The Night Watch

Night Watch

by Sergei Lukyanenko

Translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield

489 pages

$16.95

Anchor Canada – Random House

***

All That Stands Between Light And Darkness Is The Night Watch. With a tagline like that, this series is poised to become a phenomenon.

Hipper than hip and cooler than cool, it has all the elements of a great epic. A centuries old war between Dark and Light, good and evil, the Others with supernatural powers who can slip into another Twilight dimension. Their war could annihilate the world, so the two sides coexist in an uneasy truce. A Treaty outlines the terms, and each side swears to leave the human race alone. The Dark Others keep the Day Watch, the Light ones guard the Night Watch, and they monitor each others’ activities and enforce the conditions of the Treaty.

And yet, things are not simply Light and Dark, but a large and undefined boundary exists – the twilight of the soul, so to speak. Anton Gorodetsky, the protagonist and young Night Watch agent, is very much haunted by this grey area. The plot revolves around Anton’s struggle to protect a young Other with tremendous power and an undecided destiny, and help Svetlana, a woman with a powerful curse hanging over her head, a black vortex with the magnitude and ferocity of an inferno.

There is something primal about its themes of Light and Dark, like a rollicking good comic series meets Star Wars meets Harry Potter in Gorky Park. All speculative fiction deals  with the idea that there is something more just under the skin of the world that we don’t encounter in our day to day existence. The Twilight is an extension of this, and it is an exquisitely detailed and powerful environment. I was completely fascinated with this book – the pages didn’t just keep turning, but I even forgot to blink for large stretches.

Rejoice – it is only the first domino from the quartet. Nochnoi Dozor, the film, is said to be the highest grossing film from Russia to date claiming more at the box office than even The Return Of The King. The only thing I am howling for now are the sequels – lucky for me, they’re on their way. And don’t forget to watch this trailer.

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2 Responses to “The Night Watch”

  1. What a great review – I can see any science fiction/fantasy fan being totally turned on by it. Why is this genre so hard for me to read, I wonder? The rest of the world doesn’t seem to have a problem with it! 🙂

  2. lol, maybe one has to start young. i find myself getting more curmudgeonly as the years pass, and refuse to branch out into other genres, when the field is so rich in the ones that i like. besides, everyone has a pet peeve – i cannot stomach slashers, whodunnits and spy thrillers, and will rip my eyeballs out before reading them. if you’re open to SF, and don’t have time to invest in a book, maybe you could start with a film. The Matrix is okay. Again, the problem with old SF films is that the special effects tend to look dated. But then again, the problem with SF is that hardcore devotees go by the harmless name of “fans”.

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