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The Night Watch (Дозоры #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  21,718 ratings  ·  1,367 reviews
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
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by William Heinemann (first published 1998)
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2014: ***The reasons why I will never read another of Lukyanenko's books are at the bottom of the review. ***
2012: "We don't even know how to wish evil on anyone. Except that our Good is not any different from Evil."

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 t
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
I can’t get over the suspicion I’m reading this in the wrong language.

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
Final rating: ★★★/★★★★★

“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
Kat Kennedy
You know, I've read this entire book and met quite a few Russians and I still don't understand them though I think, as a nation and hodge-podge of ethnicities, they're one of my favourites. Apart from the Irish, but who can't love those crazy, drunk, lucky bastards? (Okay, for legal purposes I am forced to clarify that they are not always crazy, drunk, lucky, illegitimate or a combination of one or more of those characteristics. This is an unfortunate stereotype propagated against the great peop ...more
For the past month or so I have been regrettably absent from the nets that I like to call my digital home. Real life demands have left me with precious little time to call my own and, more frightening still, the books that have found their way into my hands have not been inspiring me to take to the webs and shout my opinions into the ether with my usual gusto. Yes, I was in the grip of a mid-winter malaise second to none where everything I read, saw, or listened to just seemed either like it was ...more
I read Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch after having already seen the films based on it. The movie Night Watch is more or less a faithful adaptation of the first section of the book with a few embellishments. The movie Day Watch is a much looser adaptation of the second and third sections.

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
"Ever danced with the devil in the middle of the night?"

Once there was Twilight

Then True Blood

Somewhere in the middle came The Vampire Diaries

Robert Pattinson's forehead, move over please, The Night Watch is here.

What a great writer Sergei Lukyanenko is. Many reviewers seem to think he is a Russian-Tolkien. I can't really see that, given that The Night Watch is set in Moscow, with no real invention with languages or places. What the author does well is keep a concise story flowing throughout, e
I thought there are a lot of interesting and unusual aspects to this book. In particular, the tripartite structure (I got that term from the book club discussion), the magic system, and the depth of discussion on the nature of good vs evil and how to go about keeping a balance between the two.

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
Please note: I've read this book twice, the latest time being December 2006.

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
May 08, 2012 Tfitoby rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tfitoby by: Daniel Juckes
I was really enjoying this book until about the midway point and then instead of Lukyanenko pushing the story on to a fantastic ending which would have had me drooling for the following instalments he simply repeated the same trick from the first part of the book twice more and helped me to lose interest entirely.

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
Vampires, shape-shifters, witches, magicians...nothing new there. Light, Dark, the Balance...nothing new there either. So why do I like this book so much? Well, in the imagination stakes, there is the Twilight, which does seem original to me, but really it is the character and setting that I like.

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
Nov 04, 2007 R3grant rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, vampire nuts.
For those that found the interest to see the movie some 2 years ago when it made it's North American release, Night Watch seemed a bit too confusing. Whether it was just another victim of the movie made from a book or that Russian is a difficult language to translate to English, Night Watch and it's sequel Day Watch, lacked a lot of background story and character development that the books provide.

The Night Watch books are perfectly translated and give explanation of even the simple plot points
Destiny: Around page two hundred I wondered whether Lukyanenko was going to throw us a Perdido Street Station style curveball and make The Night Watch about something other than a triple header search for an unsanctioned vampire, her young Other hostage, and the uber-powerful Warlock/Witch responsible for the great black Vortex hovering over the head of a nice, pretty little general practitioner (can you tell I've been reading too many mysteries and watching too much film noir lately? Sorry).

Interesting. It felt like a very slow, thoughtful book, but a lot of things went by much too quickly -- Anton and Svetlana's courtship appears to have occurred entirely between sections one and two, for example, and really nobody except for Anton and Egor got much in the way of characterization. It was neat to have the mix of fantasy elements and complicated mysteries, though, and the mysteries all had great flourishing reveals as Anton figured them out (although I would have liked to have their ...more
**edit 11/26/13
"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
This is a case where I wish we had half stars. I've been a bit stingy with my 5-star ratings lately and have given 4 stars to some books that I really, really enjoyed. I liked Night Watch, but not as much as some of the books I've recently rated as 4 stars.

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.
This book is made up of three stories. All involve the main character, Anton. I really enjoyed these. It was very original and interesting. I loved all the rules and the complications that came along with them. There was more to it than just magic and vampires and shape shifters. Looking forward to reading Day Watch.
3.5 stars. Loved the concept at the heart of this series of llinked stories (i.e., the Nightwatch and the Daywatch). Thought the actual execution of that concept was good but not great. Still, worth a read in my opinion just to experience the setting.
Julie Davis
Reading this for the third time. Why? No reason ... just felt that urge. And am enjoying it immensely. My original review is below.


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
Walking the streets of Moscow with the rest of the population are the Others, possessors of supernatural powers capable of entering the Twilight, a shadowy parallel that few know exists. Each Other owes allegiance to the Light or Dark side, The Night Watch follows Anton, a young Other of the Light, who must patrol the streets protecting ordinary people from the vampires and magicians of the Dark.

I’ve been trying more and more fantasy (in my quest to be a literary explorer) and with the success o
Jun 11, 2007 k.wing rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not sure. but very few people.
Let's just get the hard stuff out of the way first:
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
I finished reading Surgei Lukyanenko's The Night Watch last night, but I didn't write my review then to give me time to digest it, so to speak. It was originally written in Russian, so obviously I read it in translation -- it's quite odd to see a translated fantasy novel be relatively popular here. I think the only other translated fantasy novels I've read were by Cornelia Funke. In any case, the translation isn't bad. I'm sure it loses some of the original, but I didn't get a horrible sense of ...more
Jul 26, 2010 Jackie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie by: A.C.
A different take on the usual magic story. In the first two sections, I figured out the end early on. Predictable but enjoyable anyway. I thought I had the last section figured out but was pleasantly surprised.
I especially enjoyed reading a novel by a Russian author and seeing his worldview seep through into the story. Very interesting.
Bizarre, and surreal...this book is hard to keep up with at times. I'm not sure if some of the story has been lost in the translation into English from the original Russian, but the plot can be confusing at times. But, the story is still hypnotizing, and in the end i was left wanting to read more about these strange characters.
Arun Divakar
One of the biggest boosters I have received from this site is an easy accessibility to scour for books, from lists of friends and strangers alike. It was probably on one such search that i came to know of this book for the first time and at a later stage found it at the library. I wasn't disappointed !!!

My expectations were set a bit low when the tale started off with a good vs evil kind of story line with vampires,werewolves,witches and wizards added in to measure. But the tale soon shifted gea
This review has been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of the Light.

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
Mirvan  Ereon
I love this series so much and the movie was so damn fun! The movies gave justice to the book and I can even say they made it so much better. I hope all the movies and books by this writer will progress forever. Can't wait for a new one! I so love this series. I saved all my money just to buy this series and it was so worth it. In fact I do not even like buying books in a series but this made me so happy that i just wanted more. I hope though that the series will end with Last Watch because I ra ...more
Dec 03, 2008 Shawne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Shelves: fiction
I confess that I first came to Lukyanenko's Night Watch trilogy through the two movies based on this first book - and I'm glad I decided to pick up the literary source material as well. Lukyanenko has created a fascinating universe, a magical realm characterised by Light and Darkness grafted into the human world we recognise: a dazzlingly imaginative fantasy rooted in the almost painfully mundane. It is staggering - and ridiculously fun - to plunge into the vodka-laced pages making up Lukyanenko ...more
Published: 2006 (English translation)

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
Completely different from the movie. I mean totally totally different. It is a very philosophical book and through the thoughts and voice of the protagonist, Anton, the author deliberates about good/evil and right/wrong and The Others' responsibility to society. It also speaks to human nature and the way the world runs. The slightly rough translation annoyed me as well as the references to Russian history, culture, and modern car models. This irritated me because I felt like I was missing out, b ...more
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BookTube Reading ...: Night Watch - Discussion 55 70 Oct 02, 2014 09:58AM  
  • Twelve (The Danilov Quintet, #1)
  • Темная сторона (Лабиринты Ехо, #4)
  • Обитаемый остров
  • The Midnight Mayor (Matthew Swift, #2)
  • Vicious Circle (Felix Castor, #2)
  • Necropolis (Matt Richter #1)
  • Shadow Prowler (Chronicles of Siala #1)
  • Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, #1)
  • Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher, #1)
  • Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1)
  • Pani jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #7)
  • 13 Bullets: A Vampire Tale
  • Kłamca (Kłamca, #1)
  • O Mar de Ferro
  • Статский советник (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #6)
  • Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (Shadow Saga #2)
  • The Secret History of Moscow
  • Already Dead (Joe Pitt, #1)
Сергей Лукьяненко
Sergej Lukianenko (German)
Szergej Lukjanyenko (Hungarian)
Sergey Lukyanenko
Sergej Luk'janenko (Italian)
Сергей Лукяненко (Bulgarian)
Siergiej Łukanienko
Sergei Lukjanenko

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 o
More about Sergei Lukyanenko...
Day Watch (Watch, #2) Twilight Watch (Watch, #3) The Last Watch (Watch, #4) Лабиринт отражений (Лабиринт отражений #1) Черновик (Работа над ошибками, #1)

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