Hm,… haven’t written anything about the #bookclub on ADN for quite a while, have I? Well, I skipped the April book and for some reason never got around writing anything about the February/March book “REAMDE” (which turned out to be probably my favorite book ever, but more on that perhaps another time). Anyway, May’s bookclub assignment was once again a book that had been on my watchlist for quite a while now and so I took the additional incentive to finally get it off said list :-)
Metro 2033 should normally hit all my soft spots: Post-apocalyptic, zombies and quite a lot of mystery. It certainly has a lot going for it. I really loved the setting and that the author tried to ground this book, which takes place in Moscow’s metro system after a devastating nuclear war that probably killed most of mankind, in as many real-world locations as possible.
It simply feels great to pick up an actual metro map and look up where the author has led his characters next. Every station has its own challenges and dark secrets and you really get the feel of all that hardship going on down there without day-to-day access to the surface.
Sadly, the main character doesn’t really keep up with that level of polish. Artyom is around 20 but totally naive. He walks away from everything he knows after more or less being black-mailed in order to get word to the Polis-stations that there is a big threat to the whole metro. Nothing wrong here, but the problem is, there is hardly any character development going on. In fact, the one development I saw was during the last 100 pages where he finally got slightly less naive.
On his journey he met basically every kind of human you can imagine and not just once escapes just barely with his life. The really weak character development (for just one second) put aside, it is quite amazing how many subplots and environments (weird religions, Nazis, …) Dmitry Glukhovsky managed to put into this without it feeling overly strange.
Again sadly, this whole adventure takes quite some time to get under way. After about 60% of the book I finally started to enjoy it, but that were nearly 400 pages :-/ So that combined with the main protagonist kind of spoiled this for me a little bit. There is still a chance that I will read “Metro 2034” but only because of the way this book ended (awesome ending btw.), not because I enjoyed most of it.