Books · Fantasy

Review: The Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

[warning: this is a long-winded ramble, rather than a review]

I enjoyed The Night Watch and The Day Watch, but this book is so much better than the first two. The only problem I could possibly have with it is that it didn’t conclude cleanly like a trilogy should, but then I found out that a fourth book is being released! I’m actually happy knowing that I’d be able to visit Anton Gorodetsky (and gang) at least one more time. At least. The next book will be titled The Last Watch, so I’m assuming it’s going to be the last book. While part of me wants even more Night Watch books, I suppose it can’t go on forever. Or I might end up like my Robert Jordan reading friends. ( -_-)
I actually chose these three books as July’s Gem of the Month at Kinokuniya. I had trouble trying to explain the series in less than 200 words, though –

Lukyanenko’s Night Watch tells of a world parallel to ours, and of the Others, people who are able to move between these worlds. Once they enter the Twilight world, they have to choose between the Dark and Light side. For Anton, an agent of the Light, entering the Twilight world means that the world becomes a simpler place where he would be able to easily tell the difference between Good and Evil. However, he soon learns that sometimes even the Light Ones will use others in complicated conspiracies, and at times help comes from the most unexpected places. Unlike most dark fantasy and horror novels that depicts good and evil as black and white, this series is a fast paced, thrilling roller-coaster that explores the grey areas where ethics and morality might not be so simple to judge.

Yeah. Doesn’t exactly explain much, does it? But it says what I love about the series. I hadn’t read fantasy this great since the His Dark Materials trilogy. And I enjoyed The Night Watch a lot more than The Golden Compass. I really, really, liked Anton. I can’t say much about the writing style, since it’s translated from Russian. My sister might start reading the originals, so maybe I’ll ask her to check out the translation quality. I was surprised, though, when I first realised how easily I breezed through the books. I was expecting to have to work harder, trying to read the series. Maybe my Dostoyevsky flashbacks aren’t really a good place to judge from? Haha. Anyway. After seeing what it’s like in the Night Watch, I was happy to find out that The Day Watch is told from the perspective of the dark side (okay, is it just me? I can’t say/write “the dark side” without thinking Star Wars) . I didn’t enjoy it as much as the The Night Watch, but the first and third story in The Day Watch were really good. I just couldn’t accept the fact that Alisa actually died. And Igor dematerialised himself. This is definitely not L.J. Smith or Stephenie Meyer’s “love conquers all” type story.
The Twilight Watch, though… everything came together so well, I loved all three stories, and I hardly noticed the transition from one story to another. And it explains quite a bit more about the nature of good and evil, and why the Others are different from human beings, which is really interesting. And the bibliophile in me just loves the fact that this whole story happens because of a book. Speaking of which, my new D&D character is going to be a librarian. Again. A dragonborn cleric, devoted to Ioun. Hah.

‘Tell me, who are you?’
‘An Other.’
‘What sort of other exactly?’
‘A magician. Don’t worry – I’m a Light Magician.’
‘My, but you’ve grown, Harry Potter…’
The Twilight Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko

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