Saturday, March 29, 2008

#11 Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Living in modern day Moscow, the "Others" are an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers. Each Other pledges allegiance to either the Light or the Dark, and each side has a Watch—Night Watch for the Light and Day Watch for the Dark—whose responsibility it is to maintain the balance between the Light and the Dark, Good and Evil, verifying neither side has an unfair advantage.

An uneasy truce has existed between the two groups for several thousand years, but all that could soon change due to an ancient prophecy predicting that one particularly strong Other will rise up and tip the balance, resulting in a catastrophic war between the Light and the Dark, one that could bring about the end of the word as we know it!

I had a bit of a difficult time with this book because the language didn't flow quite as smoothly as if it were written by a native English speaker. The version I read is an English translation from the original Russian, so at times the paragraphs would just go on and on and make little to no sense, or else not fit in with what was going on in the story, and I'd find myself thinking, "Just what the heck is he talking about??" In similar fashion, I'd find he sometimes went off into these way too philosophical discussions in his head for far too long—sometimes for up to two pages or more!—which was enough to put me right to sleep.

Despite the problems I had with the writing, or the translation, or whatever... underneath it all, the story itself was good, and the whole concept of the Others living among us to maintain the balance between Good and Evil, was enough to keep me reading.

I don't have the 2nd book in this series, Day Watch, but I do have the third, Twilight Watch, which I picked up for a couple bucks at Half Price Books while I was in Columbus. So I'll probably try to get my hands on the second one in the hopes that some of the translation issues have been resolved and I can enjoy it a little bit more without the language and style detracting from it.

BookCrossing journal page for this book


Unknown said...

It is nice to hear that I wasn't the only one who had problems with the language in this one.

I have Day Watch here because it was on sale but it maybe a while till I get to it...if you still need it when I am done with it I would happily send it on to you!

Cherie said...

Sure, definitely do check with me if you remember. Woosang, who I had borrowed the first one from, said she'd check and make sure I was on the copy of the bookring she sent around, but I thought that actually never went out, and she was recalling all her rings, but I could be wrong. ::shrug:: So yeah at this point, I don't know... and so far it hasn't come up on any of my wishlists anywhere either. :P

Thank you so much for the offer. ::kiss:: x0x0x0x0x0x

Tina said...

These have got to be novelizations of the movies by the same name. If you have a video store that carries a decent selection of foreign films, you'll probably find Nightwatch and Daywatch (the only two that are out in North American dvd format). Both movies are in Russian with English subtitles. Nightwatch is very good. It can be a little hard to follow at first because you don't know, right away, that these are not exactly ordinary people and it's difficult to understand who everyone is and what is going on (although, since you've read the books, you're ahead of that particular game). However, if you give it 15-20 minutes, it becomes pretty clear what is going on. Depending on how much you want to read into it while you're watching it, the movie is a very decent action/fantasy/supernatural film or it's a thinly veiled allusion to the Cold War. Whichever way you read it, my whole family (me, husband, 17-yr old son) really enjoyed it.

Daywatch isn't nearly as good--a disappointment, since I waited a year for it to come out here in the States on DVD. It's okay, but comparatively, a much weaker effort. Twilight (the last installment) is already out in Russia, so we'll probably get it in the next year or so. I'm curious to see where they will go with the 3rd movie.