Julie Davis's Reviews > Night Watch

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
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Feb 24, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: a-good-story-is-hard-to-find-podcas
Read from January 08 to 12, 2013

Good Story #57. Good and evil, collective good vs. individual good - these are some of the themes in Sergei Lukyanenko's The Night Watch. And vortexes. And some body switching. And vampires, werewolves, magic... urban fantasy, straight from Russia!

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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.
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Reading Progress

01/09/2013 page 70
11.0% "Wow, I am really enjoying this first story. I can see where it intersects with the movie and yet it has a feel that is completely distinct. It is really fun to be reading a book that I can't wait to pick up whenever I get a chance."
01/11/2013 page 340
57.0% "The overall theme becomes clear. Can Light and Dark have a Truce?"
04/01/2014 marked as: currently-reading
04/04/2014 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Joseph (new)

Joseph R. Yay Russian novels! The Nightwatch books are pretty good. I'm not sure if I liked the movies better or the books. Which is pretty rare for book-to-movie adaptations.

You should make Scott watch the movies for next October's Good Story podcast! Good Halloween watching.


Jenny (Reading Envy) This one should count; it's huge!


Julie Davis Jenny wrote: "This one should count; it's huge!"

I actually laughed out loud. If Tolstoy wrote about vampires I would have tackled him sooner. :-D

The type is big so that helps.


Julie Davis Joseph wrote: "Yay Russian novels! The Nightwatch books are pretty good. I'm not sure if I liked the movies better or the books. Which is pretty rare for book-to-movie adaptations.

You should make Scott watch th..."


I was seriously heading in that direction, especially since I'm really, really enjoying the first story. Why did I wait so long to read this?


message 5: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome I think there's a new audio version. We just talked about it next Monday. :)


Julie Davis Tamahome wrote: "I think there's a new audio version. We just talked about it next Monday. :)"

A different audio version than the flat, flavorless one I tried out? I'll have to look around. Though, as I think I mentioned when we discussed it ... my husband says that is the way our Russian clients talk English during meetings.


Julie Davis Oh, I see. There's a new book coming up ... New Watch ... I knew that and I think that's what made me go looking for the first one again. Same narrator though ...


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