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Day Watch (2007)

Day Watch (2007)

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4.04 of 5 Votes: 5
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1401360203 (ISBN13: 9781401360207)

About book Day Watch (2007)

2014: *** The reasons why I will never read another one of Lukyanenko's books are at the bottom of this review *** ----------2013: Unless you happen to be a chessmaster in the neverending chess game of life, you are nothing but a pawn to be sacrificed when the strategy demands it. "The game is eternal; only the time the figures spend on the checkered board is finite."It really doesn't matter which side in the war you belong to because each will sacrifice its expendable pawns in the pursuit of victory. And no pawn is ever safe - because, regardless of your rank among the minions, you are still nothing more than a piece to be moved and manipulated. "And really, all our aspirations and speeches are meaningless. We are marionettes. Nothing more than marionettes. Trying to become a puppet-master is a hopeless feat since you need special abilities like Geser's or Zavulon's, and those abilities are exceedingly rare. And all the seats at the chessboards are already taken. No chessmaster will allow his place to be taken by a chess-piece, even if it's a chess king or a queen."--- From the semi-drunk, in the Russian fashion, conversation between the enemies Edgar (the Dark One) and Anton (the Light One). Both are, of course, pawns on the chessboard of life. ---Ultimately for the pawns, the 'little people' with little power involved in the 'big kids' games led by those select few who hold the reins of power, the side that they take in the war really does not make that much of a difference. The goals and strategies are set by the leaders, and the rest are just trying to live their lives, to survive, to do well in life; they work and love and have friends. This is what Lukyanenko focuses on in The Day Watch, the sequel to Night Watch, now showing us more of the happenings on the other side of the virtual barricades in the neverending war between the non-ironically named the Light Ones and the Dark Ones. "But for the Others people are a source of existence. Their roots and food. For the Light Ones and the Dark Ones alike, regardless of what the Light Ones blab about on every corner. They also take their energy from people's lives. As for the goals... We have the same goals. Both us and the Light Ones are trying to beat our rivals and be the first to reach the goal."Night Watch had its fair share of moral greyness and ambiguity, showing that the distinctions between the Light and the Dark are not as obvious as their names suggest; underscoring how even the 'good guys', especially those with power, will not hesitate to manipulate and use their followers to get what they want. The Day Watch shows us that the same is true for the other side, and that, honestly, the 'pawns' may have more in common than they think. Except they are not always open to seeing that, to reconsidering their ingrained, deeply prejudiced views of traditional enemies. But sometimes they cannot help but see how pointless the distinctions between them can be, and the failure to do so can lead to tragedy. "And Anton thought yet another time that the Dark Ones in their seeming simplicity are sometimes more humane than the fighters for the grand ideals - the Light Ones."The leaders of both sides in this eternal standstill of the Dark (Zavulon) and the Light (Geser) would very much love to upset the tenuous balance and bring the long-awaited victory to their side. Little will stop them, and the methods they choose are eerily similar despite the presumed differences in etiology - the age-tested political strategies rooted in intrigues and manipulations and deceit and the willingness to move the pawns on the board whichever way they please and easily sacrificing them once need comes for that. That is not a new approach all in itself. What was different about this book is that the said pawns have no misconceptions about their leaders' lack of hesitance about reaching their goals regardless of the costs. And yet, contrary to what you'd expect, they do not rebel much. They know about the lack of honesty in their respective Watches - and yet continue following the same leaders, continue following the ideologies they were raised with, continue sticking with their side and their rulers. It's to me a very Soviet way of looking at things, stemming from the time where there was no doubt that the intentions of those in power may have nothing to do with your well-being and that you may be easily sacrificed in order to achieve "the greater good". And you don't need to know about these plans in order to unwittingly help carrying them out. "Keys are never told which door they are supposed to unlock." There's not really a "lone wolf" mentality, no true attempts to overthrow the status quo by rebelling - well, in all honesty there are a few tries at going against the big guys - but it seems that the end result invariably ends up being what those in power envisioned and planned for. And so little people get screwed and life goes on. If you decide to do something about this, you just may realize that your rebellion or actions is exactly what was planned for you, the expendable pawn. Good pawn, you did your job well, as planned, goodbye now. And the lone ranger fails to change the course of events yet again - so unlike the approach usually accepted by the more individualistic Western society. "You're the Dark One," said Anton. "You can only see evil, treason and vileness in everything.""I just don't close my eyes to them," Edgar retorted. "And that's why I don't trust Zavulon. Almost as much as I don't trust Geser. I even trust you more than them - after all, you're also a pathetic pawn, accidentally painted a different color than me. Does the black pawn hate the white one? No. Especially when the pawns are peacefully drinking beer together."Lukyanenko has this annoying habit of creating almost a playlist for his books, using the lyrics from well-known Russian songs to illustrate the ideas and the feelings of his characters, and sometimes trying to use the message in the song as a soundtrack for the story, highlighting the points he's trying to make, and sometimes almost using them to introduce certain plot points ((view spoiler)[The Mirror of the World? C'mon! (hide spoiler)]

Please Note: Read and reviewed in 2007.My Synopsis; In this, the 2nd book of the Others' series, we are again treated to three separate, yet intertwining stories: first, the young Dark witch Alisa loses her powers in a struggle over an illegally practicing Dark witch and is sent to Artek (the most elite of the camps for the Young Pioneers during the Soviet era) to regain her strength. There she falls in love with another of the camp leaders ... In the second story, a Finnish group of the Dark Ones called the Brothers of Regin steal the mystical Talon of Fafnir and attempt to bring it to Moscow. Vitaly Rogoza, an Other who seems to have lost his memory and is gradually gaining it back, along with stronger and stronger powers, gets in the line of several murders, causing the Light Others to attack him. There is not much more I can tell about this story without completely ruining it - you will simply have to read it for yourself. In the third story, we are treated to a gathering of the Inquisition to determine the guilt or lack thereof regarding these events.My Thoughts: This story is told more from the point of view of the Dark Ones, which is very interesting in that it seems to show that most of the scheming and problems are caused by the Light Ones, because of their misunderstanding of the ultimate goals of the Dark Ones, and their refusal to even try to understand. The Dark Ones are shown to only wish to live their own lives in freedom and do as they wish as long as they don't infringe on others' freedoms - which is very similar to the witches' creed: "An it harm none, do as thou wilt." The Light Ones, however, believe that everything the Dark Ones do is a direct attempt to "start something" and/or are lies. It is truly a tragic situation.The addition of many references to Russian pop culture means that there will be little bits and pieces here and there that people who aren't familiar with Russian modern culture might find a bit abstruse; however, this does not lessen the enjoyment of this very well-done book. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking works, epic stories about the struggle of Light vs. Dark, paranormal alternate history stories, or just a good book.

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Continuing my rereading of the series and it is proving a satisfying experience, which is always the test of a good book for me. The first time through one is taken up in the excitement of the storyline unfolding. The second time around when one is more relaxed and looking around the neighborhood (so to speak) is when a story shows staying power or the lack thereof.My original review is below.================Loneliness, dejection, the contempt or pity of people around you--these are unpleasant feelings. But they are precisely the things that produce genuine Dark Ones.As with the previous book in the series, The Night Watch, this is comprised of three stories. Unlike the previous book, this is told from the Dark Ones' point of view and by three different protagonists. Intriguingly, it begins with statements opposite to those which open Night Watch. We are told that this text is not approved because it is deleterious to the cause of Light (signed the Night Watch) and deleterious to the cause of Dark (signed the Day Watch).The first story is told from a Dark witch's point of view as she is sent to recover from a difficult assignment. It was definitely dark and almost kept me from continuing. It's funny because it isn't as if the story contained anything that I haven't encountered in other books and it definitely isn't because it is told from the dark point of view. There was just something about it that made me not want to read it, which is a tribute to the author's ability to convey atmosphere in his storytelling.I thoroughly enjoyed the second story which was a mystery within a mystery as a man riding a train realizes he has amnesia ... and is an Other. The third story brought the other two together in a climactic trial by The Inquisition.As in Night Watch, each story examined a facet of Dark or Light. I was especially interested in the third story where most of it is shown from the point of view of Edgar, a Dark Other, or Anton, our familiar Light Other from the first book. Several times each was judging the other for the very same thing while thinking, "Just like a Light/Dark Other..." In this story we also hear about how Inquisitors see things and it was an interesting contrast to the Others.Day Watch uses these engrossing stories to examine good, evil, love, and sacrifice, continuing the themes found in Night Watch. As such it gave me pause while I thought about the author's representation of the very thin line that separates good from evil, and true love from a self-serving pretense of love.It was quite good overall, although it was not quite as good as Night Watch. Definitely recommended.
—Julie Davis

As with the previous installation from this series, I enjoyed the complexity of the novels. They are chess games within chess games mixing history, politics, social engineering, mythology, and all sorts of other good things.The second story of the three was a little long and drawn out, but everything comes together. I did have some fun trying to figure out who Vitaly was.Lukyanenko continues his meditation on the nature of "good" and "evil" through the détante of the Watches as overseen by the Inquisition. Despite the Treaty that keeps the Others from overrunning the mortal world with their conflict and "protecting" it from undue tampering, both sides are trying to win without breaking the rules. They will bend them to the point of breaking, but no breaking unless it's the endgame, I suppose.This was nominally a novel from the point of view of the Dark Ones, as Night Watch was a novel from the point of view of the Light Ones, but there was liberal use of Light One point of view. Anton Gorodetsky is still the protagonist in general, though the first story about Alisa Donnikova was very moving. She was an unrepentant Dark Witch, but she knew who she was and she knew how to love.I can't wait to read the next one and I hope the continue with the films as well, even though they change quite a bit.

These Russian translated books are a bit hard to get into at first because the culture and some of the language is so different, but once you get into the first 20 pgs or so, it's pretty addictive. This was the second book in the Nightwatch series and picks up a bit after the first one lets off. I wish I could give it 3.5 stars because I'm torn between liking it and REALLY liking it. The writing is excellent, the main characters are well developed and the plot twists are expert. The reader and Others on the watches are expecting one thing but then some master plan unravels that the big wigs have known about all along and you're just as blind-sided by it as most of the characters. Anton is one of the best characters because he doesn't buy into Destiny quite as much as the others and is always actively trying to circumvent the negative things that are going on. He's a Light Other, but not entirely. He's worked with the head of the Dark Others a few times and I frequently get the sense that he's just on the cusp of figuring out the big picture and surpassing the trivialities of Light v. Dark. He's starting to see the pointlessness of it and how there is no real difference between the two but he isn't quite there yet because he's still stuck in the Light's blind hatred of the Dark. One thing I find in these books that seems a relevant comment on the human race is the blind hatred the two sides (Light v Dark) have for each other. There's an ever-raging war and either side is only vaguely aware of why, it's just been going on so long that there is no real question of it; it has always been. (RE: Israel v. Palestine, Muslims v Christians v Jews) There are several of these battles going on now in the world and no one really seems to question much of the reasoning. Most participants are content to just go on hating and fighting without much reason. To me, that seems to be the main commentary brought to mind by these Nightwatch books. And with Daywatch, there is a hint of the beginnings of the possibility for love to conquer hate. I liked that about this book.***SPOILER***I also don't quite know what to believe about Svetlana. At the end, it gets revealed that she is to be the mother of a female Messiah, the next coming of Jesus. I still don't know what to think about that. But, since it came about largely because of Gesar fooling with her destiny, I'm not likely to accept it until it actually happens.

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