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Watchers (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) School & Library Binding – January 28, 2003
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|School & Library Binding, January 28, 2003||
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From Publishers Weekly
Cross Lassie with E.T., add a touch of The Wolfen and a dash of The Godfather, and you get a sense of some of the ingredients in this supernatural thriller, which should move Koontz ( Strangers a notch closer to Stephen King's high-rent district. When Travis Cornell, Koontz's appealing hero, encounters a stray dog while hiking, he quickly realizes that the animal is most unusual and that something terrifying is stalking them both. The encounter with the dog is the beginning of a tightly woven plot involving genetic manipulation that has created two extraordinary animals; one is the dog, named Einstein, the other is a murderous hybrid called "The Outsider." Hunted down by both the government and a professional killer who has learned the secret of the animals, Travis, Einstein and Nora Devon, a lonely woman befriended by man and canine, attempt to escape their pursuers all the while knowing that a confrontation with The Outsider is inevitable. Though the climax packs a little less wallop than it deserves, this is the sort of thoroughly frightening and entertaining tale that has its readers listening for noises in the night. 100,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo; Liteary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
YA A book that incorporates elements of both the horror tale and the action thriller, and the result is an intriguing and enjoyable novel. Watchers is a retelling of the Frankenstein theme with a twist: two creatures, quite different from each other, roam the land. Two animals who are unlike any other animals as a result of DNA research escape from a top-secret laboratory. One is divinely inspiring, engendering love and caring. The other is a hellish nightmare that leaves unspeakable slaughter in its wake. The two creatures and a supporting cast of charactersa government agent, a hired killer, a decent recluse, and a lonely womanare inevitably brought together in a climactic and satisfying showdown. While the plot developments occasionally seem a bit forcedthis is one book that could actually have profited by some extra lengththe shortcomings are minor. Watchers is a satisfying example of good storytelling. Karl Penny, Houston Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
He arrives around 0830 and commences climbing into the foothills of the Santa Anna Mountains. As he climbs higher, the trail becomes more remote and rugged. He continues down the southern slope of a ridge, turns west and follows a deer trail. He stops for s lunch of Oreo's and Kool - Aid, then continues his trek. A short while later, he stops to view a section of the canyon that drops steeply. As he is about to continue, a golden retriever bursts from dry brush on his and runs up to him, panting and chuffing, sits in front of him and looks at him "with an undeniably friendly expression".
Travis decides it's time to continue on the deer trail, which is descending into darkness. When he does, the dog goes around him and blocks tghe trail. When he tries to proceed anyway, the dog growls and bares its teeth. When he tries again, the dog snarls and snaps at his legs. When Travis backs up two steps, the dog stops growling and pants, acting friendly again.
Renewed attempts result in greater aggression by the dog.
After continued back-and-forth friendly-aggressive actions by the dog, the dog stops, and stares down the deer trail. Then it tenses visibly, lowers it's head and hunches it's shoulders. Travis is suddenly aware that the dog is fascinated by something on the trail. It seems to Travis that the dog is both angry and afraid. The dog suddenly leaps up and away from the deer trail, past Travis tgo the edge of the forest. The dog stops and looks back at Travis. When Travis doesn't run to the dog, the dog runs to Travis and grabs his pants, trying to drag him to where the dog had been, obviously frightened by what it had seen. Something frightening is coming.
Turns out "the dog", later named "Einstein" and a second dog,"The Other", were developed by scientists in an outside lab by altering genes and producing litters of dogs until the desired results were obtained. Obviously, "The Other" was not a desired result. Both dogs escaped one night. The main reason "The Other" escaped was to find "Dog" and kill him.
Due to some detrimental results, mainly rapid changes between location and activities of "The Other", who is tearing people apart while "tracking" "Dog", and activity between Einstein and Travis and his girlfriend, who are learning that they can not only teach Einstein to read and write, but that Einstein "knows" that "The Other" is tracking him, and whether he is far away and close. These and other minor detrimental factors, however, are not a major distraction. Without them, this novel would have been an excellent read. Without them, it is still a very good read.
Watchers is one of those books that keeps your eyes open, the brain working... because anything seemed possible at thirteen years of age. It was a time of wonderment, years of hope and high expectations. The good guys were really good, and the bad ones...... well, they never go off script.
I never thought I would say this at the age of 50... but I want to be thirteen again. God Damn It! 50 sucks the rubber hose, and thirteen... yes I am saying not.... 13 way the s***.
So I was enthralled with Watchers from the moment I read about Einstein's special abilities. I am sometimes guilty of anthropomorphism when it comes to my pets but this book takes it to a whole new level. Koontz made me fall in love with the with a dog, find pity in my heart for his antithesis & fear & loathing for those who's hearts won't permit them to be anything but twisted and heartless,
Great pacing, story line & tension. I highly recommend it but hang on to hearts.