Title: The Night Watch.
Author: Sergei Lukyanenko.
Year of Publication: 2006 (UK).
Publisher: Arrow Books (UK).
Format: Available in paperback, an ebook, and an audiobook.
Cost for Paperback (RRP): £7.99 (UK).
Age Range: I suggest from about 16 up, if you’re younger than this I suggest asking your parents first.
This book is the first book in a series called The Night Watch.
My parents brought me this book because on the front of the UK cover a review says “J.K. Rowling Russian style.” In some ways it is I suppose, but this comment does neither Harry Potter, nor, The Night Watch stories justice. They are both incredibly well written books, but both with their own unique realms and characters.
The story follows a group of Others, which in a nutshell are this stories version of witches and wizards, but as you read the story you will learn that the lore in this story is more complicated and subtle to just call them witches and wizards. The story centres on The Night Watch, who police the actions of the Dark Others, and the Day Watch, who police the actions of the Light Others.
The main Light Other is called Anton Gorodetsky; a middle manager style character within The Night Watch who’s more than happy with his desk job. Until one day he finds himself forced onto the front line by his boss. Anton, for me is the main character of the whole series, even though the book follows the stories of several characters, both Light and Dark. Anton finds himself juggling several problems at once, ranging from renegade vampires, a self inflicted curse by a powerful Other, and the future of a young boy whose path into Light or Dark is still undecided.
How the story ends is not a fairy tale ending. Even though this is a fantasy, it ends with very real life choices and consequences. What I really like about this book, and the whole series, is that it makes you question what you think of as good and bad. The good guys do bad things, and the bad guys do good things. But then, good AND bad will always exist in the world, because you can’t have one without the other. If everything were good, how would we know it was good?
The next book in the series is called The Day Watch.
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln.
P.S. There are two Russian films based on the first three books in this series, but they’re not very good and don’t do the books any justice, which is disappointing as the author is one of the producers so I thought he would have taken more care with his own work.