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Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
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Night Watch (1998)

by Sergei Lukyanenko

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: World of Watches Hexalogy (1)

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4,0571292,014 (3.89)204
Anton, a young Other, who owes allegiance to the Light, is a Night Watch agent, patrolling the streets and metro of the city, as he protects ordinary people from the vampires of the Dark. On his rounds, Anton comes across a young woman, Svetlana, who he realises is under a curse that threatens the entire city.… (more)
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» See also 204 mentions

English (123)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
A quick read, a definite page-turner. As with several of the last few books I've read, I'd already seen the movie version and was intrigued. I was in an independent book store in Colorado when I saw it and decided to grab it. This book actually encompasses both movies: Night Watch and Day Watch. It is confusing since there is a second book in the tetralogy entitled Day Watch that is separate. Night Watch, the novel, is pretty significantly different from Night Watch, the movie. I knew that in advance, so I wanted to see how it was originally plotted.

The book, as always, was much better than the movie. As I started off saying, it's a quick read and it's not difficult to follow what's going on. I felt the ending was a little rushed, especially after reading through three parts to get to an ending that concluding in a few pages, seemingly wrapping up everything very quickly and cleanly. Perhaps the other three books in the series would help flesh it out and make for a much longer story arc.

One thought that ran through my head was whether this book might be like a modern reworking of Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, at least exploring some of the same themes and still set in Moscow. There are some surface similarities, but I'd recommend reading Bulgakov over Lukyanenko. But, I still must say that I enjoyed reading Night Watch. ( )
  drew_asson | Mar 22, 2020 |
Prachtig boek - dat zich afspeelt in het hedendaagse Moskou - over de strijd tussen Goed en Kwaad dat na een wapenstilstand van duizend jaar verbroken dreigt te worden door de komst van een jongen.

Nachtwacht maakt deel uit van een trilogie dat een van de grootste Russische succesverhalen van de laatste decennia is. De verfilming van dit boek versloeg blockbusters als de Harry Potter films en de Lord of the Rings trilogie ruimschoots. ( )
  EdwinKort | Oct 18, 2019 |
Delusa, molto delusa.
Ho comprato il libro dopo aver visto il film. Meno male perché non avrei capito niente probabilmente.
Confusionario, troppe idee che vengono mal gestite.
Tre storie con un finale spesso troppo sospeso.
E poi lo stile di scrittura!!! Brutto brutto, troppo caotico, si perde spesso il filo dell'azione.
Non credo proprio che leggerò gli altri due.
( )
  elerwen | May 29, 2019 |
Night Watch is the first book in a six-book series. I would consider this to be urban fantasy. It’s set in Moscow and focuses on “Others”, people with special abilities who walk among non-humans unrecognized, usually picking a side between the Light and the Dark and working in organized groups toward the goals of their chosen side. Since both sides seem primarily concerned with maintaining a balance, the lines between them are a little blurry. Rules are in place to keep conflict between the two sides from escalating into a war. If somebody strikes a blow for the Light, then the other side has the right to strike an equal blow for the Dark.

The structure is a little different; it consists of three individual stories. Each one tells a complete story, but follows the same main character and builds on the previous stories. This book was originally published in Russia in the late 1990’s. I read an English translation, of course. The only way I could read a Russian book in its original language would be if it were transliterated into the English alphabet and if it consisted solely of the word “nyet”. I enjoyed getting some sense of Russian culture through the book, although it wasn’t a very strong sense because the story focused mostly on the fantasy elements and very little on the day-to-day lives of normal people.

I didn’t always feel like I understood the motivations of the characters. I always had some sort of a “wait, what?” type of reaction at some point during the climactic events of each story. It seemed like characters took the long way around to work toward their goals, and the main character was often ineffective. The main character’s actions made more sense than anybody else’s since we were in his head, but even his actions didn’t always make sense to me. He was a likeable character though, a bit bumbling and confused, but well-meaning.

I think my biggest complaint about the book would be the constant and repetitive musings on morality as it related to the actions of the Light versus the Dark. In the first story when I was still learning about the setting, it was interesting to learn about the choices that the sides had made, why they had made them, and consider whether their choices were ultimately more or less harmful than alternate choices. But then in the second story the characters continued to muse over more-or-less the same things, and it started to get tiresome. By the third story, of which at least half seemed to consist of more repetition of these same thoughts, I had reached the “please make it stop” point. I liked the way the story had this moral gray area, but I didn’t need its existence beaten into my head so much.

Aside from those complaints, it was a quick read that held my attention well. I enjoyed the concepts introduced and I liked the stories and the characters. I’m not sure if the setting can sustain my interest for a full six books, but I liked the first book well enough to try the second. I’m rating it at 3.5 stars and rounding up to 4 on Goodreads. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | May 9, 2019 |
The buzz surrounding this one eluded me, but my roommate recommended it to me one night when I was floundering about looking for something to read. 'Night Watch' is a relatively light genre read, but with the added benefit of a foreign perspective that made it more than just another supernatural story. At one point, when asked why Moscow has become the center of so much disturbance in the past century, a character observes that America and Europe have lost their edge, become [paraphrasing] "bored tourists with cameras around their necks." Ah. Well, he's not wrong.

I took several breaks in-between books while reading this, a little going a long way, but overall I liked the urban fantasy Lukyanenko creates here. The suspicion, the plotting, the doubt surrounding the motives of the forces of light and darkness, and the high stakes all made for solid entertainment. I don't know if I'll be picking up the sequel any time soon, but this was interesting.

Night Watch

Next: 'Day Watch' ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lukyanenko, Sergeiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karlsson, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konttinen, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pöhlmann, ChristianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This text has been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of the Light.
The Night Watch

This text has been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of the Dark.
The Day Watch
Dedication
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The escalator strained slowly upward.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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