Set in modern day Moscow, Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. Living among us are the "Others," an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. A thousand-year treaty has maintained the balance of power, and the two sides coexist in an uneasy truce. But an ancient prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will rise up and tip the balance, plunging the world into a catastrophic war between the Dark and the Light.
When a young boy with extraordinary powers emerges, fulfilling the first half of the prophecy, will the forces of the Light be able to keep the Dark from corrupting the boy and destroying the world?
©2006 Sergei Lukyanenko (P)2012 Audbile Ltd
Should you be a ‘Marla Mason’ fan you are sure to like this book, but instead of the backdrop being America it is Moscow.
I have never visited Russia so the small amount of ‘place’ that is used meant nothing to me, but 'The Otherers' – witches, wizards, vampires, to name but a few – are placeless, they need no real scenery. Magic & sorcery abound as the night watches the day and vice versa, and the ordinary people are virtually unaware of the other city in their midst.
I'm moving right on to the next book in this series.
Set in Moscow, the work of the Others soon had me gripped. Told by Anton, his work as a 3rd grade magician patrolling the streets ensuring the balance between the Light and Dark Ones revealed a world of morals and rules followed by the creatures of the supernatural. With vampires, magicians, shape-shifters, sorcerers, monsters and inquisitors as well as the souls of those with their future as yet undecided, the plots between the two sides writhe almost palpably. At last, the three stories within this book bring all of the characters together for a final denouement with a twist in the tail.
Lukyanenko's imaginative portrayal of an invisible-to-mortals yet endless supernatural tussle between Dark and Light, playing out alongside the unsuspecting mortals, is captivating. From the laconic Anton, Svetlana the potentially powerful sorceress, Igor the young teen who vacillates between the pull of Dark and Light, to the Light "Boss" who relentlessly steers his charges towards a secrecy-shrouded goal, the listener is never entirely sure whether these are the good guys or not.
I can't wait to hear the second book!!
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
Although I loved the films and would recommend them to any syfy movie lovers, yet again it is a case of the book being so much better than the films. For a start this book is split into three separate stories, two of which are barley referenced in the film and to do them justice each would need a film of its own. The character progression that you get throughout the books of both the dark and light characters, as they learn, grow and develop their beliefs really sets the stories apart. The series is written beautifully with wonderful imagery, imagination and plot. The machinations of both the dark and light others has every bit the excitement of John le Carré plots and the universe is just as realized despite the vampires, magicians and sorceresses that it is populated with. The narrator is, in my opinion, one of the best I have heard doing both male and female voices and varying accents equally well so that it is like listening to a play with a full cast. There is nothing that I would criticize.
Highly recommended as it takes a really interesting angle on good vs. evil and the balance that must be maintained in the secret world that the normal person does not see. It is excellently written (or at least translated) and the narrator does a good job with it. I will be buying the next two books in the trilogy.
I like the world building and the premise. After all I am an urban fantasy girl, so vampires, magicians, and shapeshifters are totally sold on me. I also like the way Sergei Lukyanenko presented good and evil in the book. That one is pure poetic brilliance! What I didn't like was the plot depending on the hero to behave stupidly to create a dilemma in the story. Rather pathetic plot building skills there. So the boss clearly and carefully instructed Anton not to be alone. Not even for a single second. Even told him the reason why so that he would cooperate more fully. So what does our hero does the first chance he gets? He walks off alone so that the bad guys can frame him for murder. Yep, too stupid to live (TSTL)! Walked right into the trap whistling a tune (so to speak). To be fair though the story narrative did emphasize that Anton is a lousy field operative. First Garik made him that something is wrong. Then Svetlana. When Anton is suppose to be better than that because he is supposed to be an experienced field operative with years of training. One thing you can say about it though is that there is character development consistency! Even though, I still find the TSTL royally annoying! Then the story telling quality drags at times. For the first three quarters into the book I had to stretch my perseverance because I found myself wanting breaks from it. Such that even with the convenience of the audiobook it still took me two weeks or so to finish the book. I didn't appreciate the story until the very end. Now am looking forward to reading Book 2.
When I take the book apart in the Empirical Evaluation the book ought to score only a 3 out of 5 but when I look at the book as a whole, it feels like a 4. So am giving it a 4 in contradiction to my empirical evaluation. This don't usually happen, but sometimes the whole is more than the sum of it's parts.
Story telling quality = 3
Character development = 3
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3
Pace = paperback: 1.5 (audiobook: 14 hrs and 44 mins listening time)
Plot = 2
Narrator = 4
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
I love a bit of super-natural fiction. I've also enjoyed a few russian books lately. But I really struggled to concentrate on this book. I found the whole 'Twilight' concept muddling and just didn't click with this book.It was well written and not cheesey, I liked the concept of light and dark but found the execution confusing.
Overall, the story is good and the narrator tells a good tale. The only downside is that several key plot devices have been removed.
This leaves me a little confused as the story claims to be unabridged.
Fantasy Fan, but I'll try most things.
Angled around Vampires and what-nots, based in Russia and written by a Russian writer this novel had a certain freshness that I am sure many western readers would enjoy. I enjoyed many of the fringe characters some having interesting animal characteristics and one being an animal with character, the lead figure was thoughtful enough to carry the story although burdened with a certain John Grisham type of angst. This audiobook actually consists of three separate stories which all in someway interlink. The main issue I had with the stories is I didn't like the way any of them ended. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I won't but overall I just didn't think the endings represented good writing and I was left thinking that I would have just preferred it if the author had just written one longer novel for me to get my teeth into, if you pardon the pun.
"Brilliant story, good narration."
The night watch series is one of my favourites and have read the novel 3-4 times. This time I decided to listen on audible. The story still stands out for me as excellent.
The narration was good, but some of the accents felt a bit off, but overall a good performance.
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