Day Watch

posted in Books on May 11, 2007

You might recall I was quite fond of the original Night Watch. It had wizards and vampires, and it was all set in a modern day Moscow. Individually, all of these things may not add up to much, but somehow they conflate into a story that’s really engaging. Sergei Lukyanenko creates this world where these B-movie monsters are interesting again by making them three dimensional rather than just bloodthirsty idiots like in every movie you’ve ever seen. Day Watch continues this trend of being freakin’ sweet, and serves as a pretty good “Empire Strikes Back” of the trilogy.

Brought back in Day Watch are Anton and the gang of the Night Watch, but as the title suggests, we get a very good view of the inner workings of the Day Watch. Mirrored to Anton, a second level Light magician, Edgar is a second level Dark magician for the Day Watch. Zabulon, the normal Day Watch head honcho, leaves Moscow mysteriously and leaves Edgar in charge, and we get to see how the world works through the Dark Others’ eyes. The Night Watch may not be as good as we had previously thought.

In the midst of the clashing between Light and Dark, an Other of a different sort comes to town. He has no idea why he is in Moscow, but we soon learn his powers are great, and while he alines himself as Dark, both Watches are apprehensive about his appearance. This mysterious Other comes to town just before a priceless artifact of the Other’s is stolen: the Talon of Fafnir. Whichever Watch has the Talon will also hold extreme power, shifting the balance of power for their favor, and neither Watch wants the other to win but both covet the item.

I’m going to keep this review short, because if you still haven’t read Night Watch then you’re pretty much an ass. However, if there’s really one thing I can say about Day Watch it’s that in the last act the whole story comes together and blows your face off. It’s so freaking sweet. When I finished reading that I sat in my chair, both excited with what had just happened but pissed that I would have to wait a couple of months to see how it all finally ends. The third novel doesn’t hit American shores until June or July. Something like that. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that these novels rock face, and you’re doing yourself an injustice if you don’t read them. So go buy them damnit.

Note: I just found out that the Watch series spans four books, so it’s not the trilogy that I thought it was. There are only three movies, so I naturally assumed that was true for the books as well. Luckily, that’s not the case, and we get four kick ass novels instead of just three!