Day Watch, by Sergei Lukyanenko
Just recently finished the second book of the Watch series by Lukyanenko. I read the first one about 4-5 years ago and finally got around to the second book of his tetralogy. When I first picked it up, I couldn’t quite understand why I was so fond of the first one. But after adjusting my reading mode, I recalled why I liked the first book, Night Watch, so much. No, really, I’m inclined to believe that Night Watch played a decent role in inspiring me to write The Red Forest.
The plot in this story is a little screwy at times, but the atmosphere is phenomenal. One reviewer over at Goodread’s was extremely disturbed and turned off by how dark and dismal the book is. But to me, that is what makes it so outstanding and rises above the rest of these ridiculous Hollywood urban fantasy books that are basically written to be bought and tossed in the fire pit. Isn’t that what they do to them? I’m sorry, but anyone who is an immortal is not going to be a happy-go-lucky fool, and I despise any romanticism of the idea, as well as this nonsense where all-is-right-in-the-end. And this is why I love Lukyanenko.
Unfortunately, Day Watch was, in my opinion, not up to par as Night Watch (#1) was.
- We get a look into the Dark Side (the “bad guys”). Who doesn’t like to see what it’s like over there?
- As always, Lukyanenko does a masterful job at capturing the tone, environment, emotions, and descriptions. When you read his books, you really feel that you are there, that you can smell the cigarette smoke, that you’re really sinking into the Twilight with them. Very raw, and very good.
- Everything that happens is key to the plot. Like the first book, it all makes sense in a huge ka-pow at the very end of the book.
- The first plot felt rather contrived. I felt as if he just needed this to happen, but didn’t spend that mind-numbing amount of time of making it plausible. It was hard for me to believe the depth of the emotions in the first plot — love at first sight is, for me, a hard concept to digest.
- The last fifty pages contained way too much explaining and conversational brainstorming. The twist at the end was good, but the journey to it felt long-winded and would have been more exciting if done differently. Personally, monologues and discussions don’t bother me, but for a story like this, I would have done things a little differently. Expect a lot of questions to arise during the read, but don’t expect to be teetering on the edge of your seat.
I’d give Day Watch a 7 out of 10. The story itself was grand and unpredictable. Lukyanenko’s a very talented writer and does not unnecessarily flower things up or add inane subplots just to make things more exciting. Everything presented is pertinent and vital to the entire story. Unfortunately, the way some of the plot points are performed, I feel, could have been better approached. Execution is superb, but the credibility of some of the means getting to the end could have been better set up.
But for a fan of the Watch, I loved it. As raw and melancholy as ever, and I’m looking forward to Twilight Watch. Hopefully I can get to that within, shall we say, 2 years?