Read Nocny Patrol by Sergei Lukyanenko Ewa Skórska Online

nocny-patrol

Równolegle do naszego świata, pełnego ludzkich spraw, problemów i namiętności, istnieje świat Zmroku, do którego mogą wejść wyłączni Inni.Inni niegdyś byli ludźmi, lecz w pewnym momencie przekroczyli niewidzialną granicę - zaczęli dostrzegać to, co jest niewidoczne dla zwykłych śmiertelników i zyskali niezwykłe możliwości.Jedni zostali Jasnymi i stanęli po stronie Światła,Równolegle do naszego świata, pełnego ludzkich spraw, problemów i namiętności, istnieje świat Zmroku, do którego mogą wejść wyłączni Inni.Inni niegdyś byli ludźmi, lecz w pewnym momencie przekroczyli niewidzialną granicę - zaczęli dostrzegać to, co jest niewidoczne dla zwykłych śmiertelników i zyskali niezwykłe możliwości.Jedni zostali Jasnymi i stanęli po stronie Światła, drudzy weszli na drogę Ciemności.Światło i Ciemność, Dobro i Zło......

Title : Nocny Patrol
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788374800617
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 435 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nocny Patrol Reviews

  • Nataliya
    2018-12-12 13:18

    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, question the benefit of one versus the benefit of the society, and you got the right mix!¹¹ Other optional ingredients include: a touch of prejudice, some misogyny, a bit of latent homophobia. (Very unfortunately. But Russian society is, frankly, not known for being very accepting). And, of course, vodka."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."Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch has all of the above. It starts as your typical urban fantasy featuring a magical cop who is one of the 'good guys' in the city filled with wizards and vampires and other outwordly stuff (Harry Dresden and Peter Grant immediately come to mind). But very quickly it takes a turn from magical adventures to moral dilemmas, questioning of Good and Evil, and blurring the distinctions between the Light and the Dark. What does it mean to be good or evil? Can the Light side cause as much harm or even more harm than the Dark side? (view spoiler)[Communism and Nazism are prime examples of that. (hide spoiler)] What is more important - individuals or society?"It would have been so good had everything remained just as simple and clear as it was when you were twelve or twenty. If the world had only two colors: black and white. But even the most honest and simple cop, brought up on the stars-and-stripes ideals, will understand sooner or later that the streets have more than just Light and Dark. There are also agreements, contracts, concessions. Informants, traps, provocations. Sooner or later you'll have to sacrifice your own, plant packets of heroin into others' pockets, hit them in the kidneys - carefully, so no traces are left.And all of this for the sake of the simplest rules.To preserve the law. Persecute Evil. Protect the innocent.I had to learn to understand that, too."From very early on, you realize that the Light and the Dark are not fighting each other in Lukyanenko's Moscow. The goal instead is learning to coexist, to maintain the precarious balance, to uphold the laws, to live at a standstill, so to say. The balance that often requires sacrifices and questionable deeds - for example, the vampires who hunt people without permission are punished, yes, but what about the people who by the tacit agreement are meant to become nothing but food for the law-abiding predators? This is the tenuous peace where distinctions are arbitrary and bureaucracy rules. This is the kind of peace that cannot sit well with anyone who is at all idealistic - but what is the alternative? The benefit of one versus that of many? That's enough to drive anyone crazy. And that is among the things that Anton Gorodetsky, an ordinary Moscow 'Other', a member of the Night Watch (the police force of the Light side) has to deal with. And it bothers him - and yet he knows why it is necessary. And I loved the moral dilemmas and ambiguity that come from that."The scariest thing in the war is to understand the enemy. To understand means to forgive. And we don't have the right to do that..."Now, if you love your straightforward Good versus Evil and 'good guys always win' approaches, then this book will be frustrating as hell to you. If you prefer action over long ruminations about the nature of good and evil, you will be bored and annoyed. But if you love some philosophizing and a bit of moral ambiguity and Dostoyevsky-style moral dilemmas - well, my friend, you will probably have a great time reading this book.'So why don't I understand where the boundary is, what is the difference between me and some witch that goes to black mass? Why am I asking these questions?''You will always ask them. At first, out loud. Then silently. This will never pass, ever. If you wanted to be rid of painful questions, you have chosen the wrong side.''I've chosen what I wanted.''I know. And therefore you will suffer.''My whole life?''Yes. Your life will be long, but you'll never get used to that. You'll never be able to stop questioning how right is every step of your way.'I found it very interesting to have a fantastical story set in Russia (and by a Russian author!) and not in the familiar Western surroundings. I loved the distinct post-Soviet feel of the story, the language and the references that easily pinpoint the time period of this book. The events take place in the late nineties, when the allure of capitalism and the sad realities of it were colliding in Russian society, when idealism and enthusiasm of early nineties were hit by the harsh reality and had to meet cynicism and disappointment. It created a very specific vibe in the society, the vibe that resonates throughout this book. And this vibe made the endings of each of the three stories that comprise this book feel not as much underwhelming (as some thought) but inevitable and unavoidable. Because life does not have to be fair, let's face it. Because nobody owes you anything. Because quite often life, honestly, sucks, and you can't have it all, and you can't be whatever you want to be regardless of what people tell you."We want so badly to have clean hands, warm heart and cool head. But somehow these three things cannot coexist. Ever. A wolf, a goat, and a cabbage - where is the insane ferryman who could stick them into the same boat?""The common benefit and the individual benefit rarely go together".Yes, I understand. This is the truth.But perhaps there are some truths that are worse than lies.'Overall, I liked this book. Yes, it is nowhere near perfect. Yes, there are bits of intolerance that spoil the overall picture and yet do not surprise me, a child of a post-Soviet country. But it was fun, and sad, and had just enough moral rumination to appear to my inner Russianism, and for all that I recommend it and give it 4 stars.(view spoiler)['And we will try to change the fate of the world again?' I asked. 'In addition to our little personal matters?'He nodded. And asked, 'You are not happy about that?''No.''Well, Anton, you can win at everything. Even I didn't manage that. And you won't be able to.''I know,' I said. 'Of course I know that, Geser. But I still want it so much.' (hide spoiler)]----------------By the way, my review of the sequel, The Day Watch, is here - for your reading pleasure.--------------------------------2014: *** Here are the reasons why I will never read another one of Lukyanenko's books. ***The conflict in Ukraine has been all over the news. Regardless of which side you take, or whether you even care about anything that goes on in that part of the world, the disgusting remarks by Mr. Lukyanenko are impossible to ignore as they are filled with such vitriol, contempt and hate that it's hard to believe anyone would spout something like this in public, gleefully demeaning an entire ethnicity:Taken (and translated) from Lukyanenkp's blog and his comments (http://dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com/5..."As for a Ukraine... Yes. Alas. Treachery is one of the qualities of the Maloross character ['maloross' coming from Malorussia , literally 'little Russia'- the old imperial Russian name for the southeastern part of Ukraine that used to be a part if 'greater' Russia]. Simply for the reason that the Malorosses are a peasant branch of the a Russian people. And peasants are always traitors by nature. That's life."В Европе вообще понятие "предательство" мало понятно. :) Ибо там целесообразность.А на Украине... да. Увы. Предательство - это одна из черт малороссийского характера. Просто по той причине, что малоросы - сельская ветвь русского народа. А селянин всегда по натуре предатель. Жизнь такая."There's not such a country as Ukraine. There's only an obmylok [used-up remnant of a bar of soap] with inflated ego and a bare ass. It's time for this soap remnant to realize its place in the world."Нет такой страны, Украины. Есть обмылок с раздутым эго и голой жопой.Что ж, пора этому обмылку понять свое место в мире.Disgusting.There are plenty of other writers who (a) write better than Lukyanenko, and (b) are not douchebags. Therefore I'm not wasting any more of my time reading his works.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Carol.
    2018-11-22 12:17

    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 implied in the verb? If you leave the ‘I’ out, are you implying something about importance of self? What about ‘walk’ and ‘dog?’ In English, ‘walk’ tends to imply a more leisurely pace. In America, there is often an implication of economics and social status. You have a dog. You have free time to walk it. Money to feed it. You have a safe place to walk. What’s the equivalent expression of leisure and obligation? Is the ‘have to’ an ethical obligation or a social one? Declaring or implying? Something more is contained in every word chosen–a hint of characterization, a whiff of judgement, an implication.As I said, dizzy.I liked The Night Watch. And yet I felt I missed some of the details, the emotional impact of the whole. The concepts are deceptively simple. Balance. Sacrifice of the few for the many. Sacrifice of the personal for the larger goal. The bureaucrat forced into action. Love.The rest of this review will be at:http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/1...

  • Arah-Lynda
    2018-11-28 12:29

    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 are all Light Ones, who patrol the streets and keep an eye on the Dark Others (vampires, werewolves, dark magicians etc.) in an effort to ensure that The Dark Ones adhere to the treaty established by the Light and the Dark many years ago following WWII.   Think Good versus Evil with the Light representing all that is good.  Anton has been with the Night Watch for five years, during which time he has seen very little if any field work, until now.   As the story progresses Anton will begin to question many of the actions taken by the Light and decisions made by his boss and mentor.   The root of his uncertainty is mostly about whether the end justifies the means.  He feels shackled by the restrictions placed upon members of the Light and finds himself wondering sometimes if he could do more good in the long run if he joined the Dark.  Of course to do so would result in him being trapped in the Twilight forever.DestinyWhile riding the metro Anton notices a black vortex hanging over the head of a young female passenger.  He gathers power from his amulet and attempts to knock it back, but the vortex soon returns.  Clearly this is the real deal, the product of a powerful Dark Magician.  Having once left the metro Anton saves a young boy who has been mesmerized by a team of vampires.  Arriving on the scene just in time Anton neutralizes the male vampire, while the girl, freshly initiated by her teammate, escapes.  By the time Anton is able to take stock of the situation even the young boy he has saved  (Egor) has fled the scene. Back at the office Anton learns from his boss that the young boy Egor is also most likely an Other.  One who promises to yield great power but who has not as yet chosen between the Dark and the Light.   Meanwhile the black vortex is growing at an accelerated rate and if the Light cannot locate the Dark Magician in control the results could be catastrophic not just for the young woman, but all of Moscow as well.Among His Own KindAnton must find a Maverick Other who has been killing Dark Others.  Unfortunately the Dark Others believe that it is Anton doing the killing and they are hunting him.All For My Own KindMoscow is experiencing an uncommon heat wave and many of the Night Watch have been sent away on vacation.  Anton is concerned about Svetlana ( the young woman from the metro).  Svetlana has joined the Night Watch and Anton worries that she is being developed way too fast.  He understands that Svetlana is destined to become a great Sorceress but at what cost.  Anton loves Svetlana but he pushes her away, flees the countryside and in an effort to find out just what his boss has planned for her, he enters an agreement with the leader of the Dark Ones.  I can admit that it took me a while to find my legs here.  I kept thinking I was missing something and that maybe that something had been lost in translation from its original Russian to English.  But no, that’s not it.  Nobody takes the reader by the hand here and explains everything to them.  We are not privy to what Anton has figured out while ruminating about all things and must consequently wait until the final denouement is revealed.This is a highly original story that brings together a motley group characters to form the Night Watch.  Warning, they take some warming up to.  I understand that at least the first part of this story has been made into a movie and I am just not sure how I feel about that.  I worked so hard to establish visual representations of all these characters in my mind’s eye that someone else’s vision is sure to disappoint. Did I mention that Anton has a partner, Olga, a powerful female Other who has been turned into an owl.Definitely Recommended!!

  • Kat Kennedy
    2018-12-07 15:27

    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 people of Ireland.) Basically this book was a culmination of every Russian stereotype that I absolutely love. Anton Gorodetsky is a fourth/sometimes third level magician or "Other" working for the side of light in mostly present-day Moscow. He is little more than a COMPLETELY AWESOME computer program who doesn't appear to have any great destiny in front of him until he stumbles across a woman, SvetlanaNightwatch takes you from the beginning of their romance, which has been given the poo-poo from the bosses who see people's destiny's, towards the foretold climatic event that will tear them apart and this does so in three short stories that kind of all work together.But if that was the real story of Nightwatch then I'd reasonably expect a lot more T&A (Children do not, I repeat, DO NOT ask your parents what this means. Just look it up on the internet and pretend that you knew it all along like the adults do) because this is a long book.No, it's not really the story of true love between a computer programming magician and one of the most powerful sorceresses to have been discovered in the last century.It's a story about a Russian man trying to moralize the difference between good and evil and coming to the inevitable conclusion that it's all fucked anyway and the most you can do is drink your Vodka, love your woman and recognize that your employer/government and religion is all going to screw you over big time at some point, probably now.it's so very, very delightfully nihilistic and the amateur, layman philosopher in me loves every bit of it.So the good parts of this novel is the ambiguous moral value, situational philosophising on right and wrong and the dualistic ethical outcomes of action vs inaction.Anton Gorodetsky is a fantastic character both parts maker of his own destiny and trapped in it - powerless against the larger movers and shakers that control his world. He's smart, analytical and thoughtful.The plot twists, the world building and the other characters are all great, with one exception that I'll cover later. This is not a boring read, in my opinion though it does wax lyrical at some points.I think the biggest let down is Svetlana in this series. Not because of her decision or actions but because she is so very two dimensional. She exists only to be Anton great love but Lukyanenko never manages to convince me that they truly love each other. Mostly because his interest in their courtship is almost non-existent and so much of it doesn't even appear in these three short stories. In fact, the strongest emotion I ever get between them is hurt feelings and a vague understanding of each other. They never make each other smile, they don't have any silly couple quirks and they don't even seem to enjoy each other's company.I'll never complain that Lukyanenko writes vapid female characters because Svetlana in her own rights is not weak. Nor could you suggest Olga or Tiger Cub are weak characters. It's just that outside of her purpose as the detonator for Anton moral uprising, she doesn't exist and fulfils little other niche.So, over all, I loved this book and I can't wait to read the others! It's a worthwhile read even if it does give me a vague, nostalgic urge to break out the vodka, listen to Iron and Wine and consider life for the cruel, heartless, inevitable bastard that it is.

  • Kristalia
    2018-12-06 16:22

    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 was poorly executed. Anyway, the book is separated in three stories. First one is about Svetlana and boy Egor. Svetlana is cursed by a black mage, and her curse may affect thousands of people, leading to their deaths which will probably end by earthquake, war, comet or anything on big scale; while Egor is the Other/Ini who needs to decide whether he is going to be in Night watch or Day watch. Either good or evil. Second is about a rogue Light Other/Ini who is killing Dark Ini, and all of the blame is being placed on main character Anton. Thirdis about Night Watch's party time and some thinking and such, with some kind of resolution in the end. I guess my favorite stays the second one.“Many years ago someone told me something that I flatly refused to accept. And I still don't accept it now, despite all the times I've seen it proved right."The common good and the individual good rarely coincide..."Sure, I know, it's true.But some truths are probably worse than lies.”The bad:♦ The problem is that every of these stories ends suddenly. Next one starts almost immediately, and you have to wait a lot until you find out what happened to other characters from the previous story. I found that quite irritating.♦ Sometimes i had no idea what was going on. And there were a lot of stuff going on. I just don't know. And it really bothered the hell out of me. It was just poorly executed while it could have been good.♦ Writing. I also found the writing...tricky...sometimes i just didn't understand what writer wanted to say, so i had to go few pages before and read it all again.♦ Characters. Except for Anton, i thought all of the characters were seriously underdeveloped. Except maybe Olga, but still. Svetlana is especially underdeveloped. And she is supposed to be one of the main characters.The good :♦ Stories were quite interesting. I liked them, especially the second one, it was amazing (if it hadn't ended suddenly like other three).♦ Anton is cool character, i loved his thinking, i loved his voice.♦ The world building is interesting. Even though it's about good side and bad side and so on, i just found it different.♦ No matter how much confused i was, i never found it boring.♦ The moral and philosophical value in the story.____________________________________________Characters: ____________________________________________♦ Anton: is just awesome. I loved him, i enjoyed reading the book only because of him. He is also a programmer, and i love programmers <3 (being one myself). Anyway, he is also a magician, Night Watch and crazy as hell. I loved how he questioned everything eventually, his struggles and decisions. He is really analytical, he analyses everything before doing something that he would regret. ♦ Svetlana: really felt underdeveloped. I felt like she was there only to be love interest, and i have no idea how the hell it happened. I mean, i get it that some time passed between the stories, but i just don't get their (Anton + Svetlana) relationship or their love. It didn't feel real. She just felt two dimensional and that's a big let down. She was also not interesting in any way at all.♦ Olga: I liked Olga, i loved her in just every sense. To bad that she was not meant to be Anton's lover or something, because i think they would have been perfect for each other. She is just so interesting. ♦ Egor: i really liked. He is sympathetic type of character and i just liked him a lot. He is so cute <3 He is kind of like Anton, he thinks a lot about everything, he questions a lot about both sides and in the end he decides his fate. ♦♦ There are of course a lot more characters. Some were interesting, some were not, but i definitely liked the characters from the Day watch. ____________________________________________OVERALL: ____________________________________________I really have no idea what to think about this one. I liked it but i didn't. My final decision is to not continue this series, because i just lost interest in it.This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

  • Chloe
    2018-11-27 12:45

    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 trying too hard to be something that it wasn’t or was emotionally empty pap that entertained but left little behind in its passing. This was true until I finally cracked the spine on Sergei Lukyanenko’s fantastic Night Watch. Finally, a book that was everything I wanted to read at that moment: entertaining but thought-provoking, engaging while still making me pause to appreciate a particularly good passage. I knew I had been saving this series for a rainy day for a reason.On face this is a standard tale of good vs. evil as performed by a motley collection of magicians, shape-shifters, vampires and werewolves trying to preserve an ancient truce between the forces of Light and Darkness. The keepers of this truce are the titular Night Watch, agents of the Light who watch over the night to make sure that the balance of power is maintained, and the Day Watch, agents of the Dark who oversee the sunlit hours. Anton Gorodetsky is a mid-grade Light Magician working as an analyst with the Night Watch, new to field work, who quickly becomes an important pawn in the latest scheme by the Day Watch to tilt the balance of power in their favor. A familiar scenario but for the uniquely Russian ability to interject large amounts of ethical ambiguity and age old moral dilemmas (see: Kant- Utilitarianism) into a novel without it seeming heavy-handed or needlessly digressive. As Anton is drawn deeper into the secrets of the Watch, he is forced again and again to make extremely difficult decisions and manipulate events in ways that go against the core values of the Light but, as Gesar, the ancient magician who heads the Moscow offices of the Night Watch, likes to remind Anton- it’s all about the net effect. As long as the amount of good created by an action outweighs the possible harm, the Night Watch is able to act with a free hand. With as vague a definition as this, it is no wonder that the Light has been inadvertently responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century and Anton comes to realize that the Day Watch does just as much to hold back the ambitions of the Light as his cadre stops the Dark. Realizing that he is a bit player in a far larger show than he first thought, Anton tries as best he can to break out of the predictable paths that his superiors are relying on him to follow, which leads to a fair amount of madness in the streets of post-Soviet Moscow.In Night Watch, Lukyanenko has crafted that rarest of gems- a story that manages to both thrill and excite with non-stop action and grand descriptions of magical powers while also forcing the reader to wonder what they would do in that situation. If one had the ability to become an Other, would you return from the Twilight as an agent of the Light or an agent of the Dark? Could you license vampires to feed upon the innocent even if it helps preserve a precarious peace? Could you take it upon yourself to rewrite a person’s destiny to push them closer toward the Light, or does that smack too much of compelling goodness (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one)? These are the thoughts that the book left me with upon finishing and I could not help but turn immediately to the sequel for another serving of some of the best story-telling I’ve read all year.

  • Josh
    2018-11-23 14:40

    I read Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch after having already seen the films based on it. The movie Night Watch is more or less a faithful adaptation of the first section of the book with a few embellishments. The movie Day Watch is a much looser adaptation of the second and third sections.On the first page of the book, there are two messages: One from the Night Watch that reads: "This text had been approved for distribution as conducive to the cause of Light." The message from the Day Watch is identical except that it states that the text is "conducive to the side of Darkness." 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. The war is fought by "Others" who are different from humans in that they have magical powers. But the war is long over in the present day Moscow in which the novel is set. There is a treaty between Light and Darkness that both sides need to adhere to and it allows very little direct intervention from either side. The most that either side can do is police the other side to make sure they do not break the treaty. And so we have the Night Watch, Light others who police the night, and the Day Watch, Dark others who police the day.The story is told from the perspective of Anton, a computer programmer for the Night Watch who is getting his first taste of field work. Anton makes an interesting narrator. He's in a middle management sort of position in the Night Watch and you get the impression that he's an underachiever. He's reluctant to go into field work and, through the course of the novel, we begin to see why. Anton is a deeply introspective person who questions everything and, while he is fully on the side of Light, he has his questions about the Night Watch. His desk job allows him to avoid these questions but, in the field, he needs to face them. There is a family of Vampires, Dark others, in Anton's apartment complex that he is friendly with. They are Dark, but they don't feed on humans and Anton likes them. When Vampires do feed on humans, they get a license from the Night Watch. Does this make the Light others responsible for the vampire's victim? These are the questions that Anton asks himself and it makes the stark contrast between Light and Dark seem very gray.Each section of the novel follows a similar structure. It begins with a threat to the balance between Light and Darkness. Anton finds himself intimately involved and struggles to find the right way forward. There is a moment at the end when an apocalypse seems imminent, but ultimately it is avoided. The true, complex machinations of both Light and Darkness are revealed at the end, such that neither side comes off very well, and the stalemate continues. Readers of traditional fantasy may find this frustrating, as the final showdown between Light and Darkness never materializes, but others will probably find Lukyanenko's work more true to life.Anton's desire to do what is right never comes into question. However, we experience his difficulty in determining the right thing to do. The Night Watch always means well, but some of their schemes go horribly wrong. Communism, we are told, was a plan of the Light others gone wrong. And, in a remarkably even handed and subtle moment, we are told that the Nazis were the result of a Light other plan gone awry. We are left to question, not our values, but how we can do anything in our lives without making concessions to the Darkness within us.If there is a problem with this book, it is that it becomes a little one-note after a while. A great deal of this book consists of conversations on morals and ethics between to characters or Anton's own internal musings. Still, the novel transcends all of this at the end, and we are left to believe that the love between two individuals might be more important than the battle between good and evil.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2018-11-30 15:26

    Night Watch is an amazing piece of Russian literature, definitely more than just your average run-of-the-mill horror and full of creativity, imagination and depth behind the paranormal.

  • Emma
    2018-11-28 13:45

    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.

  • Jadranka
    2018-11-20 12:39

    Rusi ko Rusi, preterano filozofiraju čak i kad pišu fantastiku :)Ocena:3.5

  • Jack
    2018-12-09 14:20

    Thoroughly entertaining book. I was looking to explore scifi-fantasy works by Russian authors, and Sergei Lukyanenko’s name is on many recommended lists. This genre (vampires, twilight worlds, etc.) is outside of my normal choices, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It has creative world-building and a cast of strong, distinct characters. The 1980’s Moscow setting was a nice change from the typical Nondescript Western City or Tolkien Land Template. I’ll definitely keep reading in the series.

  • Stuart
    2018-12-08 13:38

    "Ever danced with the devil in the middle of the night?"Once there was TwilightThen True BloodSomewhere in the middle came The Vampire DiariesRobert 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, even though the novel is essentially three novellas. He blends several genres into his own mould if you will. All the stories interlink flawlessly, where the main protagonist is Anton - a 'Other' and a drunk, not the best hero, more a anti-hero if you will. He fights for the 'Light' side. What a goodyliltwoshoes! The moralistic make-up of many could be viewed as black and white, socially this is a standard archetypal construct. Some actions are viewed as good, other's bad. Who decides what is good and bad? In this case, 'The Inquisitors' who up hold the Treaty which has been in effect for thousands of years. There's always a fine line between good and evil, sometimes you have to skirt both, or jump in the middle of the two, whereupon you take action from somewhere in-between the two. This is essentially what The Night Watch do. They are of the light, they believe in all those good things you might associate with such a acronym. Now the Dark Watch are the opposing faction, they are not so nice; demons, forked tongues, vampires, werewolves, witches and the feeding of energy from human, whom they view as cartel. Nothing wrong with that from their perspective, something wrong about it from the light side stance. Both of these factions are known as 'Others', not quite human, but something else altogether. Well let's be honest, nothing different many other fantasy novelist haven't written in the past. To keep balance between the two factions is the Treaty, which essentially says 'for every action there is a re-action.' So, if the Night Watch decide to influence someone's happiness, then the Dark Watch are a loud to do something similar, such as cause a car crash. Why would they wish to do that? They feed off human's misery. Where the Light feeds off people happiness. We're being leeched!!! No wonder I wake up some mornings feeling like a car wreck! I believe what the author is attempting to show (abide more subtly than I) is for every action, there is a re-action, which brings a balance to the natural order of 'things'. Good and evil is one facet, the concept has been around for generations. There is a belief that everyone has a angel and demon looking over them, influencing them to do things and take action. Really, what is happening is you are in control, you cause say a affect due to your action, then attribute that to being 'influenced' by your angel or demon. This is essentially a major posit of The Night Watch, good things happen because those people make it happen, and so on. The story begins when Anton stumbles across a victim of a unlicensed vampire attack, a cursed woman named Svetlana - soon events are set in motion and not just by 'cause or effect' but influenced by someone or something *shudders*. Scary stuff huh. How is Svetlana cursed? Well 'obviously' if you're a 'Other' you can see the auras that float above human's heads - the one above Svetlana isn't a good one.Sergei's writing style could be described as minimalist - there is no flowery prose here, it never get's over descriptive. I mean how descriptive can one be when describing the suburbs of Moscow - which really sets the tone for a depressing gritty backdrop - one that could be described as taking that first shot of vodka, harsh but warming - now the warming part comes from the romantic content, which you may enjoy, I did as it lead to some tough moral choices for some of the characters.As for the dialogue, well mostly it's really simple, however I really had difficulty with the formal nature of some of the characters. For example Anton, always called his boss by his full name, every time - "Yes Boris Ignavatich" - on one occasion he said his name six times. Are Russians really that formal? Myself, I can be, but really would be awkward after the first time haha. Other than that, we get a good look at some of the 'Light' characters; Tiger Cub (a shape-shifter), Seymon (a magician), Ilya (a magician) and a few other's. I particularly found Seymon appealing. The sort of 'old sage' with fountains of information, who's been there and done it.The Night Watch is a really thought out novel, with elements taken from supernatural, fantasy and horror genres. This isn't Harry Potter or Buffy The Vampire Slayer - in fact I'd go as far to suggest this series is fairly unique given it's Soviet-style urban decay and cross-genre jumping. It's not just about good versus evil, it's about moral choices that skirt between the two or some time's goes beyond one's moralistic beliefs. Are the 'Light' side blind to the evil they do towards humans? Will Anton make choices that are for the betterment of mankind, or will he be lead marionette-style to do another's bidding - even if it's on a sub-conscious level. Will Bruce Springsteen be singing "On the streets of Soviet Moscow... dada da da da" instead of Philadelphia? Read on reader, but be warned, this is adult content and not YA.

  • Kaya
    2018-11-29 19:39

    "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 enjoyable enough.This is a story about a man trying to accept that the Light can have catastrophic consequences just as the Dark does. Magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, werewolves and who knows what else are trying to maintain a truce between the forces of Light and Darkness. The keepers of this truce are the Night Watch, agents of the Light, and the Day Watch, agents of the Dark. As Anton digs deeper into the secrets of the Night Watch, he is forced to make difficult decisions, over and over again. Also, as long as the portion of Good outweighs the possible harm, the Night Watch is able to act with a free hand. The Light has been responsible for some of the horrors of the 20th Century and Anton realizes the Day Watch does just as much to hold back from destroying the world.The war is fought by Others. They have magical powers and all their emotions are heightened. The world exists on many levels -the one we see as humans, then there is Twilight which is only approachable to Others and is called upon by stepping through ones shadow. The Twilight also has many levels, each demanding more energy to enter than the previous one. Magicians choose the Light or the Dark - their choice is based on the state of their mind. The first enter into Twilight defines ones destiny. The consequence of doing good magic is allowing the other side to do an equal amount of evil magic and vice versa."The scariest thing in the war is to understand the enemy. To understand means to forgive. And we don't have the right to do that."Though this is a fantasy there isn't many action, but there is a lot of universal existential questions, philosophy, inner fights and inability to make the right call. The author developed struggles and resistance of our protagonist so beautifully it's almost impossible not to relate to Anton.In the first part of the book, Others must save Egor, a young boy, future Other, from a female vampire, who illegally tried to kill him. Anton formed a certain kind of bond with the boy, so he might be a key in saving him. At the same time, an enormous dark vortex has been opened over the head of Svetlana, young woman, who happens to be a latent magician. Anton is connected to her, in some way, which means he's the only one who can save her. Basically, Anton is average magician and he'll never be extremely powerful, but with his charisma, he manages to be in the center of everything important. The second part of the book, Anton searches for Maxim, another latent Other, who doesn't even realize what he really is and who has been killing off Dark Others for around three years. Anton must find him before the Day Watch arests him for the crimes they try to frame him. The third part is a bit anticlimactic. the Night watch has been sent off on a vacation. There is a lot of partying, alcohol and drunken conversations. It doesn't really feel like an ending of the first book in the series, but at list we get to know Anton even better. “The hardest thing of all is when pain is hidden behind a mask of calm.”Anton has been calm and obedient enough. So, the biggest part of the novel is the arguable moral value, philosophy of right and wrong, and acceptance that nothing really is black and white. This book is at the same time amusing and thought-provoking, consuminh and witty. Our protagonist questions morals and purpose of authority figures. “But some truths are probably worse than lies.”This book is awesome. There are epic quotes, sufficient protagonist who's at the same time humble and cocky, sneeky plot, intelligent humour and secondary character that wait for their moment to shine, like Semyon. It looks like Anton is destined to change the course of those close to him. With his doubts, fears and contradicted emotions, he is such a strong protagonist that you don't even feel the need to become familiar with other characters. He's intelligent, articulate, resourceful and thoughtful. Anton is an underachiever,reluctant to go into field work because he knows he's not good at it. While questioning everything, including the intentions of the Night Watch, he still manages to be fully on the side of Light. There is a family of Vampires, Dark Others, living in his building that he is friends with. They are Dark, but they don't feed on humans and Anton respects them. “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?"I can't wait to find out more about the Day Watch. They seem odly disciplined, with even less schemes than the Night Watch. Secretly, I even want Anton to change side. His scenes with Egor were pretty powerful too.

  • Tfitoby
    2018-11-21 12:18

    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), fighting a war that's destined to continue forever in stalemate. This idea is suited perfectly to that hard-bitten detective style narration which I love so much and so the sections which are narrated in first person stand out as much better than the odd paragraph/chapter that deals with other characters in the third person. The quote on the front of this version of the book refers to it as "J.K. Rowling Russian style" and I actually came to see the similarities between Harry and Anton, both are pawns of superior magicians and both are at the centre of a war between light and dark but I think that is where these comparisons should end. Unless of course I find that by the end of the trilogy Anton is killing the dark lord, at which point I might just exhale deeply and roll my eyes before feeling like I've wasted 1500 pages of my life.This book is comprised of three seperate stories of Anton and The Night Watch and neither of the three are particularly spectacular, I kept thinking back to the Ed McBain 87th Precinct police procedural novels which started so well with Cop Hater and became formulaic very quickly. The relative brevity of each instalment was also matched by Lukyanenko here. That ended up as the only saving grace, allowing me to forge on to the end.Looking beyond the fantasy elements of this story, it was Post-Soviet Russian literature aspect to the storytelling that was most interesting for me. Discussing it briefly with Daniel after he recently read A Matter of Death and Life it occurred to me that the authors who grew up under Communism and faced with a rich literary history, that includes people like Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov (referenced by Lukyanenko in the third story,) have a quite unique approach to contemporary world fiction. This is no different for Lukyanenko's Night Watch, the same themes and outlook on the world are all there, if you look at even just the premise of Homo Zapiens you begin to understand just how greatly the world view of these authors differs to that of you or I and why countries (again, as referenced by Lukyanenko in the third story) from the Former Soviet states, Asia and the Middle East will be the future of the world economy (and interesting literature.)Aside from the less than exciting end to each of the three linked episodes in this book the major reason why I won't be moving on to the Day Watch is the constant moralising and discussion of what it takes to be a good person that is apparently a recurring theme in the authors work. I don't want to be so overtly preached to in my fiction, I prefer it a little more subtle if it has to be there at all. At least it was miles better than Finch.

  • Penny
    2018-11-19 13:44

    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 and resolution within the greater arc of the entire book. It made for very good reading in my opinion.The world building and magic system are simply fantastic. Lukyanenko managed to take a very simple old idea of good and evil and present it in a way that completely held my attention. The world exists on many levels, the one we as humans can see, then just below that there is the Twilight which is only accessible to those with magic and is called upon by magicians by stepping through ones shadow. The Twilight has many levels, each requiring more energy to enter than the last. Magicians are born, not made, and they choose either the Light or the Dark. The consequence of doing good magic is allowing the other side to do an equal amount of bad magic and vice versa, a result of the Treaty. This brings up the questions of how much good is achieved in a good deed that can't be outweighed by a bad one? How much evil can you undo by reforming a bad man? It is equal to the cost? These questions and more are addressed in a beautifully complex and well thought out manner. I'll definitely be continuing with the series.

  • Sumant
    2018-12-10 15:19

    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 not taking anything away from Dresden files.Some of the strong points of the book are1.Different urban setting. 2.Grey characters.3.Short story format.Some of the weak points are 1.Too much philosophy & brooding.2.Story seems to be going no where.3.Hazy magic system.Let me elaborate on the above points now1.Different urban setting.The book takes place in Moscow where they have classified all the persons excepts humans are to be classified as Others.So it is perfectly normal for you to be a werewolf or a witch or for that matter an vampire provided you are not hurting anyone.It's the responsibility of Watches to maintain this watch and keep a tab on others present in their areas.We have an Night Watch & a Day Watch. But it's the responsibility of Night Watch to maintain the balance for good, and of the Day Watch to maintain the balance for bad acts.Also these watches are at equilibrium with respect to one another. All this takes place in Moscow which gives completely different color altogether. I love the metro at night, but I don’t know why. There’s nothing to look at except the same old dreary adverts and the same old tired human auras. The rumble of the engine, the gusts of air coming in through the half-open windows, the jolting over the rails. The numb wait for your own station.2.Grey characters.‘Anton, I’ll tell you what the problem is. You’re a young guy, you join the Watch and you’re delighted with yourself. At last the whole world is divided up into black and white! Your dream for humanity has come true, now you can tell who’s good and who’s bad. So get this. That’s not the way it is.This is the biggest plus point of the book, you just can't pinpoint that if a guy belongs to Night watch he is just going to do good deeds, but some of the guys from Night watch take such actions that you question their motives.3.Short story format.We get an continuous story in the book where we have same characters involved, but the author splits the story into three different situations, this keeps things fresh.Regarding the weak points of the book1.Too much philosophy & brooding.Ok we know that Night watch is not always doing things it is suppose to be doing which is protecting humans.But what about humans?’ ‘What have they got to do with it?’ ‘What do you mean? It’s them we’re defending. Tirelessly, self-sacrificingly. So why aren’t their lives getting any better? They do the work of the Dark themselves. Why? Maybe it’s because we’ve lost something, Anton. The faith Light Magicians used to have when they sent entire armies to their deaths, and marched in the front ranks themselves? The ability not just to defend people, but to bring them joy? What good are secure walls, if they’re the walls of a prison? Humans have forgotten about genuine magic, they don’t believe in the Dark, but they don’t believe in the Light either! Yes, Anton, we are soldiers. But people only love the army when there’s a war going on.But you can repeat this philosophy once or maximum twice in the book, you just can't keep hammering the reader with this continuous dilemma which our night watch guys face, because its gets tiring after some time reading the same thing again and again. Also the story is mostly told from the pov of night watch agent Anton, the author does not give us any background information regarding him, and this guy just keeps thinking in his mind and his self pitying and self dialogues just become too much after point.As a reader I was not able to connect at all with this character.2.Story seems to be going no where.This is especially true in the last story because the author spends most of the time debating whether night watch or good guys or bad, and due to that the circumstances which are happening in the story tend to get shadowed.Also everything gets wrapped up in last 40-50 pages which just left bad taste in my mind. 3.Hazy magic system.The author does not go into detail regarding the magic system in this world, he just introduces to use some magical environments like twilight.Twilight gives us more strength than humans can ever have, it gives us a life that is almost immortal in human terms. And it also takes it all away when the time comes. In one sense we all live on borrowed time. Not just the vampires and werewolves who have to kill in order to prolong their strange existence. The Dark Ones can’t afford to do good. And we can’t afford the opposite.And it is left mostly to the reader to make sense out of it.Although with fallacies this book is an decent read and I give it 3/5 stars, but as to continue reading this series I am bit skeptical.

  • Charmaine
    2018-11-30 13:46

    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 to explain what this book is really about because I spent the majority of the time staring blankly at the pages in complete and utter confusion, but I’ll do my best. The basic plot focuses on Anton Gorodetsky, a member of the Night Watch, as he essentially navigates life contemplating the differences between Light Others and Dark Others, how he fits into the overall system, and how his choices ultimately define him. The entire novel focuses on the Night Watch (of which Anton is a member) and the Day Watch, two opposing supernatural organisations who keep each other in check. To keep things simple: The Night Watch = good / The Day Watch = bad. I found this a tad confusing at first, but I suppose it’s set up this way because the night is when evil tends to come out and play, and it’s a bit difficult to get your evil on when the sun’s shining down on your sins. (Or so I’ve heard, as being an absolute angel means my knowledge is limited…)Firstly, this book includes so many new terms to learn and a ton of historical information to digest, not to mention that the Russian names add an entirely new element to deal with. It doesn’t necessarily feel like you’re constantly battling with info dump after info dump, but the writing is quite unclear at times which leads to (yes, you’ve guessed it) confusion. I didn’t even know who half the characters were until about a third of the way through. Speaking of the characters, excluding Anton, the majority of them are ridiculously underdeveloped. I mean, Svetlana is supposed to be this super important piece of the puzzle, but she’s just so BLAND guys. I’m serious, okay. Soya milk has more of a personality than this woman. Besides her connection to Anton and the fact that she’s this super important piece of the puzzle, what else is there to her? I meant to repeat myself by the way, because the book honestly never lets you forget that she is a SUPER IMPORTANT PIECE OF THE PUZZLE OKAY. You know, just in case you didn’t get the memo.Another major issue I had with this book was that it didn’t even seem like a book, but rather several short stories put into a collection. I'm talkin' a ton of filler, a ton of characters (what the fuck was up with the old man and the melon? DOES ANYONE EVEN KNOW?), and whenever I finally felt like I maybe had a grasp on things, everything just kept getting weirder and more convoluted. I spent most of the time forgetting huge chunks of the story and just shrugging it off. I wasn’t even enjoying it by the time I reached halfway, but I kept on truckin’ because it had initially pulled me out of a reading slump, for which I was very grateful. Unfortunately it then slowly put me back into one, so I guess you can’t have everything eh. Who knew.Perhaps The Night Watch is suffering from first book syndrome and that’s why it read more like a poorly structured pilot, but that’s a damn shame because the first few chapters had me feeling really hopeful and there were multiple points throughout the story that I found myself intrigued, it's just ultimately it didn’t seem very put together. I attributed most of my initial confusion to the fact that I wasn’t used to this new world or its inhabitants, but that feeling never went away. If I find myself with 50 pages left and I still don’t feel any closer to the main characters or the story than I did at the beginning, then in my eyes something’s gone terribly wrong. Obviously everyone gleans enjoyment from different things, and this may end up being your cup of tea, but for me it was a huge miss.

  • Katy
    2018-11-29 12:38

    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 great deal of humor in it - what I primarily perceived was a fairly melancholic air.My Synopsis: This book - all three parts of it - focus on Anton, a 5-year veteran of the Nightwatch. The Nightwatch is a group of Light Others - magicians, shapeshifters, etc. - who work to ensure that the Dark Others (led by the Daywatch) keep the truce that was set up by both sides as a result of WWII (as far as I could tell judging from the time frame). Anton is having what could be most closely defined as a crisis of faith; he feels that maybe the ends do not justify the means and that the Nightwatch is not acting in the best interests of humankind after all. However, he does not want to switch allegiances - in fact, as far as he knows no one can - and he cannot act directly against the Nightwatch or he will be sent into the Twilight forever. Act 1: The first part of the book is the part that most closely resembles the movie that was created from these novels - they must again save Egor, a young boy, from a female vampire, after Anton has already saved him once and killed her paramour, who illegally turned her after falling in love with her when he was licensed to take her (I presume the "legal" result of this transaction would be the death of the girl, but it is never baldly stated this way). At the same time, a large dark vortex has opened over the city and they must find first the person over whom it has risen and secondly the Magician or Sorceress who has set it. Act 2: The second part of the book finds Anton in a great deal of danger when he is sent after a Maverick Other, who does not even realize that he is an Other, who has been killing off Dark Others for around three years. He must find the Maverick and bring him in before the Daywatch catches up to him (or the Maverick - but the Daywatch is certain is it Anton himself who is committing the murders). Act 3: Finally in the 3rd section of the book, we find Moscow under an unusual heat wave and the Nightwatch has been cut down to a skeleton crew, with the rest being sent off on vacation. Anton fears that Svetlana - who, he is told, is destined to be a Great One - is being pushed too far, too fast and that, as a result, the fragile love that has grown between them will be snapped. As a result, he pushes her even farther away and finally ends up making a deal with the Dark Ones; however, he redeems himself in the denouement, before announcing to Gesar and Svetlana that he has realized this whole situation has been a feint and distraction to keep the Dark Ones from knowing what is actually going on (of course, we ourselves have very little idea ourselves, as Anton doesn't deign to actually state out loud much about the actions going on.) Comparisons and Recommendations: Maybe more perceptive readers than I will figure out what is going on in the background, but a lot of this feels like a book by L E Modesitt, Jr., where I never quite know what the heck is going on, but I love it anyway. Don't miss this one - it's a terrific book.

  • David
    2018-11-19 17:18

    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, however predisposed they were towards one or the other.It was meant to be a game about moral ambiguity and supernatural politics, though the execution was uneven, to say the least, and most games wound up being more like Book-of-Revelation-flavored superhero battles.I was reminded a lot of my old writing gig, and all those In Nomine supplements I still have sitting on my shelf, while reading Night Watch. Set in modern (late 90s, when it was written) Moscow, it's about two sides in an ancient battle of Good vs. Evil. The "Others" are beings of supernatural power born to human beings but fated to live among them and be conscripted into one side or the other. The Light is made up of those who have chosen to defend humanity, while the Dark is made up of those who use their powers for selfish ends and prey on humans.Except of course it isn't that simple. The Light and the Dark figured out years ago that if they ever really unleashed their powers on each other, the result would be an apocalypse that would destroy the world. So they formed a treaty that circumscribes what either side can do. In short, every interference in human affairs by one side authorizes an equal and opposite effect by the other. If a Light magician saves a life, a Dark magician gets to take one. If a Dark magician uses her powers for evil, the Light gets to use that much power for some good project. Over centuries, they have negotiated these rules and the terms under which each side may go about its business, and the result is a sort of detente (while each side hopes to someday gather enough power that they can actually win a final showdown).Naturally, both sides will cheat if they can get away with it. Each side is monitored by a "Watch" - the Light magicians are the Night Watch, because they watch what the Dark gets up to at night, while the Dark magicians of the Day Watch monitor the activities of the Light.Anton, the protagonist, in a book that's really a series of episodes (but continuous, so each affects the next) is a junior magician of the Light who comes up against the limits of his authority and what his side can do. He wants to do good and is continuously frustrated that even the smallest good deed means allowing the Dark to get away with something in exchange. He makes friends with a family of vampires, but has to remind himself that "legal" vampires just follow rules for hunting and killing humans to make sure they don't expose themselves or get carried away - they still hunt and kill humans.The magicians of the Dark aren't all mustache-twirlingly evil, and the magicians of the Light can be bastards, but they are still standing on opposite sides of a war.The moral ambiguity of Night Watch comes from how each side comes to terms with the accommodation they have made to keep things running smoothly. Their accommodation is called into question when, for example, an uninitiated magician of the Light, who knows nothing of the two sides or the ancient agreement, begins killing Dark magicians. Or when a child with great potential becomes a chip in the game, each side struggling to influence him, Anton's boss being no less devious and manipulative than his Dark counterpart.I liked the slow chess game being played out by the two sides - there aren't a lot of flashy magical pyrotechnics here, though there are some. The plot is more about moral quandaries and riddles of fate and destiny than who can win a supernatural throwdown.Anton is slightly flat as a character, but this book still had a great Moscow noir feel, and would have been good source material for some of those old In Nomine games.

  • Graeme Rodaughan
    2018-11-27 13:28

    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 philosophical themes to this story as the main characters debate how do good in a morally ambiguous world.This is a philosophically rich work, but don't assume that is all there is, there is suspense, courage, danger, mystery, betrayal, duty, fanaticism, and above all, love which motivates so much at great cost.This is the first book, an omnibus of three inter-related novella sized novels, of an ongoing series. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone with a love for paranormal, and suspense orientated urban fantasy.

  • Brad
    2018-11-17 19:18

    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).But nope. It wrapped itself up quite nicely and satisfyingly. Our hero Anton Gorodetsky, a Wizard working for the Night Watch (the "good" guys) who is unsure of his powers, delivers an underdog victory against the forces of the Day Watch (the "bad" guys) and their bad ass leader, Zabulon. Anton manages to maintain the all important balance between good and evil (this struggle for balance is one of my favourite parts The Night Watch, by the way), to save the boy, to save Doctor Svetlana and her untapped power (she is a seriously good ass wizard + she has a great name), and to rise in the estimation of his colleagues, despite being tricked into questioning the decisions of his boss, the toughest s.o.b. in Moscow, Boris Ignatievich.Then it ends. And that's when I turned the page to discover that The Night Watch is really a compilation of three novellas. One down, two to go. Hope they're all as good as the first.Among His Own Kind: The second novella opens a few months later, and a serial killer named Maxim -- one of the Light -- has escaped detection over the course of his life, and he is busy slaying those of the Dark. He senses their evil, channels his good through a wooden toy dagger, and wipes out the souls of the Dark Ones with righteous fervor. The Night and Day Watches are then scrambling to put an end to Maxim's reign of terror as it threatens to tip the balance. Lukyanenko keeps us guessing who's really to blame, how Maxim's killings fit into the great chess game that is the Treaty, and the action drives on to yet another satisfying conclusion, but what this second tale is really about is the exploration of the concepts of good and evil from an Eastern European perspective. Neither good nor evil, you see, is about actions. Both the Light and the Dark engage in some pretty questionable behaviour -- murders, killings, betrayals, rule breaking, involuntary sacrifice -- but it is not these actions that make the difference between the Light and Dark in Lukyanenko's Russia; it is the choice between the individual and the group. The Dark Ones are evil because they believe in the individual. Their greatest selling point for new Others trying to find their way is their belief in absolute freedom. They can and do have happy loving families. They can love, grieve and care regardless of their selfishness, but they are evil because they care about themselves first and foremost. The Light Ones are good because they believe in the group. They believe in a greater good, and their individual needs and freedoms are second to the needs of everyone else (theoretically). And Lukyanenko, with all this talk about good and evil, makes sure we never lose sight of the balance between the two forces, which is necessary for peace. It's fascinating stuff, wrapped up and well concealed in an exciting urban fantasy. I can't help loving it. All for My Own Kind: And then it becomes a love story and my love for the book slips into mere appreciation. Although I feel more for Anton in the third episode of The Night Watch and I am impressed by the further muddying of the ethical waters (the boundaries between the actions of the Light Magicians and Dark Magicians are practically non-existent), the final tale was too rushed to succeed. This part of the story could and should have been a novel all to itself. It is not long enough, and is, therefore, too rushed. I needed more time with Anton as he struggled with the direction of the Light, more time with Gesar and Olga (especially more about her background) and Svetlana to understand the decisions they were making and to develop some sustained suspense, more history of the Light's social experiments (Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany and others), more investment in the peripheral characters so that I cared for something beyond Anton and his philosophical struggles, and much much more of Zabulon and the Dark Ones.It's a bit of a let down after the genuine entertainment of the first two parts, but not such a let down that I will stop reading Lukyanenko. Still, a couple of days ago I was planning to plow straight into The Day Watch, but now I think I'll wait until I have a long flight ahead of me. I bet it will make the perfect airplane book.

  • Deborah Ideiosepius
    2018-11-16 12:17

    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 because the movie was amazing, gritty, dark and uncompromising, I imagined that the book it was based on would also be amazing and to be honest it was pretty damn good! Very different from the movie though, not quite as dark and depressing, much more character development and some of the incidents are very different.The Night Watch is constructed as a series of three stories revolving around Anton, who is an Other and a member of the night watch. Without going into spoiler territory, the stories are convoluted political and clever. There are no straightforward good/evil themes here, no platitudes of how one side is better than the other and so it reads as both realistic and interesting.My main complaint about Night Watch would be that the rules that govern this 'verse are impossible to discern; if you do a bad deed then there has to be a good deed, but if none of the watches are there to see it how is it recorded? And why? At no point is the reason these watches exist well explained. It might well be, I suspect, that that is a plot element to the subsequent books, but at this point, trying to get through the first, there are times I wanted to throw in the trowel due to unexplained and unacknowledged plot inconsistencies. While it is true that in real life everything is not explained, here it is more annoying. I didn't buy real life.

  • John Park
    2018-12-02 14:21

    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.Inevitably he produces some good ideas and achieves some surprises. But somehow he or his translator, or the gap between my literary world and Lukyanenko's, has let a dead hand fall on this book, which for long stretches I found simply boring. Lukyanenko doesn't seem able to build tension. His first-person narrator goes off on tangential speculations or infodumps just when I want him to get out of the way and let the story advance. For much of the book the characters (whether undead or not) refused to come to life.Near the end, at a drinking party, several of the characters began to emerge from the miasma, to feel real and sympathetic. Perhaps significantly, this was when they were off the job, interacting with each other rather than being agents of the Light, briefly feeling things instead of talking about having feelings. The revelation of the Boss's motives would fit that description too, but it feels mishandled as a closing climax. I still have a nagging doubt as to whether I am bringing the wrong assumptions to this book, but it carries no editorial apparatus to help me.Lukyanenko does seem to have tied off most of the loose ends. Those that remain, such as Olga's offence and Alisher's quest for revenge, may be material for volume two. I don't expect to follow them there.

  • Giovanna
    2018-11-24 19:29

    3.5Si ringrazia ancora la babba per il mega-regalo <3Goodreads dammi le mezze stelle please! Comunque. Scriverò una vera recensione domani, ma nel frattempo...I guardiani della notte mi è piaciuto, anche se con qualche riserva. Strano, all'inizio confuso, ma sicuramente una lettura molto piacevole. Nonostante qualche difetto l'ho letteralmente divorato, sicuramente proseguirò la serie. I guardiani della notte si compone di tre racconti piuttosto lunghi concatenati fra loro, che ci introducono a un mondo diverso da quello che conosciamo. Siamo a Mosca e Anton è un Altro, incaricato del compito di mantenere l'equilibrio tra forze della luce e forze delle tenebre. Tale compito spetta ai membri della guardia della notte e di quella del giorno, sempre opposte l'una all'altra eppure costrette a collaborare. Questa tuttavia è una spiegazione estremamente (troppo a dire il vero, ma passatemelo) semplicistica del mondo creato da Lukyanenko. Il mondo in cui si muove Anton è molto più complesso, e in questo primo volume se ne vede solamente una piccola parte. Essenzialmente questo primo volume della serie ci introduce al mondo e ai personaggi, senza tuttavia mostrare tutto di essi. Anzi, il lettore è sempre "costretto" nel punto di vista di Anton e quindi apprende nuovi dettagli assieme a lui, in uno stile che tende a mostrare i meccanismi del world-building piuttosto che spiegarli. Una specie di "show, don't tell" diciamo.Non è uno stile cha amo particolarmente, ma in questo caso funziona e rende la lettura più scorrevole e interessante, anche se piuttosto confusionaria, almeno all'inizio.Le questioni lasciate in sospeso e i punti interrogativi sono tanti...non mi resta che sperare in nuovi sviluppi e chiarimenti nei volumi successivi.

  • Stephen
    2018-11-25 13:17

    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.

  • Robert
    2018-11-15 19:21

    Vampires, shape-shifters, witches, magicians...nothing new there. Light, Dark, the Balance...nothing new there either. So why do I like this book so much? Well, in the imagination stakes, there is the Twilight, which does seem original to me, but really it is the character and setting that I like.The protagonist, Anton, Light One, magician, agent for the Night Watch - the organisation that attempts to ensure that the Dark Ones uphold the truce between Light and Dark - is committed to his cause yet continually morally confused and questioning and usually trying to find the right action without full knowledge of what is at stake or even who the players are. I sympathise with and relate to him; I often find those with extreme moral certainty very frightening.Anton lives and works in Moscow - it's a Moscow I've never come across before - post Cold War, pre Millenium and most of all, Russian. The author is Russian and it comes through - places I've never heard of are mentioned casually - neighbourhoods of Moscow, Metro stations, roads - with no concession to the idea that they might be unfamiliar. Historical and cultural allusions are made that are utterly meaningless to me - and I love all that. This sense of foreign-ness is as magical as anything that occurs in the Twilight and contributes to the mysterious atmosphere of the work as greatly as any other factor.Three seperate but sequential stories make up the book. Each of them is long enough to have been considered a seperate work and received a seperate volume in the 1960s. They are all excellent, but similar technical tricks are pulled in each, allowing the third story to become somewhat predictable, which is my only criticism of this fine contribution to the fantasy genre.

  • Carly
    2018-12-09 11:21

    **edit 11/26/13"You find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides."--Terry PratchettSummon up your own shadow and let it pull you into the Twilight, the liminal land of heartless greys and mysterious shadows, where truths cannot be hidden and where magic is real. But the Twilight's gift is two-edged. While it will grant you powers, it will also leech away your humanity, transforming you into an Other: an inhuman, immortal being who sees the world as inalterably divided into Light and Dark. If you walk into the Twilight, pray that you do so with a merry heart. Don't bring anger or greed or sadness, because that first moment in the Twilight will alter your fate forever. Walk in with laughter on your lips and you'll be a servant of the Light; step in with sadness and you'll be a creature of the Dark....Due to my disapproval of GR's new and rather subjective review deletion policy, the rest of my (rather verbose) review is posted over at Booklikes.

  • Tina
    2018-11-24 17:44

    This is a bilingual review.Тъй като не съм особено голям ърбън фентъзи фен, тази книга надали щеше да попадне в обсега на радара ми, ако не бях гледала филма в един случаен ден, когато бях на гости на мои приятели. Като изключим няколкото дразнещи анти-гей коментари в книгата и факта, че автора е гадина (като Орсън Скот Кард), Нощен патрул не е лошо четиво. Тъй като се опитвам да разгранича автора от творенията му, най-вероятно ще прочета и втората книга от поредицата. Тя, обаче, определено не ми е високо в списъка с приоритети.-------------------------------------------I'm not much of an urban fantasy fan; so, if it weren't for a random afternoon spent watching the movie at my friend's house, I would've never picked this book up (nor would have I known about its existence). It was an overall interesting read for me. However, there were several anti-gay comments throughout the book and, at some point, I came to realize that the author happens to be a douchebag. Considering that I'm trying to separate the art from the artist, I am interested in continuing on with the series; however, this definitely isn't a reading priority for me.

  • R3grant
    2018-12-01 11:42

    For those that found the interest to see the movie some 2 years ago when it made it's North American release, Night Watch seemed a bit too confusing. Whether it was just another victim of the movie made from a book or that Russian is a difficult language to translate to English, Night Watch and it's sequel Day Watch, lacked a lot of background story and character development that the books provide. The Night Watch books are perfectly translated and give explanation of even the simple plot points the movies neglected. You'll find the nature of the Dusk (known as the Twilight in the books) and Anton Gordeskvy's origin, plus more tales of the battle between thelight and dark others. All told through clear linear story telling as opposed to the film's jumble of storylines, character development and plot holes.A definite fun read for those who take the subway and want to delve into fantasy and imagine themselves as dark vampires or light magicians. I recommend the book to those who were dissapointed in the film or anybody who loves contemporary fantasy.

  • Cait
    2018-11-30 12:41

    Interesting. It felt like a very slow, thoughtful book, but a lot of things went by much too quickly -- Anton and Svetlana's courtship appears to have occurred entirely between sections one and two, for example, and really nobody except for Anton and Egor got much in the way of characterization. It was neat to have the mix of fantasy elements and complicated mysteries, though, and the mysteries all had great flourishing reveals as Anton figured them out (although I would have liked to have their emotional significances worked out for a little longer). There was a slightly old-fashioned feeling from having a vaguely Holmesian hero who won by being actually smart, not just clever and tough. Also, I was fascinated to read a story so grounded in Moscow and Russia, a setting very foreign to me.I'm not hopping to read the sequels, though; the main point of the book seems to have been "how do you act truly good when the consequences of anything you do seem to be evil?", and there's only so far you can go with an answer like "um, I don't know".