by Dmitry Glukhovsky (Published March 16th 2009)
In the 1st book Metro 2033 we, meaning those lucky enough to have read it, get to discover, bit by bit, the post apocalyptic Moscow’s last humanity refuge. After a nuclear disaster the city, and the rest of the world, is left wasted and radiation polluted. Humans have retreated to the underground metro stations where they strangle to survive. Their hardships are split in two, first the constant need of provisions and second the never-ending onslaught of mutated creatures that have taken his place on the top of the food chain and are roaming the wastelands, obviously adapted to the radiation. In the story the main character starts a journey through the various stations, the first time in his life, trying to get help for his outpost from on the strong and established central stations. In this journey the bizarre encounters, the various fractions and the lethal entities that he has to overcome. The atmosphere was gloom and thick with feelings of agony and danger. And the finale was simply breathtaking. The experience was so unique & successful that inspired two major video games and a movie possibility..
The sequel Metro 2034 is truly flat, uninspired, unimaginative and with no atmosphere at all..
In this installment, the leading characters are «Hommer», an old person who had the privilege of being alive before the apocalypse, our lost friend the «Hunter» who we met briefly on the first book, «Sasha», an interesting young girl that has grown up without social interaction’s and carries with her all the naiveness and distrust of her upbringing and lately «Leonnid», a drifter who forcefully intrudes in the story when no one really sees the need to..
The story goes back and forth between the first three characters until they sometime join forces.
The goal of these characters is to avoid some impeding disaster. The problem is that this situation is not (for me at least) at all interesting when compared with the 1st book. None of the protagonists can compare to Artyom. They all feel flat. The only thing that would be interesting would be to find out about Hunter’s story (from when we lost him) but he «chooses silence» and we only get little references here and there..
I shouldn’t go on with more details, I should just say that despite my hope that it would get better down the road, I ended up wishing for it end…sad.