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Night Watch

(Дозоры #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  40,504 ratings  ·  2,214 reviews
They are the "Others," an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.

For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard
Paperback, 457 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Harper Paperbacks (first published 1998)
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Hello. I'm from Russia, from the author himself. in Russia, the people to show their respect for the older, use the name and patronymic, for example i…more

Hello. I'm from Russia, from the author himself. in Russia, the people to show their respect for the older, use the name and patronymic, for example if the teacher called "Anna Sergeeva Makarovna" students will call her "Anna Makarovna". If you come to visit a friend that you will call his mom is not just "Daria", call her- "Daria Tikhonovna." I hope I have helped you.(less)
Thom Новый Дозор, or New Watch, was released by Harper Collins in 2014. The goodreads link is

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
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, questio
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
So I was strolling through a thrift shop one day a few weeks ago and came across this book on a sale table.  I had never heard of it before but was intrigued by a blurb on the cover that said ‘Brace yourself for Harry Potter in Gorky Park”

The Night Watch takes place mostly in and around Moscow.  The book is really broken down into three parts but all three focus on Anton who is an Other, working with the Night Watch.  Others can be shape shifters, magicians etc., the main point being that they
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Okay, I’m still not sure what to think of this book, but let’s try and ruthlessly cut the crap for once, shall we?

👍 The Good

The World is pretty cool and original and stuff.
The thing is, I’m not sure how much that has to do with the fact that the author is Russian and that the action takes place in Moscow. Because, when you think about it, this book is really just another case of yawn typical, average Goodly Good vs. Evilly Evil Urban Fantasy (GGvEEUF™). (Only that it’s, um, you know, set i
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
I think I'm a bit amazed.

There's an awful lot I love about this novel and I had to put aside a lot of my well-misinformed prejudices about what I think I like most about modern Urban Fantasy.

Let's be clear here... this novel came out before most of the modern batches. 1998.

When it comes to similar themes of dark magic vs. light and the exploration of an amazingly deep moral ambiguity between them, I actually prefer Benedict Jacka's UF novels when it comes to straight action, magic, and charact
I realised today that I had not written a review for this book, so time to remedy that.

One of the groups I freezes runs the occasional Bossy Book Challenge where one gets paired with another volunteer, puts forward on an agreed theme, a few book suggestions to each other that the other hasn't read. Et voila Bossy Book Challenge.

Of the suggestions put forward by my partner, this was the one I chose, and a good suggestion and choice it was to.
Set in "present day" Russia, this a novel about three
Final rating: 3/5 stars

“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 wa
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
3.5 stars. This had some interesting ideas and story lines but the delivery was clunky because of the translation. In some ways it was like the Russian version of Rivers of London, but not as funny or readable. This was a reread and I first read it many years ago so when I first rated it from memory, I gave it 5. But there werent so many excellent books in the genre back then ( or at least not that I knew of). Glad I refreshed my memory, but sadly not as good as I remembered.
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Night Watch is the first book in a six-book series. I would consider this to be urban fantasy. It’s set in Moscow and focuses on “Others”, people with special abilities who walk among non-humans unrecognized, usually picking a side between the Light and the Dark and working in organized groups toward the goals of their chosen side. Since both sides seem primarily concerned with maintaining a balance, the lines between them are a little blurry. Rules are in place to keep conflict between the two ...more
All three novellas in this book were 3 stars.....fascinating but all ended rather anticlimactically....the setting was very cool as were the was interesting to slowly find out the many laws and philosophies of the light and dark watches....I will try the second in the series at some point !
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
"The Dark freedom is, first of all, the freedom from yourself, your consciousness and soul. When you feel no more pain in your chest - it's time to scream for help. Except for then it's too late."

The author took all sterotypes of urban fantasy and crushed them into pieces. It’s not about Anton’s selfish wishes to be with a woman he loves as much as it is a fight for his right to choose his own destiny. I adore Anton, I adore the humor and ambiguous messages. It's far from perfect, but enjoy
2.5/5 on a good day.

This book is my biggest let down of 2017 so far. I really expected great things from it, and I was excited that Autumn and I were able to select it for Bookworm Bitches April Pen Pals buddy read, but it just didn’t do it for either of us. I obviously had quite a few issues with this book, and yeah I could focus on the positive, but right now I’m bitter that I wasted my time and I just want to get all the negatives over with first, SO HERE WE GO KIDS...

It’s hard for me
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Graeme Rodaughan
Light and Dark! Anton Gorodetsky, a light other, is a newbie field operative for the Night Watch as all hell threatens to break loose in Moscow. This is exotic Urban Fantasy unlike anything I have read before.

Sergei Lukyanenko has built a wonderfully detailed and consistent world where secret powers war against each other while bound by a mutually enforced treaty. The world building is elegantly presented via character conversations that are well contexted to the narrative. There are distinct ph
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, watch
I was really close on giving up this book after I was almost seventy five percent done with the book, but I kept going after thinking that I had come near to the end and the final conclusion will be satisfactory to my persistence, but unfortunately it left me wanting for more.

The genre of book is Urban fantasy, but author manages to put in lot of grey moments in the book, where in you are confused regarding classifying the good guys as good, it's not your typical Harry Dresden type urban fantasy
"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
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Toby 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
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Night Watch

Many years ago I watched the movie based on the book in this series and I liked it so much that I decided to read the book. It was so long ago that I don't remember what was this movie about in fact. Maybe it's good, making me like the book even more. I was surprised with this story. It is different than I expected. To my amazement, I liked things I usually don't like.

The entire book is divided into three parts. Three separate stories that are closely related. The same characters, similar themes
Russia is a fascinating country. Their history somehow manages to be just as grandiose as it is grim, and this influences their literature and art in very interesting ways. My experience of reading Russian literature has showed me that characters are very rarely all good or all evil. They are flawed, do good things for bad reasons and bad things for good reasons, struggle with very complex feelings and don’t often meet with a truly satisfying end.

Lukyanenko’s “Night Watch” is a collection of thr
Oh man I had so many expectations for this book and it bitterly disappointed.

Firstly, ignore that tagline on the cover that says it's like Russian JK Rowling. Clearly the Daily Telegraph was drinking some bribery cognac when they wrote that. The only thing the two have in common is a little bit of magic, but honestly this book is pretty stingy with it. Like, maybe imagine JK fell into this really dark depression, drank too much vodka and lost her creativity streak. Then MAYBE you could compare t
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Light magicians, Dark magicians, In Nomine players
Some years ago, I wrote quite a lot of material for a roleplaying game called In Nomine. (That's why I have an Author page here on Goodreads, even though I'm not really an author, just a reader.) In Nomine was about the war between Heaven and Hell, and the players could take on the role of either angels or demons. The premise was that "they are much like us" - that is, angels and demons alike had similar feelings, doubts about the side they had chosen, and were both capable of good and evil, how ...more
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).

Deborah Ideiosepius
In this, the first book of the night watch trilogy we follow Anton. Anton is a member of the Night Watch which means he is an 'Other' someone apparently human who dies in fact posses extraordinary powers which mean he is not, entirely, the same as other people. The others are divided into the 'Light ones' who do good and make up the Night watch in which they monitor the 'dark ones' who have their own 'Day Watch' and who do bad stuff. That is the basic premise of the novel.

I chose to read this be
I think, Dear Readers, that you will have to experience this for yourself.

But I will glad to give you a few hints...

First, Russian author in translation. I, myself, felt the weight of the Russian greats in the background, and the weight of Soviet history as well (although neither are part of Gospodin Lukyanenko's overt style).

The novel is complex, but it is divided into three "stories" to make it more easily digestible (honestly, in other novels, the same divisions would be "Parts I, II, III", o
John Park
To begin with I'm out of sympathy with the basic idea. An elaborate parallel world of agents of the light and dark forces operating in a modern environment isn't the sort or urban fantasy that usually appeals to me. I prefer the secret quirk, the half-hidden monster, the dark hint of something other. For all its symbolic possibilities, Lukyanenko's scenario, with its enforced treaty between the two sides, its negotiations, power-struggles and rule-bendings, feels paradoxically mundane.

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.
The Twilight is the realm the Night Watch staff slip in and out of while they and the Day Watch keep a balance between good and evil. So if a vampire kills some one, the Watches keep track of the impact to good and evil and allow some deaths and prevent others, while keeping an eye on the various vampires and Others who move between life and the Twilight. At least, that's what I think happened in this book. I found myself wavering between confusion and a certain ennui as the heads of the Watches ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Дозоры (1 - 10 of 34 books)
  • Day Watch (Watch #2)
  • Twilight Watch (Watch #3)
  • The Last Watch (Watch #4)
  • New Watch (Night Watch #5)
  • Школьный Надзор
  • Печать Сумрака
  • Участковый
  • Шестой Дозор (Дозоры, #6)
  • Мелкий Дозор
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