Not Trying to Impress | Devoted Review

The story of Devoted by Dean Koontz follows the tale of a boy and a dog. The boy, Woody, has a mental disability while the dog, Kipp, is highly intelligent and can communicate telepathically with other special dogs through The Wire. The two are thrown together once Kipp learns that Woody is also able to use The Wire.

As Kipp journeys towards the boy, Woody has a run-in with a Dark Web murder-for-hire group. His mother is likewise busy with her own problem: an ex-boyfriend who is mutating into something very dangerous.

The story has Koontz’s normal charm and wisecracking characters. It is full of the same dry humor he has in all his books. But, the story had way too many main characters for me to follow. There was Woody, his mother, Kipp, Kipp’s guardian, the evil boyfriend, the corrupt sheriff and his girlfriend, the coroner, and the man who rescues Kipp from animal thieves. The chapters also kept jumping from character to character making it hard to follow and remember who was doing what.

It was strange how the bad guys all seemed to finish each other off. They were undone by their own greed or thirst for power. It wasn’t a bad strange–I kind of liked it–it was just unusual…unexpected. I thought the villains would continue to harass the protagonists; but nope, they died at the hands of their co-conspirators or competition. It kind of made it feel like it was some kind of karmic justice or cosmic justice especially since most of the villains said that justice didn’t exist. But, it did make it feel like the protagonists didn’t do anything except sit around and discuss events. It kind of made the book move a little slow.

I enjoyed the black and white nature of the story–the good characters were good and the bad characters were really bad. There was no feeling sorry for the villains; no cheering for them; nothing but disgust. That is one interesting motif in Koontz’s books; he doesn’t have villains that are misunderstood or somehow justified because they are doing it for “the greater good.” His villains are monsters; they have no redeeming qualities.

One problem I had is that the book seemed to have no climax; it felt like everyone’s problems were just magically solved. It felt like someone snapped their fingers and all the foes, character weaknesses, and problems were whisked away. I felt like there was this build up to something and then it just sputtered out.

Even with the book’s strangeness and issues, the story was enjoyable. I still worried about each protagonist throughout the story. None of the protagonists seemed safe; anyone could die at any moment. Also, it was a nice change from the zombies and doom and gloom of other books. The story had doom and gloom, but it also had hope. It showed that there is light in the dark. I could also see that Koontz was telling his story and not altering it in order to reflect the latest trends. It gave off a feeling of “this is my story, and I’m telling it my way.” The story was not trying to impress anyone. 4.7/5

Have your read Devoted? What did you think? Have you read any other Dean Koontz books? What did you think of them? If you haven’t, what type of books do you enjoy? Any recommendations?

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Smashwords End of Year Sale Dec. 18-Jan. 1

Not Teen Titans Go | 101 Dalmatian Street Review (Spoilers)

The Disney+ show 101 Dalmatian Street follows the lives of Dolly and Dylan, two descendants of the original 101 dalmatians–give or take a generation. Dolly and Dylan care for the other pups while their parents are at work, which usually ends in some form of chaos. 

When I first heard of the series, I thought, “This is great!” I really liked the 101 Dalmatians movie and animated series (Amazon Affiliate link). But, then I saw the first trailer and became worried that they were going to do the same with this show as they did with Teen Titans Go. I was worried that the series would be too for kids–that it’d be full of fart jokes and random humor. I was pleased to see that while it is still targeted for younger audiences, it is not overly for kids. The humor isn’t overly silly and the characters aren’t over-the-top goofy or stupid. The characters are believable. They seem like they could be real people/dogs. The show doesn’t take a flaw or trait and over inflate it like they do in Teen Titans Go

img_2674I also enjoy the animation style. It has the simplistic style that has been in many animations lately, but not so simple that it looks like the animators don’t care or are rushed to finish.

While I was thinking about my review, I realized what my problem with Teen Titans Go was. I thought it was the animation style, but I’ve seen shows with weirder styles and enjoyed them. What bothered me is how it is like the show talks down to kids. In Teen Titans Go it seems like they think all children care about are fart jokes and people joking about baby hands. I feel like the show insults the intelligence of children. In 101 Dalmatian Street, the plot is kid-friendly. It isn’t complicated and deals with issues children might have–such as crushes or jealousy–but it isn’t watered down to an insulting level.

The people in charge seem to know how to talk to children on their level. They make the show entertaining while still sharing a lesson or message. 101 Dalmatian Street treats the audience with respect…so far. In shows like Teen Titans Go or Thundercats Roar, it seems like the show runners think the audience is stupid, or the producers don’t have much faith in humanity because all the characters act like idiots. Meanwhile, shows like 101 Dalmatian Street and Steven Universe seem to think of their audience as equals. These producers seem to be trying to make something unique instead of just following the latest trend.

Even though the animation isn’t my favorite and the plots are more geared to younger audiences, I found the series more enjoyable than others like it because it treats the audience like a human and not as an easy cash-grab. 4.7/5


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