Seriously, this is one of the best books I've read this year. And for the record, I'd love to read more about the adventures of Kipp and his buddies (hint, hint). How about it, Mr. Koontz?
Profile Image for Mei.
1,882 reviews424 followers
May 14, 2020
What happened to Koontz who wrote Lightning or Strangers??? Those books were ineteresting, well written and easy to read, while this one was repetitive, repetitive, repetitive!!! How many times we must read here that the dogs are men's best friends? That without dogs we aill still be living in caves? And again and again and again... ad nauseam!!!
The idea about telepathic dogs is interesting, but some on, here it reads like a children's fairy tale!
This should have been a short, sweet story instead of a full lenght novel!
Profile Image for Tim.
2,180 reviews212 followers
January 12, 2021
Even with a flashlight there doesn't appear to be much point to this story by this famous hit or miss author. 3 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
739 reviews229 followers
April 7, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,547 reviews26 followers
July 28, 2020
Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

This book is about a woman who lives with her autistic son and he has never spoken. Her husband has died a few years back and a colleague of his is obsessed with this woman. He will stop at nothing to have her.

This book has all the aspects that Dean Koontz uses. There is the above intelligent dog, the precocious child, and people doing good deeds without hesitation. This book reminded me a lot of his early works and I was glad to see it. One could easily see the nod to Watchers and the son reminded me a lot of a character in the book By the Light of the Moon. Obviously, this book's theme is devotion and we see that with the man that is obsessed with the woman. That is not the only example we see of this theme as we get familial devotion, narcissistic devotion, and devotion on first sight that leads to love. Once again, these are trademarks of Dean Koontz. I wanted to give this a four star rating but I did think the ending was a little too convenient. That is why I dropped it a half star rating.

Fans of Dean Koontz will devour this book up as it is so reminiscent of his early works. I also believe dog lovers will enjoy this book as this book proves that dog is really man's best friend. This will also serve as a nice introduction to Koontz because it was similar to many of his books. It is like a greatest hits cd. It isn't his best work but a greatest hits cd isn't a bands best work either. It is a nice starting point for someone.
Profile Image for Tonya.
564 reviews116 followers
April 14, 2020
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.

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Profile Image for Greg.
601 reviews34 followers
April 9, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Fred.
571 reviews77 followers
July 18, 2020
Dorthy Hummell(76) has a young girl, Rosa Leon by her aging side & Rosa is repaid with surprises/wealth which great & nice.

Megan Book’s son, Woody (11) is austic, never speaking, but a “bright” computer hacker. Woody & Kipp (golden retriever) cross paths - with a “Extrasensory” intelligence link (perceptions/communications).

They have “Devoted” relationships to each other - Woody/Kipp - Dorothy/Rosa. Agree.
Profile Image for Brendon Lowe.
172 reviews33 followers
May 1, 2023
I've been on a bit of a Dean Koontz kick lately having read two of his novels this month and loved both of them. This is the first one of his 'newer' novels I have read and he still has the ability to write a riveting and suspenseful narrative.

The story revolves around a young non verbal autistic boy named Woody and his mother who have had the tragedy of losing their father and husband. Whilst this is occurring we learn about a billionaire who is doing some type of research for the Government when an explosion takes place at the facility killing everyone or so we think. The sole survivor is on the run and something terrible is happening to him, changing him, making his personality evolve. The two stories intertwine and all hell is about to break lose in the small rural town in which they live. With the help of a very special network of dogs Woody and his mother will learn the truth of what is occurring but will it be enough to keep them alive and safe?

Koontz loves writing dogs into his novels and Kipp the main dog in this narrative is probably my favourite character. It's a violent and graphic novel in parts but very much story driven and the violence is not out of place in the narrative and required.

I follow Koontz on twitter and at 77 years of age he is still producing best sellers having just announced what he believes is going to be his best novel in January 2024. If he keeps writing them I will keep reading them.
Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,093 reviews166 followers
May 4, 2020
Every so often, something extraordinary and touching to me will cause goosebumps and chills. It could be a piece of music, a singing performance, maybe a dance performance... In this case it was the last few pages of Devoted. Goosebumps such as what I had today are few and far between so when it happens, it’s usually because I was extremely moved. I was. The ending of Devoted was why I love my Dean Koontz novels.

If you enjoyed Watchers (especially Einstein), I believe you should love this book, and especially Kipp. In fact, in addition to Kipp, yes - another Golden Retreiver, Woody, the autistic 11 year old, his mother Megan, Ben, the ex-Seal, Rosa, Dorothy, and Carson are the main reasons I so enjoyed Devoted.

Once again, as is typical in Koontz’s stories, it’s the very very very good against the most evil of evils.

I’ve loved this aspect of Koontz’s books ever since I read Lightning and then Watchers eons ago. Throw in one of Koontz’s golden retrievers and I’m especially all-in.

I listened to Devoted on audiobook as narrated by Edoardo Ballerini and, once again, he was amazing.
Profile Image for Jocelyn.
706 reviews
May 5, 2020
My reading slump has suuucked. I haven’t read much of anything since the whole COVID-19 mess, and my state was ‘shut down.’ I’ve binge watched a lot of junk in Netflix, and annoyed my kids and dog. True story. So, with this, I jumped straight in to Koontz’s new release, Devoted, and loved it for being just a crazy entertaining ride.

Devoted isn’t classic Koontz, but it’s closer to his classic novels than I’ve seen (or... read, I guess) in some time. In fact, I’ve abandoned the author because most of the time I just can’t get in to his newer novels (I’m sure they’re great, I just can’t jive with them - yes, I totally said jive - who AM I THESE DAYS?!).

Devoted started quickly, and stated out interesting, and maintained its momentum throughout. The characters weren’t super fleshed out - they were either genuinely good, or truly evil - but not much gray area. A couple of the characters could have been edited out for being essentially pointless (ouch... sorry).

If you’ve read a lot of Koontz, this book will be pretty predictable, but not unenjoyable. A few elements of Koontz, in my opinion always are - his love of dogs, Cali, Spanish style bungalows, heros that are former military special forces and SUVs always stand out to me.

The biggest negative is that I felt like there were a lot of open ends, unbelievable situations and a couple of flat out plot holes. Because I wasn’t really looking for anything but an entertaining read to break a slump, I didn’t mind.

I would definitely recommend Devoted to Koontz fans, and someone looking for an easy, fun, exciting read for some escapism.
Profile Image for Armand Rosamilia.
Author 256 books2,746 followers
June 3, 2020
This is like a love letter to the author's dog, and it's awesome. Throw in a mysterious stranger, some otherwordly happenings, really bad bad guys and really good good guys, and you have a great Koontz novel. Loved it.
Profile Image for Donald Grant.
Author 9 books12 followers
April 8, 2020
Sadly, a let down……. **

In my bedroom is a bookcase with every Koontz novel and short story collection, three of which are signed by him. Needless to say I am a fan.

What I enjoy most about his writing is his mastery of words that make thin plots enjoyable to read. This book fits that to a tee, except for the enjoyable to read part.

One of my favorite novels is Watchers, and this could be described as a sequel to it. Sadly, this one does not have the tension nor story that Watchers had. The characters are poorly developed and true to form the plot is thin, just thinner than most. Unfortunately, the story is completely predictable and upon reaching the end my only thought was, “Okay.”

This book also falls into the trap of when an author is a best seller the editing is not always what it should be. One of the main scenes, and this is not a spoiler, is when the character Shacket is in Megan’s bedroom and he relishes in the smells from the unwashed sheets on her bed, making the point that had they been clean, he would have been disappointed. Later, when she is in bed she notices a stain that should not be there as the housekeeper had just washed the linens. This caused me to come out of the story and go back and check to see if I was correct. To me this is a major flaw in editing.

This one gets two stars.
Profile Image for Eric Johnston.
Author 1 book3 followers
April 11, 2020
This is a Dean Koontz novel, a mediocre thriller containing an unsophisticated allegory of good versus evil, an intelligent golden retriever, one-dimensional characters, tonal shifts to explain what historians or scientists think on a given topic, a bizarre conspiracy that makes no sense, etc. There are more Koontz tropes, and they are all here. It’s like he has the same checklist for every book.

I don’t need to summarize the plot because it’s the same as every other Koontz book. Super intelligent golden retriever does A, B, and C in order to position himself to save the day; woman in distress is saved by a man of outstanding moral caliber whom she eventually marries; a child who appears to be significantly handicapped is really intelligent; super bad man is part of some conspiracy to do evil things for reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

This book is mediocre at best, but typical Koontz. Read it if you like Koontz or if you like dogs, but like most of his work generally, but especially his output over the past 20 years, this is easily skippable.
Profile Image for Lance Kirby.
170 reviews64 followers
May 1, 2020
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
Profile Image for Skip.
3,351 reviews412 followers
June 7, 2020
A mostly unsuccessful attempt to capitalize on the fan base, like me, who loved Koontz's novel, Watchers, about a genetically enhanced golden retriever. A highly functioning autistic, 11-year old Woody Bookman never spoken, but is convinced his father who died in a helicopter accident, was murdered. Meanwhile, his father's successor, Lee Shacket, barely escapes a catastrophic explosion at a research lab, where everyone dies. Shacket knows he needs to disappear, but is experiencing some mental degradation and decides he needs to be reunited with a woman he dated, Megan (Woody's mom.) Kipp, the gifted golden, is able to connect telepathically with Woody, and sensing the pending trouble, sets off to rescue Woody. Horrifically violent at times and mired in Koontz's flowery language, the story is better than his other recent novels, but chooses action over character development outside of Woody and Kipp. The multibillionaire corporate executive and his hired killers were wholly unnecessary, for example.
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