Profile: Urban Fantasy, Suspense, Horror, The Watches Pentalogy
(Read in stereotypical movie preview voiceover) In a world where epic battles between good and evil are a dime a dozen on the Teen Fantasy shelves, one Russian author struggles to bring a sense of subtly and realism to stories about vampires, werewolves and wizards. (End voiceover) And that’s to his credit. Lukyanenko’s vision of a supernatural world where nothing is as it seems sounds trite on paper, but it is actually a well-conceived exploration of the tropes that make up our understanding of good and evil.
Night Watch is three stories, all told from the perspective of Anton, a mid-level agent of the eponymous Night Watch who gets tangled up in the power plays of his superiors. The Night Watch itself is an organization of ‘Light’ aligned magicians and supernatural beings who enforce the decades long truce between the forces of Light and Darkness. Anton normally fills the role of an analyst for the Night Watch, but extraordinary circumstances pull him into the field to deal with one of the rare incidents that requires cooperation between the Night Watch and its Dark counterpart, the Day Watch.