The Night Watch (Watch, #1)

By Sergei Lukyanenko

Rating: 4 stars

The Others walk among us. Born human but with magical powers and able to enter the Twilight, a shadowy parallel world superimposed upon our own. Each Other pledges allegiance to the Light or the Dark, in the eternal battle of Good against Evil. Anton is a young Other in the Moscow Night Watch who gets involved in things well above his head when a pair of vampires try feeding on someone who turns out to be an unfledged Other with a destiny.

I really liked this book. The film that was based on it only tackles the first of the three stories that it tells, all concerning Anton and the Night Watch – the group of Light Others who police the Truce between Light and Dark in conjunction with their Dark Others in the Day Watch.

I liked the idea that the great battle between Good and Evil has come down to the level of politics and the Truce enforces what is almost a bureaucracy where each act of good entitles a similar-level act of evil to be done as well, and vice versa. Rather than fighting mighty battles, the great magicians in charge of the Watches now use politics and cunning to try and find loopholes in the treaty and they don’t care which of their pawns have to be sacrificed for that.

The book sets up traditional massive fantasy battles, only to swipe them from under your nose, leaving you feeling a bit short-changed until you think about it some more and realise that what’s just happened is even more horrific or huge in its scale.

Well worth reading, and I’m certainly going to look for the rest of the books in the series.

Book details

ISBN: 9780099489924
Publisher: Arrow
Year of publication: 1998

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