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.