Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Sixth Watch – review

Author: Sergei Lukyanenko

Translator: Andrew Bromfield

First published (English): 2016

Contains spoilers

The blurb: The Streets of Moscow aren’t safe. Vampires are attacking innocent people, and the names of the victims are spelling out a message: ANTON GORODETSKY.

Higher Light Magician Anton is one of the Others, possessed of magical powers and able to enter the Twilight, a shadowy world parallel to our own. Each Other must swear allegiance to one side: either the Light, or the Dark.

But who is after Anton and what do they want? Anton’s investigation leads him to a Prophet, an Other with the gift of seeing the future. Her horrifying vision heralds the end of all life at the hands of an ancient threat – unless Anton can reunite a mysterious organisation known only as the Sixth Watch, before it’s too late.

The Review: When I have looked at the previous books of Lukyanenko’s series I have vascilated between reviews and Honourable Mentions, depending on the amount of vampiric activity within the volume (those articles can be found via the following links: Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, the Last Watch & The New Watch). In this (reportedly the last volume in the series) the vampires are front and centre.

Not only do we have the attacks as listed within the blurb, but we get to see the vampire hierarchy and discover their own myths and legends (which may well be true) that suggest that they were the first Others. There is a vampire involved, known as Lilith, who may or may not be the source of the myth. There is also a vampire who, when he removes the illusions that make him look human, is revealed to be Neanderthal. Now, having a Neanderthal vampire is not a new idea but it is rare enough to be mentioned.

As for the book itself. Well as soon as I started reading it was like meeting up with an old friend – I discovered that I had actually missed Anton and that is the power of a good, well written (and translated) character. That Russian feel is still there in spades and the only downside was realising that the reported end of the series is likely to be true given an event in novel.

8.5 out of 10.

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