Happy Easter everyone! This year is a rare Easter for us in that we’re actually at home, since my dad moved to North Wales about 4 years ago we’d spent every Easter up there, but as Easter doesn’t actually fall in the school holidays this year we’re delaying our trip by a few weeks.
As we have two autumn born children we usually celebrate Easter by buying them a ‘garden present’ as it’s pretty pointless buying them a garden toy for their autumn birthdays or at Christmas. This year was a pop up Ninky Nonk (I’m pretty sure that Ninky Nonk is a global phenomenon now but still only parents of the under 5 are likely to know what I mean, so for those that don’t, the Ninky Nonk is a fictional train on the children’s TV programme, In the Night Garden, made by the same people who made Teletubbies and I’ve heard described by it’s makers as a gentle interactive nursery book).
Our Ninky Nonk is a series of pop up tents that join together like the train, the kids love it. Boy Lacer who is really in the age group In the Night Garden is aimed at loves ITNG but so does his big sister Girl Lacer. Shame the weather was no where near nice enough to play with it outside today (it was snowing, although unfortunately not settling), so the Ninky Nonk was set up in our living room, taking literally all the floor space.
As well at the Ninky Nonk the kids off course got some Easter eggs; Girl Lacer got a small Smarties egg, a gold foiled chocolate bunny and a soft rabbit from us and Boy Lacer got a goats milk chocolate Easter egg and hen (he’s cow’s milk protein intolerant), that required some sourcing! In the end I got the goats milk chocolate online from Kidmenot, me and Girl Lacer have also tried it (in our position as chocolate connoisseurs) as I had also ordered some minibars of chocolate which turned out even more mini than I had thought. Boy Lacer likes it, although I think he prefers the little packets of dairy free chocolate buttons you can get from Sainsburys, Girl Lacer likes it (she likes any chocolate though) and I think it tastes ok to. As well as chocolate and presents from us, there were also presents from the mother-in-law, chocolate eggs for me and Mr. Lacer and little goodie bags for the kids, with the mother-in-law thankfully making sure Boy Lacer’s was dairy free (more dairy free chocolate buttons from Sainsburys). I also got an egg from Mr. Lacer and I have now consequently eaten too much chocolate (how come I can be more controlled about rationing the kids chocolate than my own?) and feel rather dodgy.
I gave my initial impressions last week and they haven’t much changed; I had thought the prose a little clunky and it remained so, although that was probably largely due to it’s translation. But now for a proper review:
The Night Watch is the first of a trilogy by the Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko; it tells the story of the battle between Light and Dark on the streets of Moscow, where Others, people with magical powers prowl the streets undetected by normal humans. Told from the perspective of a Night Watch agent, Anton, an Other aligned to the Light, the book takes the shape of three stories, although all three are linked with each other, climaxing in a final battle (as all these sort of books seem to do).
Written with great imagination, the creation of a parallel world hidden from the rest of Moscow’s citizens has been very well done. Describing the effects of magic on the everyday world, I particularly liked one of the earliest scenes where Anton is on the metro and he’s looking at the vortexes above some of the passengers head, formed when another human curses another (i.e. “You’re a stupid idiot” etc. etc.) they cause anything ranging from depression to a migraine, obviously ficitious but I had fun imagining some of the vortexes I would have caused recently lol. The creation of the two Watches; the Night Watch created by Others from the Light and the Day Watch created by Others from the Dark was also well done. The two Watches are at truce with each other, fearing what an all out war would do to the human world. The three stories tell how the members of Night Watch are manipulated.
Overall though this book wasn’t really for me and I won’t be rushing to read the next two books (although I might one day). Reading the book I had a sneaking suspicion I was reading the book 10 years to late, I think I would have loved it when I was in my early 20s, being Russian would also have helped as there are lots of references to Russian pop songs I haven’t heard of. But now there’s just a bit too much introverted soul searching for me, in some scenes when the main character was spending page after page pondering the various machinations between Light and Dark I was incredibly tempted to skip to the next bit of action! Not my book of the year, by far but an ok read.
So it’s only midday (this weekend has been a long weekend, in more ways than one) and I think I may actually have time to start another book, although I feel like something light and fluffy (unusual for me) although I have just the thing on my TBR mountain (a well meaning but unfortunate Christmas present). So I think I’ll lurk around the Salon for a bit longer and may be back with my first impressions of ‘light and fluffy’, just keep me away from the chocolate!