Author: Sergei Lukyanenko<
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Shelves: Recipe for awesomesauce, Fantasy/pnr/everything untoward
No question about it, Night Watch is simply marvelous book. That doesn’t mean there are no hiccups. By the Evil and the Light, there are.
So much moral questing about, then, finally, saying fuck you right to them morals. I’ve got my own shit to manage.
The story is divided in three tales. Sequential and the same spine to it all, although their individual threads flutter in different directions. Everything boils down to one person, one event. It’s narrated by a guy who comes off as a HUGE chump in the first story. Truly, Anton was such a chumpy chump, I half expected him to do impressions of King Kong anytime.[Though, so as not to be considered hypocritical, I must clarify that not everyone emulating King Kong is a chump. I would know.] I think that’s when I started to like him.
One of the best things I liked about Anton and Night Watch was that albeit he’s on the side of Light, it isn’t in him to be an upworthy and always kind and to do the right thing- that albeit he’s a servant of the Light, what separated him from his rivals is a single choice made. What he wants is what he wants and while he won’t destroy the world to get at it, he also isn’t going to sit by idly whilst
every good thing passes him by. And while everyone he lays down before fucks him up.
One could say it also boils down to vodka. Lots and lots of vodka. But hey, this low magician dude is working to keep his super powerful magician girlfriend by his side, because destiny and his bosses say they won’t work, and they shouldn’t, and he should suffer the inevitable heartbreak that’s already been foreseen.
But he drinks the vodka and acts like a chump, so the story goes on. And I really do like him.
There was also this air to the story- the feel of post-Soviet Russia, the 1990’s, the heat and zeal.
Another thing to be said is while there are lots of ruminations and philosophizing going on, it’s not the least bit preachy. It’s more about the balance between light and dark, rather than good trumps all. There’s so much of the similarities between right and wrong, Night Watch and Day Watch, how we all are not simply bad that goes a long way in building up the phenomenality that is Night Watch.
There are lots of great characters, and good stories to be read here. The only pea in the non-pea pod for me was the absolute convoluted-ness of the plot. Like, how! It twists that way and this and then the climax is over, I see the secrets and am left flabbergasting in variations of What in the name of A.G.R.A.* do you mean? I spent a great deal of time and gray cells over this book, and was tempted quite often to look it up on Wikepedia, but after the loss of everything I mentioned, I just didn’t have it in me to go those lengths for a book. Admittedly, a book I liked but looking up on Wikepedia? That’s not done, unless it’s a classic.
*THIS IS A REFERENCE. GET THE REFERENCE, DUDES. GET IT!
Thank you, Harpercollins, for the review copy.