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Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
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Night Watch (1998)

by Sergei Lukyanenko

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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
To say that I was feeling adrift after Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy would be an understatement. I missed a good fantasy novel. I wanted fantasy, adventure, worlds in worlds, and above all a good narrative. I dug around online and in book stores trying to find the perfect fit. Nothing really was jumping out at me, and then I came across Sergei Lukyanenko’s book The Night Watch. The front of the book boasts that the novel is “J.K. Rowling, Russian style”. So I thought, why not. The book starts strong. There is intrigue, mysterious characters, and a classic battle between good and evil (not to mention the age old question: What is good and evil anyway?). I felt connected to the main character Anton and his story was very believable, albeit a little stereotypical. Anton is the basic idea of a character who is good, but feels torn about his own actions and feelings. What is right and wrong?

The hardest part about this book though, is that you feel like you’re reading it through Google translate. There are so many sentences, expressions, and sayings that sound clunky and not quite right. There are also some spelling mistakes in the book (mainly homo-phonic ones), but it made things feel a bit off.

The next frustrating aspect about the book is the plot line. The book is split into three stories. Everything is fine until you get to story two, where you realise that the plot line is completely different and big chunks of the plot from the first book are just forgotten. The book in a way, is almost like a series of novellas that are linked with the same character, but are essentially separate. The stories, as Lukyanenko calls them (at least in translation), end of cliff hangers… And then you’re just left hanging… and hanging… and hanging…

I really really wanted to like this book. I was, in fact, desperate to like this book, because I wanted another fiction series I could sink my teeth into. However, the book fell short. The series has expanded to five books now, and I’m not sure that I’ll be reading any others from the series. I have my sneaking suspicions that something might have gotten lost in translation from Russian to English and that the books are a lot better in their original language. Although, it’s a really hard call to make since my Russian consists of well known Vodka brands, and that’s about it.

Readers! If there is a fantasy book or series that has you hooked, please let me know! From one desperate fantasy reader to another… I must get my fill of fangs, adventure, and the quest for good and evil! ( )
  bound2books | Feb 12, 2017 |
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission. Title: Night Watch Series: Night Watch Author: Sergei Lukyanenko Rating: of 5 Battle Axes Genre: Urban Fantasy Pages: 498 Format: Kindle Synopsis: There is a War going on, between the Light and the Dark. Humans don't know about this war until they become "Others", people with extraordinary abilities who must then choose either the Light or the Dark. Anton is one such Other and we follow him through several stories as he learns and grows in the bleakest place of all, Russia. My Thoughts: I was all over the place with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, hated it in places, was ready to call down the fires of heaven upon Lukyanenko several times and was completely and wonderfully morose through most of the book. I was expecting one story. What I got was 3 or 4 and it worked well. Each story started out from the viewpoint of someone other than Anton and then chapter One would begin from Anton's pov and it was 1st person. It was a jarring change but I found it to fit perfectly with the tone of the whole book. One of the things that made me want to put this down was the utter and complete Dualistic nature of the Light and the Dark. Neither were evil or good, but simply Were. And Light always came off as the weaker [which it usually does in Dualism, see Terry Brooks Word & the Void as another example] and in fact Anton pretty much says so in the first story. That leads into how the Other leaders of the Light and Dark play games with humans, the opposite Side and their own members. Anton encounters this several times and it almost breaks him. I know it would have broken me. Anton. What a fantastic character. Drinking vodka by the *whatever large units one drinks alcohol by*, falling in love, doing his best while not understanding half of what is going on and pondering. I love pondering even while sometimes hating it. Recently, during one of the Classic Club reads, I told someone that I felt like I had a Russian soul, ie, I wasn't happy unless I was miserable. That sums up Anton and in many ways I felt like if I had to be a character, I would have to choose Anton. This was a translated work so it was tough to tell if the rough edges were because of the author or the translator. This book was by no means a wonderful jewel of literature but it was an engrossing look into the Urban Fantasy landscape. And unlike a certain Wizard (filed under W in the telephone directory - That is Harry Dresden, future me, since you'll probably forget), Anton's complaining and misery didn't wear on me. It was him and it fit like a glove. " ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Book club pick and I really wanted to like it, but 100 pages in it is still very generic worldbuilding and rule setup. I should say Moscow vampire thriller just wouldn't call out to me in the best of plots, but not a single engaging character...couldn't finish. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Sep 25, 2016 |
A philosophical exploration of good vs evil in a urban fantasy tale set in Russia. The ideas and questions presented in the book a compelling and very deep. The story itself is good and engaging. It is set as 3 short stories, though that are very connected and pull you deeper into the world. The world building has a few holes or unanswered questions, but mostly don't hinder the story or the major themes around the book. Knowledge of Russian culture may help, but otherwise go into the story with an open and accepting mind, just like most fantasy books. The prose is not too great, which may be due to the translation. ( )
  renbedell | Jul 23, 2016 |
Plot sometimes a bit confusing. There are a lot of characters here and I sometimes had to re read in order to follow what was going on. I sometimes felt I'd missed something in translation. ( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lukyanenko, Sergeiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karlsson, RogerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konttinen, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pöhlmann, ChristianeÜbersetzersecondary 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
First words
The escalator strained slowly upward.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0434014125, Paperback)

The phenomenal Russian bestseller. A vampire novel set in a richly realized post-Soviet Moscow, The Night Watch has sold across Europe and to 20th Century Fox for huge advances.

In The Night Watch, the first of a trilogy, and reminiscent of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials in its ambitions and achievement, the setting is contemporary Moscow. A small number of Muscovites with supernatural powers — those who are Other, owing allegiance either to the Dark or the Light — co-exist in an uneasy truce, each side keeping a close eye on the other’s activities around the city.

Anton, an Other on the side of the Light, is a night-watchman, 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, whom he realizes is under a curse that threatens the entire city, and a boy, Igor, a young Other, as yet unaware of his own enormous power. Partnered by Olga, an Other who is in the form of an owl, he struggles to remove the curse and thereby save the city, while at the same time prevent Igor from falling into the clutches of the Dark.

The Night Watch explores the nature of good and evil and the tensions between the individual and the collective in a gripping narrative that owes as much to The Master and Margarita as it is does to the richly realized worlds of Philip Pullman and Tolkien.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The forces of Light and Darkness have co-existed in a delicate balance for hundreds of years...until now. Even as the Night Watch polices the Dark Others--among them vampires, witches and shape-shifters--a chain of mysterious events triggers a dreaded, age-old prophecy: An immortal with special powers will come to switch sides, shattering the balance and unleashing an apocalyptic war unlike any the world has ever known.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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