July 2012 Fantasy BotM: Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    From Wikipedia: Night Watch is a fantasy novel by Russian writer Sergei Lukyanenko published in 1998. It was published in English in 2006.

    The story revolves around a confrontation between two opposing supernatural groups (known as "Others"): the Night Watch, an organization dedicated to policing the actions of the Dark Others—and the Day Watch, which polices the actions of the Light Others.

    The novel is first in a pentalogy that continues with Day Watch, Twilight Watch, Final Watch, and New Watch. The first story of the novel, Destiny, was made into a successful Russian film, Night Watch, which, although keeping the characters and many of the events of the original novel, alters some significant elements of the story.


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    Mark
     
  2. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I'm a coupla hours in. So far, so good! I *am* a biy tired of the vampire schtick, but this seems like it may be an interesting take on the trope.

    The audio is a bit weird. The narrator is American, but he does all the dialog with a Russian accent. But the book is first person, so the mc is narrating along in American, but then that same mc suddenly sounds Russian when he has spoken dialog. Just odd.
     
  3. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    Well, I finished the first story. I e oyed it. I had forgotten that this book is actually interconnected stories rather than a novel.

    It seemed very Russian to me. Fatalistic, cynical, good-guys-as-bad-as-bad-guys, sacrifice-of-the-individual-to-the-collective, the-individual-has-no-real-power-to-do-good, that sort of thing.
     
  4. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    I read this quite a while ago (2006 I believe), and really enjoyed it. It felt a bit like Russian x-Men with vampires, but that is not a bad thing :)
    I liked it enough that I bought the next few books, but I don't think any of them held up to the first.

    If I recall correctly, the book and its sequels are divided into three sub-stories which form a greater plot arc. I also recall them relying heavily on Russian song lyrics which didn't really work for me.

    Contrarius, does familiarity with Russian culture add to enjoyment of these books? I'm too ignorant to say whether the qualities you named are particularly Russian.
     
  5. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    Unfortunately, I can't claim any significant expertise there. That's just my personal impression from scattered exposures through miscellaneous lit and pop culture sources. Maybe somebody with real knowledge will weigh in!
     
  6. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I finished the second story. These are good, but really very depressing if you stop to think about the implications of all the manipulation and pawn-sacrificing going on. If ths third story is as depressing as the first two, I don't think I'll be bothering with the rest of th series.
     
  7. kissmequick

    kissmequick bingley bingley beep

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    I read this a couple of years ago. One of those odd books I found a bit confusing in places (the translation perhaps? Who know?) but enjoyed it anyway.
     
  8. s271

    s271 Repudiated Ursus

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    Which goes from good to intermittent bad-mediocre.

    No for anyone else as far as I know. Author is notorious for consciously "promoting" in his books things and people he like.

    No if you mean culture of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

    Those quality are characteristics of modern Russian SF/F and modern Russian subculture as whole. For example about half of Russian fantasy feature generally peaceful orcs or ogres (who would eat couple of wayward travelers at worst) and aggressive and genocidal elves evilly bent on destruction of all other races.
     
  9. nuttz96

    nuttz96 Registered User

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    I thought that it was a good read. A little bit too much deus ex machina here and there. I also felt that I was deceptively wronged after the cool fight scene in the first part. After reading that, I was expecting the book to be action heavy, but it ended up reading more like a mystery novel.

    This is also one of the few fantasy books I have ever read where the main protagonist is below average in strength and power.

    I also have a Russian roommate, and this book pretty much confirmed his claim that "Russians drink Vodka like they drink water".
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  10. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    Well, I did finish the last story. I'm almost intrigued enough to read the next book, but the whole thing is depressing in a way that I just don't need to read a lot of in my fantasy. I suppose it's kinda highfalutin'/literary in its exploration of powerlessness, but powerlessness is not something I want to spend a lot of time wallowing in. And it's intensely unAmurcan, too...
     
  11. nuttz96

    nuttz96 Registered User

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    I tried the second book, but I dropped it mid way into the first part. They changed the PoV to someone else and it just did not has the same impact as the first book.
     
  12. Edgar

    Edgar New Member

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    Nightwatch: I liked the way the thriller parts were written. I'm not sure how that was done but it captured me and refused to let me go. I just had to keep reading until the problem was solved.

    Daywatch: I got dissappointed. I don't think this book contains any thriller. It's just romance and reality escape. Telling how good it is to be an Other. All those stuff an Other can do which is amazing and romantic (you know how dark ones think). I guess young kids can be hooked by the reality escape it provides but I'm not impressed.
    This is spoiler about the end pages: What happened to Igor? He just vanished. Was it because he did more harm than good and realised it?

    Twillight watch: Finally getting back on track. With some nice action and some thriller. However, it begins to draft toward a detective genre. With clues and puzzles to solve. The author must be a fan of those.

    Haven't read the 2 last ones yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012