|“||Sergei Antonov takes us to the real Metro 2033 - mysterious, full of surprises and dangers; filled with the spirit of hopelessness. A great advantage of the novel is its main character, who wants to fix the world, and perhaps all of us dreamed about that at some point. Will there be a little light at the end of the dark tunnels?||„|
— Dmitry Glukhovsky
Dark Tunnels (Russian: Тёмные туннели) is a novel that is part of the Universe of Metro 2033, a long-running series of short stories, novellas and novels written by different authors and set in the world of Metro. Dark Tunnels, written by Belarusian author Sergei Antonov, was originally published in January of 2010. Although there is currently no English version of the book, Dark Tunnels has been translated into a number of other languages. The novel was translated into Polish by Paweł Podmiotko and published in Poland on the 8th of April, 2015.
Like Piter, Antonov's book is one of the very first works from the Universe series; it is the second novel published under the same label, which makes it the fourth published story set in Glukhovsky's world after Metro 2033, Metro 2034, and the first entry in the Universe of Metro 2033 (released a month earlier). Similarly to Glukhovsky's writings, Dark Tunnels is also set in Moscow.
Anatoliy (a.k.a. "Tolya" or "Tom") Tomski, the protagonist of this tale, is a 27 year old anarchist who commands a squad of soldiers from the Voykovskaya station. When the leaders of his home station learn of a sadistic plan to genetically engineer a breed of super soldiers at a hidden laboratory in Lubyanka on the Red Line, Tolya and his six loyal comrades (with the assistance of veteran Sergeant Arshinov) are selected to sabotage the experiment. At first inspired by the old literature of Pyotr Kropotkin and Mikhail Bakunin, Anatoliy perceives the mission as a quest to save humanity, but things don't go according to plan as the team is broken up - he and his close ones are soon subjected to extremely painful experiences. Through one misfortune after another, distance between Tomski and his initial objective grows - the mission becomes only more complicated along the way. After several harrowing ordeals, our hero's wish to help others gradually turns into a desire for vengeance, but will the new allies and friends he makes during the journey remind him of what is truly important?
Set in the Moscow Metro, Dark Tunnels gives us insight into previously unexplored parts of the Russian capital's subway. Voykovskaya (the headquarters of the faction), Vodny Stadion (its cultural centre) and Rechnoy Vokzal (its farm) form an anarcho-communist community known as the Huliaipole Republic, guided by their charismatic leader "Nestor" - nicknamed so after the Ukrainian anarcho-communist Nestor Makhno. Further southeast on the same line, Mayakovskya is revealed to be a seemingly deprived location ruled by criminals. On the previously abandoned Timiryazevskaya to the north, a bewildering society of Satanists has developed. Elsewhere, at one station of the Filyovskaya Line, due to its unfortunate position, has been subjected to high levels of radiation so it is now inhabited by the mutated offspring of survivors who sought shelter there after the Great War of 2013.
- One of the book's main antagonists is a Red Line scientist called Mikhail Andreyevich Korbut. Although a different character altogether, many features of his personality and some of his physical characteristics bear a striking resemblance to General Korbut. Since Dark Tunnels was released over 3 years before Metro: Last Light, it is clear that Glukhovsky and 4A Games were heavily inspired by Antonov in creating their own antagonist.