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Night Watch (1998)

by Sergei Lukyanenko

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: World of Watches Hexalogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6911402,417 (3.86)239
Fiction. Science Fiction & Fantasy. HTML:

The Night Watch series has caused a sensation never before seen in Russia -- its popularity is frenzied and unprecedented, and driven by a truly great, epic story. In 2005 Fox Searchlight announced it had acquired the Russian film adaptation for an American release. Interest in the books here is now set to reach a fever pitch.

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?

An extraordinary translation from the Russian by noted translator Andrew Bromfield, this first English language edition of Night Watch is a chilling, engrossing read certain to reward those waiting in anticipation of its arrival.

.
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» See also 239 mentions

English (132)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (139)
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
This is the first Russian authored book I've read. Being that I am from America, it's really quite funny how Americans are portrayed the few times mentioned.

Overall I enjoyed reading it! I don't read a lot of books with witches and warlocks and magicians, and I typically find them cheesy (I am still not tempted to pick up Harry Potter), but I really enjoyed this story and characters. The ending was super cheese, and it was a bit of a cop out in my opinion. My friend who only reads books and watches movies that have happy endings would love this book. I didn't learn anything about myself reading this, nor did I really learn anything about the world (maybe perhaps a bit about Russian culture), but it was enjoyable enough; a nice break from the usual stuff that makes me question my existence. ( )
  baeblotz | Oct 21, 2023 |
I only made it through the first short story.
It wasn't bad but the further I got the less I enjoyed it.
I usually enjoy a good somber and gloomy mood in a book but here the simplistic fatalism made it all feel so pointless. I just couldn't understand why anyone in this story had enough drive to even get out of the bed in the morning. It all felt to me like everyone should just keel over on the spot, roll into a ball and rock back and forth.
To be frank "why didn't you just kill yourself already" went through my mind repeatedly.
Instead of caring more I kept caring less and less because I had real trouble to connect to anyone in this depressing cast.
The book tries very hard to be wise but never really makes it past the obvious in the context of philosophy and its attempts at hiding that behind mystery shroud™ isn't able to disguise it.
A lot of the interesting parts of the world were pointlessly hidden behind this ominous mystery shroud™.
The first story ends with a blatant sledgehammer foreshadowing which completely killed any vestiges of interest to read on for me.
It could've been a play on the free will vs destiny thingy and not actual prophecy which was a carefully broached topic a few times but even if- that still was very crude either way.
So, all the gloom instead of being mysterious was just depressing and the philosophy instead of being intriguing it was just unrefined and shallow.
Despite all that, I think a good 3/5 star rating for the first story is fair.
This might be a case of its not you, it's me. If you hit me with philosophy I need the full packet. I have a bad time dealing with philosophy-light.

Just a quick reminder that my reviews always sound very negative. I usually only talk about the flaws and how I felt about them. Pay attention to the star rating for how I feel overall about a book. ( )
  omission | Oct 19, 2023 |
I loved this whole series, and what limited other works of the author are available in English (skip the trash movie adaptations). Given how prolific the author is, I really wish more of his work was available in English. Also, does anyone have any recommendations for other Russian scifi/fantasy/horror authors that might be worth my time? ( )
  jdavidhacker | Aug 4, 2023 |
The Others walk the streets of Moscow, split into the Night Watch, those of the light who watch over the actions of the dark, and the Night Watch, who do the opposite, in the effort to maintain the balance between good and evil. This follows Anton, who stumbles across Svetlana and Egor, both unaligned humans who have become embroiled in events that threaten the whole city and the truce that exists between the light and the dark.

I ( )
  lyrrael | Aug 3, 2023 |
Unknown to regular people, the world if filled with supernatural beings called others. Some of the others follow Light while others follow Dark. Both sides work to maintain a balance between Good and Evil in the world, and are bound by a treaty to do so. When a mid-level agent for the Night Watch (the Light others) discovers a unknown other with extraordinary potential for great power, he finds himself caught up in a power struggle between the forces of both Light and Dark. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series. This book was originally published in Russia, and I can see how the philosophy of the book was influenced by the author's culture. There were times that I found myself struggling a little to understand the book's philosophy, but I enjoyed having my mind stretched. ( )
  Cora-R | Feb 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (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
First words
The escalator strained slowly upward.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. Science Fiction & Fantasy. HTML:

The Night Watch series has caused a sensation never before seen in Russia -- its popularity is frenzied and unprecedented, and driven by a truly great, epic story. In 2005 Fox Searchlight announced it had acquired the Russian film adaptation for an American release. Interest in the books here is now set to reach a fever pitch.

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?

An extraordinary translation from the Russian by noted translator Andrew Bromfield, this first English language edition of Night Watch is a chilling, engrossing read certain to reward those waiting in anticipation of its arrival.

.

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