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New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

New Watch

A review by Nalini Haynes

Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch and Last Watch are the first four books in this series, all reviewed at the links. New Watch is book 5. Every book has three separate stories styled much like episodes in a TV series but this series has a strong narrative arc bridging all stories. It’s possible to read the stories individually – I think – but you’d miss a lot without following the characters from the beginning.

The Night Watch series is an international bestselling urban fantasy focusing on Anton, a normal guy until he discovers he’s a magical Other. Anton joins the Night Watch, working on the side of Light to police the Dark, working to protect oblivious humans. In the past four books, Anton met a girl and fell in love, got married, had a precocious child and accidentally had his powers amped up while saving the world. A few times. The saving was a few times, the amping up of the powers was a one-off deal.

Waaay back in the first Night Watch book, Anton was a bit naughty: he sent two police officers to drink on duty because he wanted to get rid of them. Anton changed their lives and now one of them is back, trying to stay out of trouble and failing.

Anton is at the airport when boy-prophet Kesha has hysterics because he doesn’t want to get on a plane. Looking in to the future, Anton sees the boy is right: the plane will crash. Anton tries to intervene but is limited to influencing the boy’s mother to catch a different plane.

Kesha and Nadya, Anton’s daughter – now ten years old – develop an interesting and entertaining relationship. Nadya is a dynamic character; she’s the Arya of the Night Watch series.

Anton tempts fate. Should he listen to Kesha’s prophecy, for which a supernatural creature may kill him?

As always, I love this series. Lukyanenko develops complex characters pondering philosophy between ‘splodey bits, grounding his series with a sense of place adding dimensions to the story. Each story is complete within itself – sort of – but I’m disgruntled that I have to wait for the next instalment to find out what happens next. I highly recommend New Watch.

Hurry up. Am waiting.

★★★★★ five out of five stars

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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