I've read a lot of books where I love the concept at the inception and then fall out of love with it as the story goes along. But what's interesting about The Long Earth is that its concept remains pure and a mind bending throughout. The idea is that on a random day an invention called a "stepper" is released and it allows almost the entire world to move to other versions of Earth.
No one is quite sure how many Earth's there are and what the differences are between each iteration of the Earth. In short one day everything is just normal modern day society, the next people are able to move through hundreds, of thousands of worlds. What this does to the Earth we all inhabit now is fascinating. Overnight all industry dries up. Thousands begin to migrate through what the book describes as the "Long Earth." It's a truly fascinating and well thought out idea that for me was the crux of what I enjoyed about the novel.
However the actual storyline that then takes you on this adventure through thousands of Earth's is no where near as interesting. In fact its overly convoluted and comes off hamstrung. I personally was vying for more time to hear about what happened to the original Earth and what the settlers were doing on the new Earth's to care about the scientific anomalies of Earth's millions of "steps" away.
What worked however in The Long Earth's favor is that it keeps things light and feel good throughout. This could easily have been 1000+ pages of one groups adventure to settle and colonize a new Earth. Part of me sort of wishes this book was that. The brief times the book discusses religion, politics, and finances are by far the high points of the novel. At the end of the day the concept is fascinating but the execution was middle of the road.
Rather stiff story, lacks humor enough to be funny, lacks character development, and ends with a bang that seemed self inflicted by the authors. However there is that big, beautiful idea, that the story presents in multi facets, I liked it well enough!
I read all of the Discovery World series and giggled from start to finish. I found this book to be unexciting. it reads like an encyclopedia. I didn't care about the characters and kept waiting for the story to develop.
I found the story dragged along at times. There were interesting story points however it wasn't captivating for me . The narrator was good but not the best I've heard.
...adequate story. A unique perspective on parallel worlds, and a fun world to discover. One of the main characters was very unique.
There were some gems of writing, dialog, character and plot. Overall it was interesting enough to pull this reader along and maintain engagement with the story, even if it was missing that certain elusive something that makes a book sparkle.
It is difficult to imagine where the story could go from here, and--despite the plot hook at the end of this book--there's not much interest to pick up the next one.
The narrator did a fine job, and helped to keep the story alive and bright. There was a few places where his regional accent was noticeable, but they were too free to distract from the overall performance.
This story just didn't work for me. I had a hard engaging. The story was too fragmented. The characters didn't interest me. I love love love Terry Pratchett and this just was not a good story from my view point. It did have some of his humor.
Best line of book - talking about the ocean - my ancestors spent millions of years getting out of the ocean and I'm good with that.
This is neither the normal Pratchett book or a normal sci fi book about parallel worlds. If you're expecting humour, you chose the wrong book. It's an innovative take on a classic sci fi idea, and one of the most well written books in that vein I've read. Hoping sincerely for a sequel.
The authors wrote down every alternate reality they could imagine, an wove it into a story. Big on details, skimpy on plot. But very imaginative.