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)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Brace yourself for Harry Potter in Gorky Park.... The novel contains some captivating scenes and all kinds of marvelous, inventive detail: The vampires’ seduction of a teenage boy is bone-chilling; every time Lukyanenko described the Other-worldly Twilight, I felt lured into it; and the fantastical powers exercised by Anton and his colleagues range from delightful to awesome." (The Washington Post Book World)
"[As] potent as a shot of vodka.... [A] compelling urban fantasy." (Publishers Weekly)
"Night Watch is an epic of extraordinary power." (Quentin Tarantino)
I have been an inveterate reader for thirty years and "The Night Watch" is the best "first novel in a series" I have read other than, and since, J.R.R Martin's "A Game of Thrones" in the "Fire and Ice" series. I started listening to "The Night Watch" driving to the airport this past Wednesday. Then during a four hour flight the book continued to entertain. Before mid-night I was finished, but wanted more. I had already used my 5 credits for January but I gladly paid $24.95 for "The Day Watch".
We are told the story from the perspective of Anton, who is an agent of The Night Watch. Anton is a Light Magician, having a modest amount of power, but not a lot of experience. He is also an idealist(never forget this) and is not always careful in using his magic, which might lead him to an arrangement(or compromise) with a Dark Agent. The characters surrounding Anton are rich and colorful, and each with his own motivations as to why a certain area of magic was chosen as a strength to build upon.
The lines between good and evil begin to blur, slowly at first, as the story unfolds. The listener should pay close attention to the arguments from both sides, because each one has thought provoking assertions(and logic) as to why their way is the Right way.
Kat at FanLit
Modern Moscow makes a terrific setting for an urban fantasy novel and Anton is a likable hero. Paul Michael is perfect for the role of a tough but sensitive Muscovite (and is now my second favorite audiobook reader). While the writing, the setting, the characters, and most of the plot are enjoyable, there are a couple of related problems that kept The Night Watch from being the completely engrossing story it had the potential to be. We get much of the story from Anton???s point of view and, while this made me really understand and like his character, it also means that we spend a huge amount of time listening to Anton trying to figure out what???s going on. He???ll brood for a while, then have an epiphany and give us an explanation (not always logical or believable) that he???s sure is right, but then suddenly he???ll be wrong and some other strange (illogical or unbelievable) explanation will be given, which may or may not be correct. I chuckled toward the end when Anton says: "I didn???t know. As always, I didn???t have enough information for analysis. I could have come up with thirty-three different explanations, all contradicting each other." And I think he does come up with 33 different explanations, all contradicting each other. It gets really confusing and it interrupts the action but, worse, when we find out what???s really going on, it???s not nearly as exciting as it could have been. Most of the plot climaxes just fizzle when we find out the truth. Related to this is the fact that I never quite believed in Sergei Lukyanenko???s world. In his interior monologues, Anton goes on at length about light and dark, destiny and fate ??? I???m not sure that it all made sense. I also didn???t understand some of the choices Anton made, especially at the end. Perhaps this will be cleared up in sequels. Still, I enjoyed spending time in Moscow with Anton and enemies, even if I was confused about the plot.
Don't believe the bad reviews! I've read the book, watched the movie, and listened to the audiobook....they are all fantasic. We actually get to understand the motivations of the characters--not just have the actions described. It makes for much more "complete" and "real" characters. I love these books...you will too! Oh---the narrator helps a lot. His russian accents help keep the story firmly in Russia.
Not one big story, but three novellas. I wish that had been mentioned right off the bat. It makes a difference in story, character, etc. development. Story line is unusual and somewhat interesting with (surprisingly) deep (and interesting) philosophical musings for so little (real) character development. Cops and robbers but not really. From a Russian angle no less. Entertaining. A big plus: a story with vampires (witches and warlocks, etc.) that is NOT a thinly disguised torid romance. LOL.
It is hard to write a review of something that took me so by surprise. We've been taught that something of ourselves is brought into play when a story has been shared or experienced, be it written or in audio format. If something of the story resonates with me then I normally find the story and the experience to be a good one.
With that said, I thoroughly enjoy this story.
This story brought back memories of Slavic and Baltic exchange students I'd known. Not the "Otherness" part but the everyday human part.
For me, Sergei Lukyanenko, has given us a story where the events in our heroes (both Light and Dark) lives are part of 9 to 11 ball pattern in juggling.
... and at some time or another he has thrown a ball either so high that we forget that it was in the pattern or pocketed the ball when we weren't looking, and when the time is right; pop, there is another ball in the pattern.
That the story is engaging, for me, is the best way to put it, not always comfortable and sometimes very hectic, but never chaotic.
And very beautiful ....
... but then your idea of beauty and mine may very well be different, and then again, that very difference is an important theme, voice, lyric in this story.
I hope this helps.
Fascinating premise. It will probably age badly die to the vampire-heavy world the author creates. Havent been charged up the read the rest of the series yet. Be warned, the novel is more like three novellas witht he same characters. I was a little disappointed the novel wasn't more cohesive.
It is not a Vampire action story about blood, and guts, and gorgeous "undead". It is not even about the victory of good over evil. If you ever acquainted yourself with Russian literature, you will set your expectations just right.
It is a though-provoking book consisting of novellas, each with a separate storyline involving the same group of characters and revolving around the same theme. It is about searching in the "grey", which is, of course, a blend of black and white.
What is good? What is evil? Do we know for sure? Should we question rules and perceptions set thousands of years ago or is it always a matter of personal choice set here and now?
You will find more questions than answers in this book. That is what Russians are all about. Always searching and not settling for ordinary and comfortable.
I loved it and will continue with the series.
PS: The narrator, Paul Michael, crosses genders and characters so seamlessly that you forget it is the same person speaking.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
While there are some interesting ideas in this book, and the main character is interesting...I find myself looking back at this book and not remembering hardly any significant turns of events in the book. it only took me a week to listen.
The book was also split up into three parts which segmented the plot to harshly. The end was a huge let down with nothing significant revealed about the plot. No climax at all.
Not really worth a credit.
I actually read these books about 6 years ago. But I wanted to listen to them. This series is somewhere between sci-fi and paranormal. The setting is in Russia and that makes the whole book more interesting to me. There is one major plot that runs through all the books with 3 sub-plots. There is minor romance and tons of drinking. Many many interesting characters that make the story colorful.
this is the first of four novels which address the Others, locked in the balance between darkness and light, but set in post-communist Russia. the characters are compelling and the narration is good.
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