Teresa's Reviews > Day Watch

Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
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Mar 16, 2009

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Read in March, 2009 , read count: 1

Night Watch : Day Watch

I enjoyed these stories. They were a good read, light and quick, but not too simple. Like fairy tales for grownups, they build on the eternal struggle between good and evil. They are written in a way that lets you just have the story if that’s all you want, but more likely you are left pondering the real world embedded in the imaginary one.

I like Anton. He’s a good character to hold the story together. Working on the side of Light, but having doubts. I like it that he sees the goodness inside of himself, but he also finds strength in his questioning nature, in his independence from some predetermined path. But he’s no zealot, and his occasional insecurity, and uncertainty, offer a certain charm. There was a lot in this reluctant hero that appealed to me.

I resisted the style used at the start of Day Watch, with the separate stories, but it grew on me by the third part. And when it was all wrapped up at the end I realized that I had appreciated the style overall -- the breaking of the story and the telling from different perspectives was engaging. However, I kind of feel like there are too many secondary characters swirling around that we don’t know very well, and they are hard to keep track of. I think it would be better if one or two others were explained more deeply. And I am annoyed by Anton’s relationship with Svetlana – we haven’t been told enough to explain what holds them together; we are supposed to accept that they have a relationship, but it doesn’t seem justified. I don’t get why he cares about her (and I don’t feel convinced that he does). If a story is going to include a romance, it needs to have more guts to it.

I think it is important that Lukyanenko shows the good and bad sides of both the Light and the Dark, and found that some of the underlying truths in that really resonated with me. For example, I thought it was fascinating that at the camp the dark witch took away the girls’ nightmares, and the light magician sucked up the children’s happy energy. (However, I think in reality more often the light energy builds more light energy and it feeds itself, likewise with dark energy. But I can also see some truth in people who suck the energy – good and bad – from others, leaving them “empty”.)

I have sometimes thought that those with talent and intelligence have a higher purpose that comes with an obligation to serve. That is, because I can see the big picture, because I care about people, because I can grasp complexity, I have a responsibility to pursue a life’s work that will put these skills and virtues to work for the greater good. But it is not an easy path. The issues that Anton grapples with in serving the Light feel similar. Those who serve the Light often overplan with big solutions that don’t work out. There is also value in protecting the rights of individuals to pursue their own destinies, and the Dark side value humanity too, albeit in a different way. Both paths offer some value, and are still driven by a higher purpose, in their own way. I liked the idea in the story that many of the most famous leaders, artists, thinkers had been Others.

Here are some lines that caught my attention:

“ I was overwhelmed by such a blissful, unshakeable certainty that I was right, that I even stopped feeling the cold, piercing wind.”

“If you have love in you, it’s a strength. But if you are in love, it’s a weakness.”

I liked the whole description of Prague at the beginning of Chapter 2 in the third section of Day Watch. But I especially loved this line, “But Prague was like an old, wise enchantress who knew how to pretend to be young, but did not see any need for it, since she remained beautiful at any age.”

“What incredible faith he must have in his own righteousness, to be able to combine active military service and the cause of the Light.”

“And human beings need something sacred to cherish in their souls.”

“Anton couldn’t decide if they’d been right or wrong to open the second bottle of vodka. On the one hand, it seemed like they were getting close to the essential truth of what was going on… but on the other, it was getting harder and harder to discuss the problem."

"Is there anything in your life that you regard as sacred? Anything at all?"
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message 1: by Teresa (last edited Mar 16, 2009 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Night Watch : Day Watch

I enjoyed these stories. They were a good read, light and quick, but not too simple. Like fairy tales for grownups, they build on the eternal struggle between good and evil. They are written in a way that lets you just have the story if that’s all you want, but more likely you are left pondering the real world embedded in the imaginary one.

I like Anton. He’s a good character to hold the story together. Working on the side of Light, but having doubts. I like it that he sees the goodness inside of himself, but he also finds strength in his questioning nature, in his independence from some predetermined path. But he’s no zealot, and his occasional insecurity, and uncertainty, offer a certain charm. There was a lot in this reluctant hero that appealed to me.

I resisted the style used at the start of Day Watch, with the separate stories, but it grew on me by the third part. And when it was all wrapped up at the end I realized that I had appreciated the style overall -- the breaking of the story and the telling from different perspectives was engaging. However, I kind of feel like there are too many secondary characters swirling around that we don’t know very well, and they are hard to keep track of. I think it would be better if one or two others were explained more deeply. And I am annoyed by Anton’s relationship with Svetlana – we haven’t been told enough to explain what holds them together; we are supposed to accept that they have a relationship, but it doesn’t seem justified. I don’t get why he cares about her (and I don’t feel convinced that he does). If a story is going to include a romance, it needs to have more guts to it.

I think it is important that Lukyanenko shows the good and bad sides of both the Light and the Dark, and found that some of the underlying truths in that really resonated with me. For example, I thought it was fascinating that at the camp the dark witch took away the girls’ nightmares, and the light magician sucked up the children’s happy energy. (However, I think in reality more often the light energy builds more light energy and it feeds itself, likewise with dark energy. But I can also see some truth in people who suck the energy – good and bad – from others, leaving them “empty”.)

I have sometimes thought that those with talent and intelligence have a higher purpose that comes with an obligation to serve. That is, because I can see the big picture, because I care about people, because I can grasp complexity, I have a responsibility to pursue a life’s work that will put these skills and virtues to work for the greater good. But it is not an easy path. The issues that Anton grapples with in serving the Light feel similar. Those who serve the Light often overplan with big solutions that don’t work out. There is also value in protecting the rights of individuals to pursue their own destinies, and the Dark side value humanity too, albeit in a different way. Both paths offer some value, and are still driven by a higher purpose, in their own way. I liked the idea in the story that many of the most famous leaders, artists, thinkers had been Others.

Here are some lines that caught my attention:

“ I was overwhelmed by such a blissful, unshakeable certainty that I was right, that I even stopped feeling the cold, piercing wind.”

“If you have love in you, it’s a strength. But if you are in love, it’s a weakness.”

I liked the whole description of Prague at the beginning of Chapter 2 in the third section of Day Watch. But I especially loved this line, “But Prague was like an old, wise enchantress who knew how to pretend to be young, but did not see any need for it, since she remained beautiful at any age.”

“What incredible faith he must have in his own righteousness, to be able to combine active military service and the cause of the Light.”

“And human beings need something sacred to cherish in their souls.”

“Anton couldn’t decide if they’d been right or wrong to open the second bottle of vodka. On the one hand, it seemed like they were getting close to the essential truth of what was going on… but on the other, it was getting harder and harder to discuss the problem."

"Is there anything in your life that you regard as sacred? Anything at all?"



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