Monday, September 24, 2012

Lukyanenko, Sergei: The Night Watch

A few years ago, the film of this book was shown at Frightfest and it proved to be a well-made and entertaining addition to the world of fantasy films. I have had the book for some time but only now have I read it. My memory of the film has dimmed but the book is far superior. It tells the story of Anton, a young Other and Night Watch agent, in three connected but separate episodes. Set in Moscow, there is no great effort made to create a cityscape though the city's geography is presumably correctly depicted. The three episodes provide examples of the way the Day Watch and Night Watch clash and the difference between them. The unreal aspects of what is effectively a parallel world entwined with the 'normal' one are shown with skill and are not overblown, there being a high degree of naturalness about most of them. The book reads like an adult Harry Potter story a lot of the time, this being an indication of the high standard of the writing and plotting. There are three sequels which I shall read over the coming months rather than immediately as it will be better to savour them slowly rather than rushing through them.

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