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Author: Łukasz Drobnik

Publisher: Vraeyda Multimedia, Inc. (2021)

There hasn't been a winter like this in years. The streets of Poznań, Poland become covered with snow. The river Warta freezes over.

Terrorists attack a city, but it barely registers in the lives of thirtyish pub-goers. Weronika is in love with her best friend Wu, who has just told her about his new boyfriend, Staszek. Olka, a few years older than the rest, is haunted by a past trauma. Zuza is the secretive type—you never know what's on her mind. There's also Kuba, a playboy who decides to start a relationship, but the moment things get serious, he panics.

Someone breaks into a military museum and steals a 19th-century war scythe. A few nights later, the first victim ends up disembowelled under a bridge. It's Ania, Kuba's love interest. She was partying at Wu's place mere hours before she died.

Soon more murders take place, followed by more terrorist attacks. A man with an Antarctica-shaped tattoo watches the friends' every step. Does he have anything to do with the murders? Or the attacks? Are the two connected?

Cracks start to show on the realistic façade when Kuba mentions a place called Vostok City. It's not long before the façade crumbles, and it becomes clear there's much more to Poznań than meets the eye.

On the surface, Vostok is a murder story with a literary bent. Dig deeper, and it will reveal itself as science fiction that only pretends to play by the rules of realism.