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 in fantasy novels. The lines of Light and Dark are less stark than those of good versus evil - here even the "good guys" have some moral complexity. The book is comprised of three semi-related stories, and the first was by far the most interesting.
What I didn't: The language is a bit clunky, which may be due to translation (or not?). I was also left confused at some parts; the author seemed compelled to throw in twists at the very end of each story, with little explanation. I would have prefered one linear storyline.
What I learned: Even contemporary Russian literature is gloomy. And the movie is only loosely based on the book.
Quote: Evil has no need to bother with eliminating Good. It's far simpler to let Good fight against itself.