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The Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko Book Review | SFReader.com
The Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko Genre: Dark Fantasy Publisher: Miramax Published: 1998 Review Posted: 6/5/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko
Book Review by SJ Higbee
Have you read this book?
Enjoy reading fantasy with a distinctly different feel? What about a
world that raises issues that keep tickling the edges of your brain long
after you've put the book down? If so, then reach for The Night Watch -
you?re in for a treat.
Walking the streets of Moscow, indistinguishable from the rest of its
population, are the Others. Possessors of supernatural powers and
capable of entering the Twilight, a shadowy world that exists in
parallel to our own, each Other owes allegiance either to the Dark or
This story follows Anton, a young Other of the Light. As a Night Watch
agent he must patrol the streets and metro of the city, protecting
ordinary people from the vampires and magicians of the Dark. When he
comes across Svetlana, a young woman under a powerful curse, and saves
an unfledged Other, Egor, from vampires, he becomes involved in events
that threaten the uneasy truce, and the whole city...And - yes - I've
mentioned the V-word. However, if you?re not a Sookie Stackhouse or
Twilight fan, please don?t roll your eyes and mentally dismiss this
book. It isn't concerned with the trials and tribulations of sucking
blood, suffering extreme sunburn - or anything else about the vampire
Lukyanenko offers us a far more original take on supernatural politics.
The leaders of the Dark and Light have organized a Treaty that has to
be followed to the last letter. So the front line - the Night and Day
Watches - are not only engaged in protecting/exploiting humans, they are
also obliged to keep the Peace. At all costs. Leading to a situation
not so much black and white, as a grubby grey when we discover some of
the deals involving the Light are dubious, to say the least. While a
number of Dark agents seem to have been guilty of little more than being
in the wrong place at the wrong time...
The book is divided into three discrete stories - which doesn't really
affect the overall narrative arc, as each one follows the other in
strict chronological order.
Lukyanenko's descriptions of the Moscow cityscape offer an interesting
backdrop to the action and his nuanced, slightly world-weary approach is
a fascinating contrast to much of the snappy, glossier North American
fantasy I?m used to reading. Not necessarily better - just different. A
treat in itself. His characters, in particular, Anton, are slightly
opaque. But this only mirrors the tangled politics in a world where no
one lets down their guard unless they've drunk far too much vodka...
Any quibbles? The pace at the start of the last story did flag, holding
up the whole narrative in an annoying way. But the final climax to the
book is sufficiently action-packed and quirky to bring the book to a
satisfying conclusion - and a resolve on my part to get the next two
books in the series. Urgently...
Click here to buy The Night Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko on Amazon