Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Night Watch

The Night Watch is a book by Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko, the first in a 4 part series that are also being turned into a sequence of movies.

The book tells the story of "The Others" - two groups of more-than-human beings with magical powers that are divided into the Light and the Dark. The Others descend from the humans (shamans, soothsayers, and wisemen) from past ages who figured out how to step into the Twilight - a magical realm beneath the surface of all things.

The Night Watch is an organization responsible for policing the actions of the Dark Others, while their opposing numbers in "The Day Watch" in turn police the actions of the Light Others. Each group is bound by a centuries old treaty that aims to maintain a balance of power between the 2 forces.

The protagonist of the story is Anton Gorodetsky, a junior member of the Night Watch recently assigned to field work, initially to track and capture an unlicenced vampire operating within Moscow. The story follows Anton's growth as he participates in a series of clashes between the Light and the Dark, with the final chapters taking a somewhat political turn - with the Light plotting to create a global utopia in which the Dark has no place (something they have tried twice to achieve and failed in the previous century, first via communism and later via fascism). The Dark meanwhile, has "freedom" as its mantra which it uses to attract emerging Others.