In this book we follow the journey of A young man called Artyom as he travels to the heart of the Moscow Metro system where mankind has taken refuge after A nuclear war. Artyom is given A mission by the mysterious Hunter to tell the authorities in Polis, at the heart of the Metro, of A new threat that is creeping down into the Metro from the radiation covered city above them.
I found this A really fascinating read. It showed me A world that I had never encountered before. I am still a relative novice when it comes to reading and this is the first novel that I have read which has not been written by someone who is U.K. or U.S. based. I got sucked in by how Glukhovsky pulled this world that he has created together. He explains A lot very clearly, but also very subtly. There are no times during the novel that I felt that I was having background information shoved down my throat. There is little of why mankind has had to surrender the surface of the planet. Glukhovsky drip feeds very little about the nuclear war and I did find that A little frustrating. I want to know why the bombs fell, what were the triggers and so on. But I appreciate that it is not needed for the story that is being told.
Everything we see of this world is through the eyes of the young Artyom. He has never really ventured to far from his home station, VDNKh, which is near the edges of the Metro system and A little isolated. So we as readers get introduced to much of this world through the eyes of someone who has only experienced life from his own small part of the Metro. There were A few moments where I felt he was A little easily led, and there are others times where he makes A stand in the face of oppression. There are more than A few times where his life is hanging by a thread.
His journey could not have been made without the aid of the people that he encounters throughout the book. Most help him but some just try to draw him into what will benefit them and give no consideration for Artyom’s mission. Some of these people try to make him part of their religion, or need him to find some artifact. Glukhovsky breaks society down very nicely in places. There are obviously those who are religious, others who are communist, a Fourth Reich exists underneath Moscow in this world. Along with the Hansa group these, as I recall, are the most prevalent communities that Artyom encounters. There was only one group of people within this world that I was not totally convinced by, but It is a good example of how mankind will accept anything that we are told just to be accepted and have some of our freedom removed.
I have always been found of the lack of information of A horror. In Ridley Scott’s film ‘Alien’ we do not encounter the beast until we are a fair way into the movie, and when we do we don’t really see the creature in all its glory. So I was chuffed to find that this novel did not give us readers much to see when it came to the mutants. In the early stages of the book there is little to no given details of these creatures. It is not until Artyom gets to the centre of the Metro that he comes face to face with these bogey men that haunt the inhabitants of the subterranean Moscow. I feared for our hero at many stages during the book, even when I had a fair chunk of the novel to read I found I was worried that Artyom would not survive.
This whole story could easily become reality. Not only are the characters very real but the world that they live in could become real in a blink of an eye. As I said Glukhovsky never really explains why mankind pushed the button that led to the missiles flying through the skies to rain down not only death of mankind but also A crippling aftermath that mother earth will take more years than we can count to recover from. This world that has crawled underground after this apocalypse sucked me deep down into it, I lost myself when I was reading and was able to truly escape into it.
I did not see the ending coming, and I found it especially spectacular in its own way. I have so many questions that have not been answered but that did not leave me feeling unsatisfied. The ending worked amazingly well.
I cant wait to read Metro 2034.