Over at Strange Horizons, Michael Froggatt reviews Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033, published in English by Gollancz in the United Kingdom:
Moscow, 2033: it is a generation since a cataclysmic nuclear and biological war wiped out the overwhelming majority of the planet’s population. A few thousand survivors huddle in the sprawling network of stations and tunnels which make up the city’s Metro, the remnants of the human race having fractured into tribal groups, defined by ethnicity, ideology or creed. These fragile communities, each controlling no more than a handful of derelict stations, maintain an uneasy détente with their human neighbours, while constantly mindful of more sinister threats which now lurk in the subterranean darkness. Only a few hardy souls, the “stalkers,” dare venture aboveground, where they run the risk of encountering the mutated denizens of the ruined metropolis. Artyom has grown up at VDNKh, on the fringes of the inhabited Metro, a station which is about to be overrun by the “dark ones” who dwell on the surface. One day he meets one of the itinerant stalkers, named Hunter, who is seeking to learn more about these creatures and their intentions. Taking Artyom into his confidence, he entrusts him with a mission: to convey a vital message to the fabled Polis, at the very heart of the Metro, a message which may well prove vital to the survival of what remains of humanity. – read the rest of the review or visit the book’s Amazon page.