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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
92
4.1 out of 5 stars
The Night Watch: (Night Watch 1)
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on 10 June 2017
I came across this book when I was being very confused about things about good and evil. I just typed a random thought into google, something like "the good and evil are balanced, the world is as much evil as good can be" (in Chinese, 好人有多好,坏人就有多坏), and then a similar match came up in The Sixth Watch, the Chinese google book version. At first I thought it was just some popular trash novel to be shrugged away with based on the author's translated name and its cheap outlook, but then I read a few sentences and I was amazed, it had the je ne sais qua of a very profound and encaptivating novel and I couldn't wait to read it all! The first one of the series is really fascinating, Sergei has a style of a true Other! What can I say?? Now my head is full of these things. It is more interesting than the ethics books, I must say.
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on 11 October 2017
Loved it!
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on 8 March 2017
Struggled to continue reading and finish this book, not a page turner.
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on 13 June 2017
Good book
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on 8 December 2012
I love the film so I got very excited when I spotted the book (I didn't even know there was one) and dived right in.

The story is told from the perspective of an 'Other': a human with special powers (vampires, witches, shapeshifters etc.). These Others are split into two factions: the Night Watch and the Day Watch (to put it simply, good guys and bad guys) who police each others activities within a framework of laws, regulations, licences etc., all based on an old treaty. Of course, it's never that simple, and when the Night Watch tries to neutralise the actions of a powerful Other in order to avoid major catastrophe, it only serves to expose complications they hadn't anticipated.

It's a good story, split into three distinct parts that work as standalone tales as well as carrying one continuous thread throughout. It is the first in a series of books but can be read on its own.

It did have one really annoying problem. My progress through the book kept jarring because the occasional sentence didn't make any sense within the context. Sometimes the sentence structure itself was so poor, you couldn't work out what it was supposed to mean - I ended up rereading sections, giving up and moving on. Very annoying.

This wasn't the intended style, it was down to poor interpretation from the original Russian. After I realised that, I started spotting sentence after sentence that had been translated without much thought to the whole. There were even a couple of idioms (at least I think they were idioms - they sounded pretty random) translated word for word which would provoke an emotional reaction in a character but in English it just made the whole situation incoherent.

So, frustratingly, it is difficult to get your head around some bits but if you can accept that and shrug off the sneaking feeling that a subtle but potentially important point has just slipped over your head, it is an enjoyable yarn (honest) which will have you constantly wondering what happens next. There are some great ideas that were never visualised in the film but brought another dimension to the story (no pun intended for those of you who read it!). I am looking forward to watching the film again but I'm not sure I'll be reading the next book in the series.
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on 11 July 2006
On the streets of post-Soviet Moscow, an uneasy truce presides. The forces of Light and Dark, locked for centuries in eternal combat, watch over each other as they maintain the precarious status quo. During the day, the Light Ones are kept in check by the Day Watch, but at night, the Night Watch reigns. Part one of a trilogy, `The Night Watch' explores the complex dynamic of a Cold-War style standoff between Good and its ubiquitous opposite, Evil, through the actions and adventures of debutant field operative Anton. As he is directed, marionette-like, around the streets and undergrounds of Moscow, he debates the merits of goodness when preserving the peace means licensing the killing of innocent people, and the sacrificing of pawns to gain only a fleeting advantage in a power struggle that neither side can afford to lose.

Up front, this is a stylish fantasy / horror novel, written with wit and graceful economy. With a strong cast of "Others", Light or Dark beings with magical energies, it should appeal to fans of the Buffy series and the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter books. However, it has all the twists of a Robert Ludlum thriller, with typical Cold-War subterfuge and misdirection and battling intelligence agencies, and all the philosophy (and more) of the Matrix movies without the wilfully patronizing tone in which they indulge. With a million copies sold in its original Russian, and not one but two movie adaptations already produced, its appeal straddles genre divides with impunity.
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on 18 December 2006
This is a gothic romantic thriller set in present day Moscow. The author uses the vehicle of a "Cold War" standoff between two opposing forces of supernaturally endowed beings (The Daywatch and The Nightwatch) to explore themes of the nature of good and evil. As the novel develops he introduces the idea of personal destiny and the conflict between predestination and choice. This is all played out on a dramatic foreground of vampire hunts, shapeshifters, and magical battles. It has great power because the supernatural stuff is contrasted with gritty descriptions of urban decay in Russia. The characters are very well described using economic prose which suits the overall feel. It really comes alive in the imagination and is far far far better realised as a romantic concept than the film which is much darker and less humane by comparison. There are some very nice ideas in this book which is divided into three separate parts with related storylines and in my view a great ending.
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on 24 August 2006
If your into reading books on the train, bus and other forms of public transport as well as in your own company, then this one is no exception to that! Though it may make you miss your stop because you can't pull yourself away from it, there is no reason why you couldn't read this book anywhere!

It's really well written, the level of detail is supremely good and the character/plot development is so detailed. You can really get into the characters and the plot is believable, and it will make you wish this reality existed!

It is devided into three sections with individual story lines. The first one covers Svetlana, a Russian woman with a curse vortex that is about to destroy the world. It ends in a lovely little fight between the Dark and the Light on the roof of a flat. The second is about a mysterious Light Magician killing Dark Ones illegally and how Anton needs to find out the killer. This results into the mention of Inqisition. The third part is about the job the Svetlana has to do and with re-writing destiny. Only fmale Light Magicians can do this.

Sergei Lukyanenko has visualised this reality very well and nothing seems to have been lost in translation. Reading about the Russian life style is also pretty interesting, and I love the mentions to the fact that the Others 'experimented' with Communism and World War II. It's a very good read and I can't wait to get the Day Watch.
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on 1 December 2010
This is a trilogy based selection of books followed by a sequel.
Its about the 2 forces good and evil and a selection of people who enter the twilight to protect the general public from vampires.
You really get to know the ins and outs of the main character "Anton" and his side kick "Olga".
The book is split into 3 sub books where again it gives you a different perpective.
Brilliant fiction which makes you almost believe that this really did happen in the medieval times and today too.
Cant wait to read the others in the trilogy plus the sequel " The Last Watch"
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on 26 August 2010
A great read. Love all things vampire and gothic but this book adds another dimension with a great story, interesting characters and combining vampires, witches and demons. The book is divided into three parts interlinked by the main character of Anton and told through his eyes.
Bought the book to read before watching the movies based on recommendations I read and they were both worth it. Although the main idea behind the book is in the movies, the films take a different, more dark and violent approach to the book and Night Watch the movie tells only part one of the books three parts. So even if you have seen the movie first the book gives more dimension, depth and understanding to the different worlds and especially the Twilight.
Highly recommend it and a different aspect to vampires and some interesting underlying themes. You dont have to be a fan of gothic or vampires as this book is a good fast pace suspence thriller at the core. Good ensemble of characters, good versus evil but in a supernatural way and set in the mysterious city of Moscow.
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