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Watchers by Dean Koontz: A Unique Review

Updated on October 12, 2014
Watchers Paperback Cover
Watchers Paperback Cover | Source

I Highly Recommend Watchers by Dean Koontz to All Book Lovers

Watchers by Dean Koontz is among one of my favorite books of all time. This masterpiece that Koontz created is a thriller, horror, drama, adventure, and love story all rolled into one great book. Not to mention, the characters in this story grab onto a reader's heart and never let go.

In honor of one of my favorite books, I have created a book review below, including a general plot summary, character profiles with photos of actors depicting how I envisioned the actors in my head, and an exclusive video interview with Dean Koontz, among many other fun facts and tidbits of information as well.

If you do give Dean Koontz' Watchers a read, I hope you find as much enjoyment in this book as I do. Also, feel free to come on back and leave your own review or feedback on the book. Happy reading!

Do You Enjoy the Work of Dean Koontz?

Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz | Source

Have You Ever Read Any of Dean Koontz' Books?

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"A suspenseful page-turner...Koontz gives us characters we can care about...and enough tension to satisfy any thrill-seeker."

~The New York Times

Why I Love Watchers by Dean Koontz

Watchers by Dean Koontz, is one of my favorite books of all time. I read a lot, but not just any book will make it to my list of books I consider favorites. It takes a special book, with a fantastic plot, and characters that endear themselves to me and become lifelong friends.

To make my favorite book list, a book must also be good enough for me to desire to read it over and over again. I believe I have read Watchers no less than 5 times throughout my life and I enjoy it every single time.

Watchers is the type of book that would definitely be considered "page turner." This book keeps the reader in such suspense that it's hard to put the book down at all! It is hard to place this book into any specific genre, as it possesses traits of a thriller, horror, drama, adventure, and love story, all rolled into one fantastic story.

Golden Retriever Photo
Golden Retriever Photo | Source

General Plot Summary

No Major Plot Spoilers

Since I absolutely hate it when book reviews contain major spoilers for the story that is being reviewed, I have written a general summary of the book, addressing the direction of the story, but not giving away the specifics that make the story great.

Watchers is the story of a genetically altered, super intelligent Golden Retriever who has escaped from a government laboratory, in which it was created. The story is narrated from three main view points: the perspective of those helping the dog retain his escapee status, the perspective of law enforcement trying to recapture the dog and return him to the laboratory, and from the perspective of a criminal trying to recapture the dog for his own personal gain.

Koontz artfully intertwines these three very different perspectives throughout the book, showing the reader all of the conflicting vantage points of all characters involved. As the reader, we also see the main characters grow and transform as the story progresses.

Also thrown into the hunt for the genius Golden Retriever, is another genetically altered animal escapee from the very same government laboratory as the dog...however, this animal was an experiment gone very wrong and straight out of a nightmare, called "The Outsider." This experiment's intent was to create a war machine with one goal in create a ruthless, bloodthirsty killer. For reasons unknown, The Outsider has a deep hatred of the Golden Retriever and it's main goal is to kill the dog.

All in all, Watchers has two main themes throughout the book: hope and loyalty. These two themes are responsible for the transformation of the characters and the advancement of the plot line and kept me on the edge of my seat. Hope and loyalty also touch the reader as well, while progressing through the book, which is one of the many reasons that I consider this book a masterpiece.

My Recommendation

I would recommend Watchers by Dean Koontz to folks who enjoy suspenseful thrillers, Stephen King fans, dog lovers, and science fiction/fantasy fanatics. Dean Koontz fans too, of course.

To those of you who do not enjoy books from the horror genre, I would still recommend this book to you as well. While there are some scary elements to the book, I would by no means classify this as strictly horror.

Overall, no matter what your tastes are in books, if you enjoy a well written story, characters that become old friends, and books that grab you and never let go, Dean Koontz' Watchers is a must read.

Main Character Profiles

I have created a character profile for each of the main characters in the book. I think character profiles are a great way to gain insight on what a book is about without giving away key story plot lines.

The photos accompanying the character profiles below are just my own view on how I think the characters from the book would look; how I imagined them in my head while I was reading. These actors and actress do not have any affiliations with Dean Koontz' book, Watchers.

Felicity Jones Photo
Felicity Jones Photo | Source

Nora Devon

  • Raised by her vicious and reclusive Aunt Violet
  • Believes she is ugly and wears loose, drab clothing
  • Fears the outside world and expects the worst in people
  • Debilitated by her fears, she becomes a hermit, never venturing far from her home
  • Enjoys painting, but is too afraid of rejection to show anyone her work

Hugh Jackman Poster
Hugh Jackman Poster | Source

Travis Cornell

  • Orphaned at a young age
  • Former member of the military Delta Force Anti-Terrorist squad
  • Retired from real estate, after putting away enough money to live off of
  • After losing his wife and all of his friends, believes everyone he loves is cursed with death
  • Lonely and depressed; searching for meaning in life

Golden Retriever Photo
Golden Retriever Photo | Source


  • Genetically engineered Golden Retriever with intelligence equivalent to that of a human being
  • Escaped from the lab in which he was created
  • Protective and loyal to those he loves
  • Wry sense of humor
  • Possesses a sixth sense that links him to The Outsider's whereabouts
  • Favorite cartoon character: Mickey Mouse

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig | Source

Vince Nasco

  • Occupation: Hired Hit Man for the Mafia and other criminal organizations
  • Believes committing murder is a means of obtaining immortality by absorbing the "life force" of his victims
  • Is a loner; keeps to himself
  • Cool, calculating, and manipulative
  • Has no conscience and shows no remorse for his crimes

Chestnut Morris Poster
Chestnut Morris Poster | Source

Lemuel Johnson

  • Occupation: Director of the Southern California National Security Agency
  • Grew up in an upper middle class family in California
  • Best Friend: Walt Gaines
  • Workaholic; doesn't make friends easily
  • Clings to his father's workaholic definition of success and happiness

Alec Baldwin Poster
Alec Baldwin Poster | Source

Walt Gaines

  • Occupation: Orange County, CA Sheriff
  • Takes the protection of citizens of his county seriously
  • Former member of the Marine Corps
  • Grew up poor in Kentucky
  • Best Friend: Lemuel Johnson
  • Easy-going demeanor with a sense of humor

"We have a responsibility to stand watch over one another, we are watchers, all of us, watchers, guarding against the darkness."

~Nora Devon - Watchers

An Exclusive Interview with Dean Koontz - Some Insight into his Love of Golden Retrievers

I LOVE Your Feedback! - Do you have your own review to give?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love how you've brought your own personal vision of the characters to life! This is one of my favorite things to discuss with my friends after we've read the same book or series. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Fantasic, thorough review of the best book I've ever read. I wasn't much of a reader, but one day while during a long recuperation from being shot I stopped at the book section in Wal-Mart. After some time I settled on Watchers, written by someone I did not recognize. Since then I've read almost every Koonce book, but the first Koonce gem I ever read is the best one to this day.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      A very nice review of one of my very favorite books and authors. I have loved this book ever since I first read it all those years ago (thank you Tangipahoa Parish Library). You have done a great job of bringing it to the public's awareness.


    • BestRatedStuff profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice review, gave me a sense of the story without giving away the story.

    • adragast24 profile image


      6 years ago

      Really nice review, I am voting for it, even though it means my own review will not get a single vote...

    • Tennyhawk profile image


      6 years ago

      No review, I think yours says it all. Watchers was excellent. My first Koontz book (and my favorite) was Dragon Tears. He's got an incredible prose style. Terrific lens. Thanks.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      A great review! Normally not my kind of book but this made me want to read the book.

      Angel blessed!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      An excellent - and visually appealing - review of Dean Koontz's 'Watchers'. Watchers was my introduction to author Dean Koontz and my favorite. I, too, have read it several times, as well as most of his other books, which are in my home library! I'm not a horror fan - my reading favorites lean toward mystery & suspense and I don't care for most of Stephen King's books, but Koontz is not really a horror writer. He can be 'scary' and sometimes a bit 'out of this world', but overall he is a 'grab-your-attention-and-never-let-go' type of 'Suspense' writer, IMO. Well done!

    • lewisgirl profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I liked your approach of visually depicting what each character looked like and resembled. Nice!


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