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Book Review : The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Urban fantasy set on the streets of Moscow : I'll give this 4 out of 5 stars. It's original and a lot of fun. The world is caught in a Manichean struggle between the Light Ones and the Dark Ones, who have agreed a sort of truce so that neither side can act without the other being able to counteract. It's chess on a global scale, but with Russian vampires and dark wizards. Like I say, a lot of fun.

On occasion it sags badly. The start of the third story, for example (the book consists of three related stories) seems to me tedious and self-indulgent. The translation clunked a bit at times too and Lukyanenko has the annoying habit of using short, punchy paragraphs to add excitement.

Like this!

Quite a lot!

A bit irritating isn't it?

Still, these are minor quibbles. I'm keen to start on the second volume (The Day Watch), so that must be a good sign. Recommended.

Oh, as an aside, the blurb on the cover of my edition is a quote from the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, that says "J. K. Rowling ... Russian style". This tells you nothing about the book and quite a lot about how useless the Telegraph is. It's lazy and silly. What, The Night Watch has magic in it so it must be like Harry Potter? Is that how that works? Idiots.


  1. I love the Telegraph blurb! How silly can you get?

  2. fairyhedgehog,

    It is very silly; they might as well have said, I don't know, "Jane Austen ... Russian Style" because there's a sort of love story in there.

  3. Ah, the Torygraph. Second only to the Daily Fail when it comes to newspapers to snigger at :)

  4. These are excellent books, but the first one is by far the best.

  5. writtenwyrdd,

    Thanks. I'm reading the second one just now. I do like the way we see the other side of the same story.


I'd love to know what you think.