The Night Watch (Дозоры #1)
How do you write the *real* Russian urban fantasy? Spice up your standard recipe with extreme moral ambiguity, questioning of morals and purpose, blend the distinctions between the forces of dark and light creating moral greyness, add questionable authority figures, question the benefit of one versus the benefit of the society, and you got the right mix!¹
¹ Other optional ingredients include: a to...more
Simple, really. I am—I’m reading it in English.
The philosophy of language makes me dizzy; the chicken-egg relationship between cognition and verbal expression means that something is likely lost in translation the more sophisticated or fantastical a thought becomes. Even simple phrases have deeper meaning. Take the concept “I have to walk the dog.” Not too hard, is it? Except in translating, do you use the pronoun “I” or is it...more
“Why was is that the Light acted through lies, and the Darkness acted though the truth? Why was is that our truth proved powerless, but lies were effective? And why was the Darkness able to manage perfectly well with truth in order to do Evil?”
I have no idea what to say about this. I liked it and disliked it. Both, equally. I loved it because the idea is unique and there is a lot of thinking about consequences, life in general and lot more. But i felt that the story was...more
On the first page of the book, there are two messages: One from the Night Watch that reads: "This text had been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of Light." The message from the Day Watch is id...more
At the heart of the book is a fantastic premise; police departments set up by Light Magicians and Dark Magicians to monitor the behaviour of Good and Evil (his pronouns not mine), fight...more
"You find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." --Terry Pratchett
Summon up your own shadow and let it pull you into the Twilight, the liminal land of heartless greys and mysterious shadows, where truths cannot be hidden and where magic is real. But the Twilight's gift is two-edged. While it will grant you powers, it will also leech away...more
The Night Watch books are perfectly translated and give explanation of even the simple plot points...more
The book is three stories, linked by their setting and the fact that each is told by Anton, a light other who has is now getting field experience after having been a file clerk for several years. As he gets more experience, t...more
I especially enjoyed reading a novel by a Russian author and seeing his worldview seep through into the story. Very interesting.
The book surprised me with its ethical quandries and interesting observations about people. The main idea is that there are supernatural creatures around us, they all draw their power from the same sort of source but they can turn into different...more
Second, I never in a million years would have thought I'd like a Russian vampire book, but I did. I really liked it, and read it very quickly.
Third, don't ever -- and I mean EVER -- watch the movie. It's horrible. Our book club usual...more
As much as I love the movie, I do prefer the slower and less 'mystical' pace of the book. Even when I first saw the movie, I thought that they were rushing and packing as much detail into each scene as they could, and that I was missing out on alot even with that effort. And I was right. The book has it's characters running at a much slower and rel...more
The forces of Light and Dark have sworn a treaty, so they live at peace. Anton is a member of the Night Watch, the group of Others who’ve joined the Light’s side and patrol the streets of Moscow at night to make sure that the Dark magicians are keeping their side of the bargain. During the daytime, the Day Watch does the same task for the Dark side. Meddling with the affairs of humans, for either good or ill, allows the other side to even the score so that...more
The Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko is quite fascinating. It’s thought provoking, original material with a story line that keeps you turning the pages. The concept is that there are certain people, or Others, who exist beyond the realm of normality. They are human beings involved in an eternal war between the cosmic balance of Light and Dark.
The “Watches” are formal organizations in charge of maintaining the necessary balance between Light and Dark. The Day Watch is comprised of Dark Oth...more
An uneasy truce has existed between the two groups for several thousand years, but all that could soon change due...more
Their truce is one that sits on a shaky foundation and rogue members/non-members of both councils are wreaking havoc by trying to bring about the end of society's status quo in an e...more
How I discovered: Jamie discovered the movie about two years ago, and had always wanted to read the books. I got him this and the sequel for Xmas. He liked it and suggested I read it, too.
What I liked: These days (well, the past year or two) I've been quite interested in books with elements of the supernatural, and this one delivers with vampires, mages, and shapeshifters. The gritty realism of present-day Moscow is a nice change from what you typically get...more
Night Watch is part of a fantasy trilogy that both makes and breaks molds. The books have a dynamic cas...more
I thought the character of Anton held up well through most of the book. He grew, he changed. He was the humanity that most other members of his group had lost much of already. The idea of his humanity making him flawed in a way that always seems to work to further the plans of the "ligh...more
a. the translation is pretty bad.
b. it's a horror/thriller novel. I found it in the sci-fi/fantasy section.
There. I put out all the dirty laundry. Now, on to why it's a 5 star book.
The 'lessons' in this book are very hard to swallow. There is truth in this book that you will not find in very many other places. If you jump on the train that thinks nothing in this world is 100% evil, and on the other side of the coin, nothing is 100% good, then yo...more
What is it?
* A Russian book
* A Sci-Fi book
* A book of Philosophy
Wait, wait! It's all of the above.
This sounds like it should be just plain boring. But it was a page turner... Yes, I'll turn off the light and go to sleep in just a minute, Dear. Surprised and pleased! I've always loved philosophy, but rarely find it in SF, my vice fiction. But this kept me up late at night. And it is the beginning of a trilogy (don't watch the movie until you have read at least the first t...more
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Sergei Lukyanenko (as his name appears on books and films in U.S. markets) is a science-fiction and fantasy author, writing in Russian, and is arguably the most popular contemporary Russian sci-fi writer. His works often feature intense action-packed plots, interwoven with th...more