Saturday, September 29, 2007

Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor)

Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor) by Sergei Lukyanenko (1998)

Description: Others. They walk among us, observing. Set in contemporary Moscow, where shape shifters, vampires, and street-sorcerers linger in the shadows, Night Watch is the first book of the hyper-imaginative fantasy trilogy from bestselling Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko. This epic saga chronicles the eternal war of the "others," an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who must swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light.

The agents of Light - the Night Watch - oversee nocturnal activity, while the agents of Dark keep watch over the day. For a thousand years both sides have maintained a precarious balance of power, but an ancient prophecy has decreed that a supreme Other will one day emerge, threatening to tip the scales. Now, that day has arrived. When a mid-level Night Watch agent named Anton stumbles upon a cursed young woman - an uninitiated Other with magnificent potential - both sides prepare for a battle that could lay waste to the entire city, possibly the world.

Review: What an interesting novel from Russia. It was really refreshing to read something from another country (although it was translated). I really like the whole light vs. dark scenario going on. It almost makes the light (or good) side seem like the real bad guys. I also like how each person actually chooses if they are light or dark and if one is dark, it doesn't make them evil. I almost have to wonder if Lukyanenko ever read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising. After reading Rising, I found some similar themes. I know they are all taken from mythology, but I found them to be very close, which fascinated me. The book is long and is actually three stories in one. However, it went really fast and I couldn't wait to continue on the story. I highly recommend this book to sci-fi fans.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Movie Connectrions: Timur Bekmambetov brought this book to the big screen in Russia. Most of the story elements were left alone, but an important one was really changed. In the book, Anton is just a friend of Egor, not his father (as in the movie). I'm not exactly sure why they did that, but perhaps it was just to create some additional conflict. Honestly, I haven't seen the movie in a while, so I would need a refresher. I do remember being absolutely blown away. I thought it was really original and glad to see something of this quality coming from Russia. This movie should most definitely be seen by all.

Nochnoy Dozor (2004)

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