Ночной дозор (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
I liked the tripartite structure of the book. It sort of spilt the story into three sub-stories although the time line was consistent as were the main characters. However each sub-story had its own focus an...more
Translation: I had my husband read this first, after he read the Russian version, so he could tell me how good the translation was (he was born in Russia). He tells me the translation from Russian is very good, as good as could be expected considering there are so many Russian words and phrases that simply cannot be translated into English with the same amount of impact. Apparently the Russian version of this book has a...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
The Night Watch books are perfectly translated and give explanation of even the simple plot points...more
I really liked the atmosphere and the ideas in Night Watch. It was so different from American urban fantasy. It's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, even though they are clearly labeled. I really felt like I was in a magical Moscow....more
The protagonist, Anton, Light One, magician, agent for the Night Watch - the organisation that attempts to ensure that the Dark Ones uphold the truce between Light and Dark - is committed to his cause y...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
This has now been recommended by both daughters and Jeff Miller. Plus I liked the movie, though I realize the book is different in many ways. And now I can say I'm reading Russian novels. No need to say which Russian novels since people assume the big classics ... right? :-)
The book is three stories, linked by their setting and the fact that each i...more
I’ve been trying more and more fantasy (in my quest to be a literary explorer) and with the success o...more
I especially enjoyed reading a novel by a Russian author and seeing his worldview seep through into the story. Very interesting.
This review has been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of the Dark.
Imagine a world where magic is real. A place where people known as Others are born with powers they don’t understand. Their destinies are unwritten until that fateful day when they first become an Other - when they discover the strange, shadowy and powerful world known as the Twilight - and have to make a choice: will they stan...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
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
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
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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