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Day Watch

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day Watch (2000/2006) Sergei Lukyanenko translated by Andrew Bromfield

This text has been banned for distribution as injurious to the cause of Light. —THE NIGHT WATCH

This text has been banned for distribution as injurious to the cause of Darkness. —THE DAY WATCH

As with the first book, there are three stories within the book, these concerning the Day Watch: Unauthorized Personnel Permitted, A Stranger Among Others, Another Power.

“Unauthorized Personnel Permitted” is my least favorite of the entire series. Anton doesn’t make an appearance in this story, and things are told from the POV of my least favorite character, Alisa Donnikova, a dark witch. This is not to say the story isn’t good, because it is very good–you can see how Alisa was manipulated to become a dark other as a child, you can see that she’s not an evil being–she saves a mouse from being tormented, and you can even see how she has been manipulated by Zabulon. But I just don’t enjoy the story.

It is, however, important to the rest of the book.

And there are some fascinating things here, such as the dark witch operating outside of the watches. I am struck by her attitude towards morality and ethics every time I read this story.

“Do you take the sin on yourself?” the seer asked insistently.

“What sin is there in that?” Natasha retorted, her irritation suddenly breaking through. “Every woman’s committed that sin at least once! Perhaps there isn’t anything there anyway!”

The seer pondered, as if she were listening to something. She nodded her head. “There is . . . And I think it’s definitely a daughter.”

“I’ll take it,” said Natasha, still in an irritated voice. “I’ll take all the sins on myself, any you like. Do we have a deal?”

The seer looked at her sternly, disapprovingly. “That’s not right, my daughter . . . About all the sins. Who knows what sins I might hang on you? My own, or somebody else’s . . . then afterward you would have to answer to God.”

Lest you think it odd that someone be able to divvy up sins, don’t forget that in the past there were men who were “sin eaters”–they would go and take on the sins of the dead.

The second story, “A Stranger Among Others”, is the story of a stranger coming to Moscow. I actually like this story a lot. Probably because I quite like Vitaly Sergeevich Rogoza (Dark Other).

Well, then, Vitaly, I’ll do the talking, and you correct me if I get something wrong. Agreed?”

“Certainly,” I said readily. Because I had almost no idea what weird stories would surface out of my subconscious for me to tell to these intent agents of the Day Watch.

If people ask no questions and help a stranger who comes wandering up to their campfire out of the forest, you shouldn’t take anything from them if you can avoid it.

This is also my favorite story from this book.

“Another Power” is the trail resulting from the events of the first story. One of the things I particularly like about this story is the backstory on the Regin brothers.

It wasn’t at all easy for the magicians of the small Finnish sect. They had to scout around the world, searching for Other children they could adopt, educate, and introduce to the great cause of service to Fafnir. As a rule, these children were found in the more underdeveloped and exotic countries.

“Remain vigilant, brother!” Yari reminded him. “Fafnir is saddened and alarmed by carelessness.”

I also like Edgar, the dark magician who first appeared in the second story.

Edgar, the Dark magician, was late for a daily operational briefing for the first time since he had moved to the Russian capital from Estonia. The reason was trivial, but any self-respecting magician would have been ashamed to admit it. Edgar had been feeding the ducks at the pond on Chistoprudny Boulevard.

After Vitaly, Edgar is probably my favorite Dark Other.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Harper Paperbacks

Categories: 8/10, Fantasy, Re-Read, Translated, Urban     Comments (0)    



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