The Night Watch

  • ISBN13: 9781401359799
  • Condition: New
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Product Description
The Night Watch series has caused a sensation never before seen in Russia — its popularity is frenzied and unprecedented, and driven by a truly great, epic story. In 2005 Fox Searchlight announced it had acquired the Russian film adaptation for an American release. Interest in the books here is now set to reach a fever pitch.

Set in modern day Moscow, Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. Living among us are the “Others,” an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. A thousand-year treaty has maintained the balance of power, and the two sides coexist in an uneasy truce. But an ancient prophecy decrees that one supreme “Other” will rise up and tip the balance, plunging the world into a catastrophic war between the Dark and the Light. When a young boy with extraordinary powers emerges, fulfilling the first half of the prophecy, will the forces of the Light be able to keep the Dark from corrupting the boy and destroying the world?

An extraordinary translation from the Russian by noted translator Andrew Bromfield, this first English language edition of Night Watch is a chilling, engrossing read certain to reward those waiting in anticipation of its arrival.

Recent Comments
  1. J. B Kraft @ 5:34 pm

    I have been a reader of Sci-Fi and Fantasy for almost 50 years, and I can say that this is the best “first novel in a series” I have read in about ten years. In fact, I literally could not put it down, starting it at 10PM on Friday night and finishing it at 3AM on Saturday morning. Then I couldn’t sleep thinking about the ideas in the book.

    If you have read translated Russian fiction, you will find a familiar feel to the translation that accentuates the best of the Russian Masters. At the same time, as ideas go, the premise is an ingenious variation on a recurrent and Manichean theme — Light versus Dark. The story is told through the perspective of Anton, a Night Watcher, who works for an Agency that (1) keeps its eyes on the forces of the Dark; (2) enforces an uneasy and temporary truce with them; (3) pursues its own inscrutable agenda in preparation for the inevitible struggle to tip the balance of humanity one way or the other. I have not enjoyed a novel on this theme one-tenth as much since the late Roger Zelazny’s “Jack of Shadows”, which I thought superb. Yet, Night Watch is even better and more nuanced.

    While long (about 500 pp), it is deliciously detailed but fast paced. The characters are wonderfully drawn as we discover new things about them through Anton’s eyes, and he becomes increasingly ambivalent about the “party line.” I agree that only a contemporary Russian could tell this story as effectively, given the recent history of that country. You will be constantly surprised and entertained as you deduce the real rules that govern this Earth and see the characters develop.

    This was a great read, and I can’t wait for the next installment. Because the novel is told in the first person point-of-view, I have some skepticism of how well this can be turned into a movie, and still convey the complex ideas and character development — especially that going on in Anton.

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  2. W. McMillin @ 7:50 pm

    I have been waiting on this book for months. I am a great fan of the film and wanted to read the book it was based on. I should note that the films Night Watch and Day Watch actually come from the first two sections of this book. A world of good and evil that exists around us. A world where a single moment could tip one towards good or towards evil as we are all just an action away from being lost to the other side. A world of spells, vampires, and the gloom but more importantly a world where the line between good and evil is not always clear.

    I found the translations to be clear and easy to read but with an actual flair to them. This is not some boring by numbers translation.

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  3. Peter U. Malyshev @ 8:14 pm

    Moscow is swept with the Night / Day / Twilight Watch mania these days. Obviously, I became intrigued with the concept and promptly picked up the book this winter not to be disappointed. The plot draws you quickly into the mystery world of the two opposites: the Light and the Dark (note that NOT the Good and the Evil). One can clearly see multiple parallels with Master and Margarita, albeit modernized and less humorous and delivered in a less literary language than Bulgakov’s. The similarity is not coincidental given that both novels were written in the periods of Russian history when the lines between what is clear and what is not are not obvious and each participant in the daily living drama must make his or her own moral or judgment call. The book is very visual – you can literally see each of the episodes play out in front of you. The movie adaptation is equally good although has the same drawbacks – the storyline is a bit choppy and it is sometimes hard to follow the plot. Overall, both the book and the movie are worthwhile endeavors.

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  4. DF @ 9:13 pm

    I saw the movie, then ordered the book. The book is far better. It’s new-feeling even though the dystopic, gritty, urban fantasy landscape is getting pretty common in the US market. It’s fresh to our eyes because the setting is in Russia, and the characters have different outlooks than we are used to seeing. There’s a “life sucks, so deal with what you’re dealt and don’t whine” sort of underlying attitude that I found interesting. The POV character is seemingly depressed, but he muddles along, and is a good guy. The evil is evil but you can sort of see their side of things, too. In short, it is a world made up of gray, and you are ultimately left to decide for yourself what is right and wrong with this world. Also, a killer mystery/thriller plot.

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  5. A. J. Cull @ 9:36 pm

    Night Watch has some terrific and quirky ideas. A story of Light and Dark magicians vying with one another in post-Soviet Moscow, this has a great deal of complexity and a lack of obvious stereotypes. This is a world where vampires are not monsters but neighbours, and where “good” and “evil” are not as clear-cut as you might imagine. However, the fact that these are three stories tacked together means that the pace is awkward and the whole novel seems long and rather flabby. The ending is anticlimactic which is a shame. Incisive editing would have been a great help.

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