cover image New Watch

New Watch

Sergei Lukyanenko, trans. from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield. Harper, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-231007-1

Lukyanenko’s fifth Night Watch novel (after 2008’s The Last Watch) featuring members of the Others, magical beings grouped into the Light Ones and the Dark Ones, succeeds in its playful approach to the supernatural thriller genre. The plot centers on the consequences of a chance meeting at the Moscow Airport, where Anton Gorodetsky, a Higher White Magician encounters a child, Innokentii Grigorievich Tolkov, who’s really a Prophet, a rare type of Other who can predict his own fate, and who is being stalked by a Twilight Creature known as a Tiger. While the stakes are unsurprisingly high, frequent injections of humor help separate this entry from the pack; at one point, characters discuss how the publication of the Harry Potter books has helped them convince young Others that they are not exactly human (“Children grasp the basic idea without even a blink now”). (Apr.)