Review of 'The Day Watch'

The Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
2nd book in the 'Night Watch Trilogy' series

First off, I have to admit, I have not read the first book of this series but I have two mitigating factors - One, I have seen the Night Watch movie (a long time ago, mind) and two, I won this book in a contest! Having said that I can roughly remember the premise…

An uneasy truce exists between the Dark and the Light in modern Russia. The Dark and Light consist of the “Others” - Supernatural beings (including vampires and magicians of various powers) that walk the streets looking like normal people but having amazing powers. The Day Watch ensures that the Dark follow the truce and keep the peace while the Night Watch watches the Light. The Night Watch tells the story of a Light Other, Anton, who may just be the link between Light and Dark bringing the long-standing conflict to an end.

The Day Watch is split into three stories - The first tells the story of a Dark Other, Alice, who is sent to a summer camp to recharge after the events of the first book but falls in love with someone of the Light. Things end tragically…The second story tells the story of Vitaly Rogoza a Dark other who travels to Moscow leaving chaos in his wake as he, inexplicably, gains more and more power. Who, or what, is he? These two separate stories, of course, lead to the third where the pace slows as the story moves to Prague for a meeting of the Others…

After the Night Watch movie I thought this book would be all action but it is actually a smartly constructed mystery, if I were to try to classify it. Lukyanenko has a knack of leading the readers to know and love a character then pull the rug right under us which is surprising and refreshing. Don't think the central characters will all make it out at the end! A lot of thought has gone into the conceit of this book with an overwhelming (no pun intended) feeling of a rich world that we glimpse here. Can be a bit overdramatic and wordy at times but patience is rewarded in the surprising twists throughout.

I would not suggest you start reading in the second volume unless you are overly patient (and, perhaps, will have seen the movie!) but it is a good, fun read.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2013-06-29

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2004