Metro 2034 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, the sequel to Metro 2033, follows a new expedition through the metro and its many dangerous tunnels. Sebastopol, a station often attacked by monsters and bandits, is often requesting more ammunition and supplies, but communications are down. Every party of soldiers sent to investigate never returns. Luckily, a grizzled soldier takes up the task and requests the help of a story-teller named Homer.
This review will contain small spoilers for Metro 2033, but will be a spoiler-free review for Metro 2034 itself. Let’s get into it!
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A Short Summary
Sebastopol station is the station that sees the most action in the Metro. Mostly, they face monsters and mutants that lurk in the tunnels. Yet, as long as there are guards at their posts and bullets in their guns, these invading threats can be blocked from taking over the station.
Yet, with communications down, Sebastopol cannot request ammunition and other important supplies to keep the station under control. Soldiers are sent to investigate, but go missing. The task falls upon a final party of soldiers.
This party, much like Artyom in Metro 2033, stumbles upon many small stories, affecting them in large ways or simply being along for the ride. New characters and developments are made during this story and although it is pretty separate from the story of Metro 2033, it still adds some more information as to what happened after the last book ended.
First, we have Homer, one of the main characters in this story and the one who will receive the most focus. He is one of the soldiers in this small group. He is an old man, but not so old that he refuses such an adventure that can inspire his book.
Second, is Hunter, who has returned mysteriously, just as mysteriously as he disappeared in Metro 2033. Hunter plays the second main character in this story and we get to know him a lot more over the events of the story. Yet, he remains a cold, dark individual, even more so than his brief appearance in 2033.
Thirdly, we have Sasha, a young girl and daughter of a banished man. She is naive at times, then wise other times. A tough life gives her this knowledge, this sense of people, but having lived a very secluded life, she still shows her inexperience when traversing the tunnels. She is the more hopeful side of the three main characters.
I have discussed Glukhovsky’s writing style in the last book of his I read and not much has changed since. He still conveys tension at the right moments and conveys the dark atmosphere of the metro well.
Metro 2034 is much shorter than 2033. It can be read in 2 to 3 days, and advised for ages 16 and up, at least in my opinion.
My Thoughts on Metro 2034
Unfortunately, Metro 2034 was a disappointing sequel for me.
I felt that this was a story that could have easily been told as a side story in Metro 2033, rather than a whole book. The events of the story just felt incidental, lacking significance and the second half of the story felt like an incoherent mess.
I noticed right from the beginning that the surreal aspects of the first novel would not be in this one, which I thought would make the structure a bit more sound and believable. Yet, it proved to be the opposite.
The story has a lot more action than the first, which I believe is good because it suits the kind of character Hunter is. There were a few good scenes that I enjoyed, but I found myself losing patience for Homer, who has inner monologues frequently and in great length. It quickly stopped being interesting as soon as I realised it was just padding to get the novel to be a decent length.
Metro 2033 felt like a solid novel, a science-fiction post-apocalypse that was good enough on its own. Metro 2034 feels, at least to me, like a hollow novel riding on 2033’s coattails. I am aware that Glukhovsky wrote another novel where he returns to Artyom and I hear the reception is much better as well, so I am hopeful.
While Metro 2034 was a let-down for me, it might not be for you. It still has Glukhovsky’s style of writing and how it differs from 2034 might be appealing. If you have read Metro 2034, let me know what you think of it below.
Thank you for checking out this review and as always,
Good day, goodnight and happy reading!