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 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, the reader learns more about the subtleties and intricacies of the world between light and dark. Each of the stories is thoroughly engrossing and although they build upon each other, they stand alone very well.
The first page of the book has two messages, which are puzzling and amusing as an introduction. However when I had finished the book I realized they also served to sum up how the author uses the different stories and characters:
This text has been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of Light. --The Night Watch
This text has been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of Dark.-- The Day Watch
These two statements sum up the novel very well. Lukyanenko imagines an all too familiar war between Light and Darkness and then turns it on its head.
Final result: simply fantastic. The way the three stories all look at Light and Dark, treaties and compromises, and even what it means to be unyielding on one side or the other ... is all not only a good story but food for thought about our own lives.