Archive for the ‘Night Watch Trilogy’ Category

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Night/Day Watch Film Reviews

November 19, 2009

Seeing as I’ve reviewed most of the novels here previously and I recently purchased the movies, I thought I’d review them as well.

Because of the structure of the novels, each having three individual stories which flow into one another, the movies are slightly strange. The Night Watch movie is based on the first story of the Night Watch novel, but has elements from other portions of the series, such as the witch from the first story of Day Watch who uses dark magic to abort babies and things. The Day watch movie is based on the second (might have been the third, can’t remember to be honest) story of Night Watch, but is changed greatly because of the happenings in the Night Watch film.

The biggest change the movies made was uh

SPOILERS

The biggest change the movies made was making Egor Anton’s son. This obviously leads to problems with following the way the books pan out, and so the story departs more and more from the novels.

Most of the changes are unnecessary, but they do work okay within the movies. For example, Anton being the cause of Egor turning to the dark is made more personal by Egor being his child.

Speaking of the end of the films, they’re both a little weird. The first movie ends very abruptly, with Anton attacking Zabulon for manipulating Egor and then suddenly cutting to the credits. The second ends with the Chalk of Destiny invalidating the plot of both movies, by changing the very beginning of the first movie, even though the Chalk was used in the book to change/remove the alignment of characters, not time travel.

Other than that there isn’t much to say. The movies are okay, with some slight problems due to differences between the dub and the novel translations (the Twilight is called the ‘Gloom’ in the movies) and some weird things like Zabulon’s video game showing his plans.

Oh and the script writer randomly decided to put certain characters like Bear and Tiger Cub in relationships. Not sure why.

In conclusion, I recommend the movies to anyone who liked the books, but keep an open mind. If you haven’t read the books then the movies will be incredibly confusing.

-Vyperchild

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The Twilight Watch

August 27, 2009

The third and final book of the Night Watch trilogy (but as I’ve been informed, there is a sequel to the series, named The Final Watch, which I now have to fucking find). I’ve got to say, this is probably the weakest book of the three, although it was still enjoyable.

The book returns main character status to Anton, and begins with a story about a human who will potentially be turned into an Other. Not a vampire or a werewolf though, a proper magician. This was thought to be impossible, but Anton is sent to investigate. However, Anton also works alongside Day Watch member Kostya (who first appeared in The Night Watch) and a pair of Inquisitors (both appeared in The Day Watch). This story is quite fun, but leaves more loose threads than previous mid-book stories had, which was somewhat annoying.

The second story gets a bit boring at the start. Anton’s on holiday with *spoilers* his wife and child *spoilers over* and eventually gets caught up investigating in the forest because some kids saw a talking wolf and were saved by a ‘botanist’. Again, the Inquisition gets involved. Also, lots of stuff is revealed about the nature of magic.

The final story is probably disappointing mostly for not tying up the series (This isn’t as much of a problem now that I know about Final Watch, but still…). The end just doesn’t feel special enough. Both the endings from the previous two books are more impressive and have better twists. Not to say the story is bad, the reveals are quite good. I was a little put off by the re-use of a plot element from The Night Watch right at the end, but that’s probably just me. It was pretty cool seeing the *spoilers* Inquisition and the Watches collaborate, as well as Anton’s reasoning over the nature of the Watches and their relationship with each other and the Inquisition. *spoilers over*

The book as a whole just doesn’t quite measure up to the first two. The plot doesn’t seem quite so intricate and the fact that the Watches work alongside one another takes away some of the joy in seeing Gesar and Zabulon plotting against one another.

-Vyperchild

** So, it seems The Day Watch will remain my favourite. At least until I get to read The Final Watch. Frigging ‘Sequel to the Night Watch trilogy’. The fuck is that? **

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The Day Watch

August 7, 2009

The second entry in the Night Watch Trilogy, and probably my favourite of the three. I’ll explain why later.

(There aren’t any spoilers in this review, but I figure I’ll warn you about the possibility anyway.)

As you may have guessed, this book turns the tables on the first one and works from the perspective of Moscow Day Watch members.

The first story is Alicia’s, a witch introduced in The Night Watch. The second is told by a new character (don’t get him confused with another character of the same name introduced in the first story, I did and I was lost for a few pages.) and is a very fun story. The third story is the first in the series to focus on both Watches equally (although the Dark Watch side is first person, and the Night Watch is third person).

You may think that a book from the perpective of the Dark magicians will be vastly different from The Night Watch’s Light magician Anton, but as I mentioned in that review, Lukyanenko is really vague about the divide between the Dark and Light Others, and this really comes across in the book. While they may have slightly different outlooks on life, the Dark Others aren’t necessarily evil.

And, speaking of Anton, he does make a return in this book. Particularly in the third story where he is the Night Watch representative I mentioned earlier.

That brings me to the reason I like this book the best, the third story. The way in which it unfolds for both the Day Watch and the Night Watch is brilliant, with the story being retold from both sides as the characters try to understand everything. That may annoy some people, but I really liked the contrasts that were made. Additionally, the plot of the entire book is woven together out of disconnected threads in this story, and it’s incredible and deeply satisfying. There is a small segment where I very nearly, for want of a better word, facepalmed, and you’ll probably recognise it immediately when you read it, however it worked out much better than I’d expected.

And the ending? Well it’s great. Really. I won’t spoil it of course but seeing how everything fits together is awesome.

-Vyperchild

** I still haven’t actually finished The Twilight Watch (I’m up to Story Three), so perhaps when I get around to reviewing it I’ll have a new favourite. Doubt it though, Day Watch is just so good. **

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The Night Watch

August 4, 2009

The first book of Sergei Lukyanenko’s brilliant series. It deals with Anton Gorodetsky, an agent of the Moscow Night Watch who has just been given his first field assignment.

The Night Watch is essentially a law enforcement agency that monitors the workings of vampires, werewolves, dark magicians and other ‘Dark Ones’. Their is also a Day Watch which monitors Light Magicians and other ‘Light Ones’.

The two forces mentioned, the Light and the Dark, must abide by a strict Treaty, which was made to retain balance between the two sides.

By the way, you may be thinking that Light and Dark is very clichéd. However, Lukyanenko breaks from the norm and while I do recall them being referred to at one point as Good and Evil, he goes to great lengths to ensure that both sides are capable of great good and great evil, and has characters question where the line dividing the two sides lies.

Anyway, Anton’s first mission is to deal with some vampires. The story soon evolves into something much more interesting that I don’t want to spoil.

However, that’s only the first of three stories in the book. The other two, although definitely related to one another, are largely individual stories dealing with particular missions that Anton works on.

The way in which the story is woven together so well, with much plotting from the chiefs of the two Watches, is wonderful and adds a layer to the story akin to the scheming of L and Light of Death Note without retracting from the action of the story.

The fantasy elements added in with the Post-Soviet Moscow setting makes for a different and intriguing take on the genre, and although the references to Russian culture were mostly lost on me, there aren’t so many as to confuse or annoy non-Russian audiences.

I can’t recommend the book, or the series, enough. Others have referred to the book as ‘J.K Rowling, Russian-style’ and although there are definitely some similar aspects, I have found that I appreciate this series so much more due to the far more intricate plot and the extra levels Lukyanenko has brought into his books.

-Vyperchild

** Yes, I will be reviewing the other two books. **

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