Taking place less than a year after the events of 2033, the book follows a different group of characters from the first book as they investigate the mysterious loss of communication with various Metro stations.
A sequel, Metro 2035, was released in 2015.
This novel features the following tropes:
- Ascended Extra: Hunter, who only played a small role in 2033, is a major character in this novel.
- Cobweb Jungle: A corridor the group encounters is so full of thick spiderwebs that their machete gets caught in it, forcing them to resort to other measures.
- Despair Event Horizon: Melnik reveals Artyom to have gone insane for a short period of time after the events of 2033. Apparently, he got better and even married in the span of one year, but all we have in Melnik's word on it - and he doesn't even say Artyom's name. Of course, we all remember how communication in the metro is fallible
- It's the Only Way to Be Sure: The solution Hunter eventually comes up with to the disease outbreak is to kill all the infected citizens.
- Kill It with Fire: Whatever made the webs dies a fiery death when Homer sets them alight to clear the path.
- More prominently in that book, this is what Hunter plans to do to the infected station. He would have done it too, if the local soldiers hadn't flooded the station first.
- Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap: The garrison unit of the Sevastopolskaya station regularly receives small batches of cucumbers, potatoes and tomatoes for soldiers, albeit sickly looking and wilted (As well as copious amounts of ammunition, weapons and medical supplies). Justified since this exact station provides a significant amount of electricity for those who can pay for it and is constantly under the siege of mutants from the surface. None of the access tunnels can be blocked due to the need of frequent maintenance of hydroelectric generators near underground rivers. An attempt to clean out adjacent station and close the airlocks failed due to something that killed a group of grizzled professionals and left no trace of their bodies or equipment. The radio operator only heard one of the soldiers chanting a simple kiddie prayer before all communication was lost.
- The Plague: A virus is spreading through the Metro, having infected several stations, which the main characters are trying to stop.
- Put on a Bus: Artyom from the previous novel does not make an appearance here. Melnik mentions him only in passing. The Artyom we see in this book is a different one.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: The main characters eventually find a cure, and manage to stop the Order from shooting all the infected, but the troops already in the station flood it, killing everyone inside.
- You Have to Burn the Web: The characters take this trope up a notch by blowing up the web, using a handful of gunpowder. And immediately regret it as the explosion shakes up all the radioactive dust around.