If there’s anything that Metro get right, it’s world development. Dmitry Glukovsky obviously put a lot of time and effort into making sure that the world was a deep as it can be, and it shows. Metro 2033 has one of the best worlds I’ve ever read in a book. He made sure that each station felt unique, from the way it looks, to the culture and even what the residents are afraid of. It’s incredible. You get this sense of wonder as to what the next station will contain. But he doesn’t just leave it there, because there are the things that are between each station. The tunnels.
Between each and every station there are tunnels, and these tunnels are simple yet effective in making you afraid, even when nothing happens. He goes through immense detail in making you feel terrified and claustrophobic that it makes you want to either run through or away, but you can’t. He makes sure that it lasts. This mixture of terror and wonder, plus the amount of depth to the history and culture makes the world feel alive, and in turn creates one of the best worlds I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring. But this book is flawed.
When it comes to world development, this book is flawless, but when it comes to character and plot it fails. I only really remember three characters from the book, and even those guys didn’t really get much development. This was such a missed opportunity. The world had so much to give when it comes to interesting characters, but it didn’t. Without interesting characters this book became quite boring. I didn’t feel like I was reading some sort of journey… I felt like I was on a tour. It had the opportunity to perfectly blend character and world development, but didn’t get to any real character development until the story was nearly over.
The next problem was the plot. The plot was honestly nothing interesting. It didn’t feel unique or original, and as I stated with character development, the story did have an opportunity, but missed it. There was a sub-plot in this book that was more interesting than the main story, and this sub-plot could’ve worked as it’s own short story. This sub-plot revolves around a station that had a plague of rats swarm the station, killing off the majority of the population. This sub-plot was really well developed and could’ve had a lot more to it, but it also did a great job at showing how the dangerous the world was.
My Favourite Moment
This was at the very beginning where Artyom (The Main Character) is manning the outpost at the stations entrance with a group of others. In this part the group talk about some of the myths and legends of the tunnels which perfectly gets you interested in the world they live in. It makes you want to know whether these thing are true. So it makes you interested in the world, but it doesn’t just do that. During this opening section the group hear noises echo through the tunnels and this made me afraid. I was interested and then I was scared. This perfectly set up the world Artyom was about to explore, and it let you know from the very beginning that it’s not a safe world they live in. A Perfect Opening.
This book was something else, and I would only really recommend it to people who either want to be sucked into a totally unique world, or people who want to know how to develop a world like a professional. Just don’t go into it expecting great when it comes to character or plot. I can’t call the book bad. It had a perfect opening and a flawless world, so…
I read the English translation, and it was filled with errors.