Dark versus light, good vs evil. . . the story that never gets old. It's even better when sometimes the “good” guys are liars and the “bad” guys are the only ones willing to tell the truth. Throw in some vampires, magicians and shape changers, and I'm in urban dark fantasy heaven.
I'd read Sergei Lukyanenko's Nightwatch last year some time, and was also able to get my hands on the motion picture (Russian language, English subtitles, $5 budget for special effects, excellent directing!!). Everything about Nightwatch was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The main character, a light magician named Anton is a truly likeable guy. At times he's troubled, confused, scared, a little gullible, but an eminently likeable guy, which makes him the perfect target for bad things to happen to. Teamed up with Olga, a sorceress who is locked in the body of an owl, Anton wanders around Moscow keeping tabs on “dark ones”, and generally being a good boy. He saves the life of Svetlana, a new Light Sorceress, and they soon fall in love with each other. But Svetlana has a special destiny (whether she wants it or not) and she will leave Anton behind. When he realizes the Watch sees him as nothing more than the perfect pawn, he makes a fateful decision that can never be taken back.
A friend of mine loaned me her copy of Daywatch, which is the next book in the series, so of course I had to reread Nightwatch. And you know what? I liked it even more the second time around. Heavy on the dialogue and action, and light on the heavy descriptives, it's a quick and enjoyable read. Most definitely on my “highly recommended” list.
I'm about 100 pages into Daywatch, and it's hard to realize this was written by the same author. The writing is still great and the style is similar, but I'd gotten so used to a main character that I wanted to root for, sometone that I wanted good things to happen to. . . it's hard to like Alisa, the dark witch protagonist of Daywatch. So far I'm finding her to be petty, selfish, short sighted, and if her ex-lover Zabulon (who happens to be the head of the Daywatch) decided she needed to meet her end, I wouldn't mind. So much for sexy, alluring dark ones who are seducing people left and right to their cause - Alisa is a bitch.
Anton couldn't help but fall in love with Svetlana, and it changed his life for the worse. Perhaps Alisa's new found love will change her life for the better?