Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky– A review
What is it about Underground trains that make for a rich fantasy setting? Is it because we as human beings are that much closer to the underworld of old folklore and mythology? Tales like Hades and Lord Yama where the dead go to be judged. Or is it because we fear it is the home of cave dwelling monsters like orc’s, trolls and goblins which were written about in various forms of fantasy? Or is it a place where the walls of reality are thinned, creating a gateway to other realms? What ever it is it makes for a great fantasy world, Just look at Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Dark Cities of the Underground by Lisa Goldstein and you will see what I mean, And Metro 2033 is no exception.
Written by native Moscowan Dmitry Glukhovsky, and released in Russia in 2005. Metro 2033 has went on to spawn 2 sequels in Russian both written by Dmitry Glukhovsky titled Metro 2034 and the forthcoming Metro 2035 respectively, as well as an entire franchise of novels written by other authors set in the Metro 2033 universe. Not only that Metro 2033 spawned not one but two hit Survival Horror video games titled Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Night. Not bad at all for a single novel.
The basic Synopsis for Metro 2033 which was taken from the dust jacket is this. The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind. But the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory, the stuff of myth and legend. More than 20 years have passed since the last plane took off from the earth. Rusted railways lead into emptiness. The ether is void and the airwaves echo to a soulless howling where previously the frequencies were full of news from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. Man’s time is over. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth. They live in the Moscow Metro – the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. It is humanity’s last refuge. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters – or the simple need to repulse an enemy incursion. It is a world without a tomorrow, with no room for dreams, plans, hopes. Feelings have given way to instinct – the most important of which is survival. Survival at any price. is the northernmost inhabited station on its line. It was one of the Metro’s best stations and still remains secure. But now a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro, to the legendary Polis, to alert everyone to the awful danger and to get help. He holds the future of his native station in his hands, the whole Metro – and maybe the whole of humanity.
This book had me from the beginning to end. The world it self is so utterly fascinating. The best way that I could explain it is think of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York mixed in with Lovecraftian monsters and ghosts galore. And if that wasn’t enough you had to also watch the crazy human element like in the Walking Dead, you didn’t know who to trust,. A person could be ally than turn into a enemy all in a single paragraph. Dmitry Glukhovsky’s descriptions are breathtaking and his pacing of the story was perfect, I could not put this book down even if I tried. I was so engrossed in Metro 2033, I was copying out the Metro Map from the book and going online to link it to all the actual metro stations in Moscow, just so I could generate a better picture in my mind, it almost went to a power point presentation until Karen put a stop to it.
So if you are looking for a different type of post apocalyptic survival horror novel to sink your teeth into, try Metro 2033 you can go go no wrong and that I can guarantee.
At this particular time only Metro 2033 has been the only novel of the entire series that has been translated into English. Interestingly enough though, due to the overwhelming popularity of metro 2033; I read online as of May 11 2013 that they’re just starting to translate Dmitry Glukhovsky’s second novel Metro 2034. Here’s me keeping my fingers crossed for such a great series.
Posted on July 23, 2013, in Reviews and tagged Artyom, Book Review, dark fantasy, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Horror, Horror fiction, Horror Literature, Metro 2033, Metro 2034, Metro Last Light, Review. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.