Reviews for Watchers

Publishers Weekly
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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. (February 23) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal
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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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

When the Russians sabotage a genetic research project in California, two mutated creatures escape from the lab. One is a golden retriever with high enough intelligence to think and communicate with humans; the other is the Outsider, a vicious monster created from a baboon and bred to kill. Both the man who befriends and adopts the dog and his new bride find themselves stalked by government agents anxious to find the dog, a particularly repulsive Mafia hit man intent on stealing him, and the Outsider, with whom the dog is linked telepathically. Koontz ( Strangers ) is truly a master at creating suspense, and his opening and closing scenes are full of delicious tension. Only in the middle does the chase seem a bit long. But Koontz is in top form with an exciting premise, likable heroes, and the most endearing nonhuman since E.T. For all popular fiction collections. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Travis takes in a very special golden retriever that is being stalked by The Outsider, a hideous, evil monster. (Ja 1 87 Upfront)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Prolific Koontz's recent horror efforts (Strangers, Phantoms, Whispers) smothered readers under ungainly layers of fatty subplots and scleroid exposition. In this 49th novel, he strips away much of the excess to deliver his leanest book since The Vision (1977), and his best ever, an imaginative and unusual blend of suspense and sentiment as man, woman, and dog flee from horrors both inhuman and inhumane. The dog, a golden retriever, is the novel's centerpiece. World-weary Travis Cornell stumbles upon him snarling at something deep in a California woods. Showing uncanny wit, the dog leads Travis out of the forest, responding to every command with near-human intelligence. Adopting the dog, Travis names him ""Einstein."" Meanwhile, two villains wreak havoc in the L.A. suburbs, Koontz's excuse to indulge in his customary gory excesses: some thing is decapitating random loners, while, in an unnecessary subplot, a KGB-hired assassin kills scientists connected with a gene-splicing lab. Days later, Einstein saves a lonely woman, Nora, from rape. As she and Travis romance, they explore the dog's powers, even teaching him to read and write. With the use of Scrabble tiles, Einstein explains that he, as well as a murderous baboonish creature so vile as to be called ""The Other,"" are results of an Army genetic experiment. Einstein escaped; The Other, jealous of his charm, broke out to kill him--and all who stand in its way. Grateful to Einstein the dog for reviving their tired lives, Travis and Nora hide out with him in S.F., where, amidst domestic bliss highlighted by a pregnancy and the dog's obsession with Mickey Mouse videos, they await the coming of The Other. But the assassin, hoping to steal Einstein, shows up first; Travis guns him down. When The Other arrives, razor teeth flashing, it meets the same fate. At the close: a happy ending foretelling a race of super-dogs to grace the earth. More a fable about love and trust than an outright chiller, this work, with its echoes of Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau, still peppers enough tension and mayhem throughout to satisfy horror fans. And the touching, if often hokey, interplay between dog and human could attract new, non-genre readers. A break-through for Koontz. Copyright ŠKirkus Reviews, used with permission.