Hi 👋, I am Ian Bog'Ste

Evolving beyond Code: Tales about my Journey from Software Development to Engineering Leadership.


Book Review: Metro 2033

5 minutes
April 21, 2024

Metro 2033 gave me a rare opportunity: to deepen my experience within its Lore, one already well-established by the Video Game Series with the same name.

In this Novel we follow Artyom, an unassuming Citizen of the world of Moscow Metro, that embarks on an Odyssey around this perilous underground in order to save his Community. His journey will be filled by twists and turns which leave the Reader in awe and unable to predict a lot of the events building up the narrative.

Metro 2033 (Novel) Cover Image

Metro 2033 (Novel) Cover Image

Metro 2033 (Novel) by Dmitry Glukhovsky

(How Books are rated?)
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction

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First, let us talk about the elephant in the room: for those that started with the Metro 2033 (Video Game), please know upfront that there is plenty more happening here (as it should be). While they overlap, with the Game depicting the atmosphere with high fidelity, we can also confidently say there is barely any loss between the two and instead the two narratives are complementary and cleverly knitted together, serving only to enrichen this post-apocalyptic setting. Worthwhile adding also that since its 2005 release Metro has become a full-blown Franchise, with its Universe being augmented by many other short stories or novels covering many more Locations other than just Moscow region.

Now back to Artyom’s journey (without any Spoilers): from early on in the storyline we are left with the impression that the Community he is a part of is under an immediate threat by an unknown force – mostly by some beings known as “the Dark Ones”. No one really understands what they are, whether they are real or myth, and if the former where their true intentions lay towards. As a result, Artyom embarks on short journey to a nearby Station, as tasked by a friend of his (adoptive) Father, to get a better idea about how urgent they all will need to act. This initial journey will set him up on a fantastic roller-coaster ride throughout Moscow Metro: he will make new friends, meet exuberant and quirky people, deal with different Factions, experience loss, comedy, almost unimageable adventures and yet succeed growing as a person.

Dmitry Glukhovsky manages to keep momentum going in a thrilling way, without the action becoming predictable. Moreover, in line with what the road to success amounts to, Artyom will be undergoing near-constant challenges and unexpected twists which will feel like he repeatedly had reached the end, only to find it within himself a strength to always push on. However, the narrative does have its low-points with the Storyline occasionally turning too descriptive or convoluted. It is informative, nevertheless, and yet I think it succeeds as a distraction from the principal ‘Magic Act’ such that the Author constantly succeeds sneaking in new Tricks without the Audience noticing.

All-in-all, we are left with a fair picture about how, in a post-apocalyptic nuclear world, Survival becomes paramount and the lengths some people will go to ensure that. It is a fight between philosophy and pragmatism. But what if there was so much more to it all? There may be a good reason after all on why there is a next novel, too, called Metro 2034.

From here on, I am inviting you to read the Book and find out!

Noteworthy Quotes

Artyom had energy boiling inside him. [..] The desire to get away from the station grew in him every day, as he understood more and more clearly what life his stepfather was molding for him. A career as a tea-factory worker and the role of a father with many children was less appealing than anything else on Earth.

The life of someone who has been sentenced to death is different from the life of a normal person in only one way: the one knows exactly when he will die, and the regular person is in the dark about it, and consequently it seems he can live forever, even though it’s entirely possible that he could be killed in a catastrophic event the following day.

Death isn’t frightening by itself. What’s frightening is expecting it.

A pointed grey ear appeared from behind [..], followed by a huge green eye that sparkled in the flashlight’s bean. The librarian slowly looked out [..], almost shyly, and his eyes sought Artyom’s. Don’t turn away. Look right there, right at him, right in his pupils… The pupils were vertical; those of an animal. And how strange it was to see vestiges of intelligence in these sinister, impossible eyes!

‘A thousand? What? One, two, three? How many? A thousand?’

‘You have ten fingers on your hands. And Sharap has ten fingers . . . No, Sharap has twelve . . . That won’t do. Let’s say Grom has ten fingers. If you take you, Grom and other people so that all together there were as many as you have fingers, they each of them all would have ten times ten each. This is a hundred. And a thousand, this is when it is ten times each 100.’

‘That’s a lot of fingers. I can’t count them.’

Happy dipping into it!

Until the next one… Sincerely,

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