Hello Internet. Welcome to Review #1. I will start off with a translated novel, how’s that? Enjoy.
Metro 2033 isn’t for the faint of heart. The storyline is as deep and as dark as the Pacific Ocean, and the characters are either all scared, naïve or so tough you could blitz them in a blender and use them for concrete. The author (who has a last name I won’t even attempt to pronounce) sets the scene where the entire world has been the scene for a massive nuclear war, and the survivors have been driven underground to the largest bomb shelter in the world, the Moscow Metro.
Originally translated from Russian, the story is a tough thing to read. The sentence structure isn’t as lyrical as a native speaker might be, but the sheer atmospheric pressure this novel not only emits but relies upon crushes the small style issue. One doesn’t just read this as slog through the actual tunnels below the great capital themselves, fighting off the constant claustrophobic fear of the enclosed, dark tunnels, listening to the grating Russian accents screaming at you as bullets fire in wild directions.
The reason this book is worth reading, however, is in the simple fact that this is a re-vamped look at a classic adventure novel. There is a likable enough main character, hoards of evil enemies (mutant creatures/fascist political oppressors/communist bureaucrats), a looming sense of danger and a solid objective for the protagonist to complete. The horror is an added bonus, making the adventure take a dark and terrifying turn.
And what horror! The entire premise is based on a terrifying future reality where civilization as we know it has fallen, and those stations which have not been evacuated or destroyed are riddled with mutants or political anarchy. Every opinion of the Russian world is portrayed in this novel, and though the politics are deep enough to write a book on, the author already has so I won’t explain them here. Cruelty and mistreatment are rife, and the author really does turn the end of the world into a survive-at-all-costs scenario. Truly scary and well worth the read, this is a bleak view at the end of humanity that you will not want to miss.
Metro 2033 was published in 2005 by Orionbooks, can be found on Amazon here.
Yours: J.M. Pear