Monday, August 2, 2010

Night Watch

Just finished what I believe is the last book in the Night Watch series, by Sergei Lukyanenko. He's a Russian psychiatrist who started writing Science Fiction novels in the early 80s.

I discovered the book series by way of the movie Night Watch, or Nochnoy Dozor. It was a visually stunning movie. When I found the movie was based on a book, I couldn't resist.

It's an interesting series. It has been touted as a modern horror epic, but I don't see it that way. This is very definitely a dark, urban fantasy. The bulk of the series takes place in Moscow. I'm guessing it gets labeled as horror due to featuring vampires and werewolves.

Anyway, the series deals with Others, people who gain the ability to use supernatural powers. These powers include vampirism and lycanthropy, but also magicians, enchantresses, witches, and battle shape-shifters. As the series starts, the focus is on the battle between the Light Others and the Dark Others. They fight over who will control the destiny of the ordinary people, who are basically batteries providing the power for the Others to use.

As the series goes on, Lukyanenko starts exploring the idea that Light and Dark don't represent good and evil. Both are needed and are in balance. One side can't win over the other. Some of the Dark Others are quite sympathetic, and some of the Light Others are manipulative and deceitful.

It's an interesting series, and it kind of makes me want to learn Russian so I can read the original without having to depend on a translation.

However, I don't think I'll get to learning Russian.


1 comment:

refugee from reason said...

"I don't think I'll get to learning Russian." Any language with a different alphabet is tough. I have a kind of admiration for you reading science fiction; jealousy, perhaps. Many books in this genre have been recommended to me, but I've just never been able to "get into" them. Although I did read some of the classics, Verne and Wells, when I was a kid.

My view: Reading anything is great.