Night Watch #2: The Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

Read: 19 December, 2010

During a battle with a powerful witch, Day Watch witch Alisa is drained of all her power. She is sent to a children’s summer camp to work as a councillor while she recovers and, there, falls in love with a young man. Everything seems to be going well until her powers start to return and she realizes that her lover is a witch with the Night Watch!

In Night Watch, we got to see how the Others on the side of the light operate. Now, we get a glimpse into their enemy organization, the Day Watch.

This was a great addition to the series! I really enjoyed how the Dark Others were presented. They aren’t evil, per se, they are just approaching life and relationships differently. In fact, I think that many people would agree with their individualistic philosophy. Lukyanenko did a great job of making the two sides distinct, with thoughts and motives that are diametrically opposed, while at the same time making them eerily similar. I think it’s a mark of a master writer to be able to convincingly write about a feud between two enemies while convincing the reader that both are entirely justified.

As with Night Watch, the book is composed of several short stories that don’t seem to have a whole lot to do with each other. But by the end, it becomes apparent that each has actually been building up towards a particular climax, that every seemingly unrelated event has actually been part of the leaders’ strategies. Again, it’s truly impressive how Lukyanenko is able to pull this off without it ever feeling contrived. The climactic reveals are truly revealing, and not in a cheaty way.

The setting is wonderful. It’s a magical world laid over our own modern day one, and this is done very creatively. But most impressive is how very Russian the magic system is! There is little natural limit to what the witches can do, something that would be a recipe for Mary Sues in the hands of most other authors. But here, the use of magic is restricted by a complex hierarchical bureaucracy. It’s like something straight out of Brazil!

And, as a fan of Russian music, I’ve been having a great time trying to match up the translated lyrics with the original songs.

Help fight against the Dark Others by buying Day Watch from Amazon to support this blog!

Other books in the Night Watch series:

  1. Night Watch
  2. Day Watch
  3. Twilight Watch
  4. Final Watch

5 thoughts on “Night Watch #2: The Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

  1. You say above you have been having a great time trying to match traanslated lyrics, unfortunately as a resident of the U.K I’m finding it impossible to even find the bands mentioned which is a pity as i want to listen to them as the description of antons music taste is similar to my own. Could you perhaps post the names / song titles I could find these bands under?

    • Hi Owen,

      Apologies for taking so long to approve your comment, but you got caught in my spam filter for some reason.

      In any case, that would be a pretty nifty project! I haven’t written anything down, so I would have to go back and have a second crack at it. I’ll see what I can do with the first two books and make a post about it in the next couple days.

  2. In Day Watch Igor sings a song about there not being enough wings for everyone and stealing is a sin. Anyone know if this is a real song and if so by what band?

    • Do you remember approximately where it was in the book? If you can give me a page number, that would be ideal. Otherwise, just a general location reference would be a huge help.

    • Never mind, I found it. It appears to be Два мальчика (Two Boys) by Юлий Буркин (Julius Burkin).

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