A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping.
Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth - but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind...
A new ‘America’, called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth - and Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government...
Meanwhile the Long Earth is suffused by the song of the trolls, graceful hive-mind humanoids. But the trolls are beginning to react to humanity’s thoughtless exploitation...
Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a gathering multiple crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any mankind has waged before.
©2013 Terry and Lyn Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks
These are two of my favorite authors and the team up works really well. I rarely have time for audible books due to the number of podcasts I listen to but this was one that I couldn't put down.
Have already picked up the rest of these.
After reading and enjoying The Long Earth very much, I was keen to get to grips with The Long War. Sadly the plot leaves much to be desired and most of the characters seem to have mud for brains and little to no sense of empathy for the most part. For the last third of the book I was gritting my teeth determined to simply get to the end, however the last third is the worst; Joshua seems utterly determined to kill himself with stupidity, Sally and Lobsang appear happy hang him out to dry if it were not for the trolls and meanwhile the rest of the cast limp along like overly cooked spinach. Roberta appears to fulfill absolutely no purpose whatsoever! I cannot begin to imagine how two otherwise excellent authors could manage to turn out a story so poorly written. I imagine they have a third book in mind (this can be the only reason for the inclusion of the otherwise pointless Roberta); one can but hope they improve ... well, everything, when they work on it. After the poor experience of listening to The Long War, I won't be purchasing it however; I'm sure it'll turn up in a second hand bookstore at some point and I won't feel bad about abandoning it if I've paid second hand prices for it.
"Ran out of steam."
The first book was a fascinating stream of ideas, the second book was a damp squib. There were lots of initial story lines that went nowhere, deviations from the plot which appeared out of character and to be honest I found the last third to be pretty tedious. For instance, one of the characters had an old Sony Walkman, but we had been assured time and time again that no iron could be stepped, had someone spent a lot of time re-engineering an old walkman just to trade it for the equivalent of beads? Lots of socio-political ideas were raised, then discarded with an attitude ' it's all ok now'. I suspect this book was rushed out and not really thought through or developed. There was lots of potential, but the authors seem to have got bored with it, as indeed did I. Bu the way, there is no long war.
"Slow start too drawn out"
The language, world and narration are all good. However it felt like close to nothing happened in the first half of the book.
"Not as good as The Long Earth"
Meandered along without the drive and excitement of the original. An Ok book, certainly not bad. Excellent narration however.
"First book better."
Enjoyed it, but found the first book more interesting and I missed the relationship between Joshua and Lobsang.
Like the first book, there is a big problem in the Long Earth that is built the whole way through the book that ends up being resolved very quickly in the end, without very much fuss, which let's the story down a bit.
Michael Fenton Stephens reads well although I found his Oirish accent to be a wee bit fiddledy-dee. But then again he was given a stereotypical Irish character to portray so he can't be held accountable I guess.
Thanks for the listen though.
If you haven't read this pick it up - the characters the story and the narrator are great. Occasionally some characters sound similar but it is very minor criticism. Also goes without saying you need to have read 'Long Earth' (book 1) first.
"I hope the next one is better than this..."
As a huge Pratchett fan (have been for years and years) I feel loathed to admit that I really struggled to finish this audio book.
It is hard to hear TP's writers voice in the story as the story plods through the plot. There is no real feel of drama as everything works out just fine in a very-young-teen-fiction kind of way. Yet at the same time great length is taken to discuss the theory of long earth science dragging out the small details when all I really wanted was some good story developments.
You get the feeling that nothing much happens in the story. The long war is not a war at all and more like a very drawn out political debate with a couple of exciting scenes but even then there is no real drama in them. There is a sense that nobody at all is in any real danger, nobody gets hurt: whatever happens gets shrugged off and it's all smiles. The book gives you the feeling that everyone is always going to end up happy which makes it an undramatic read.
The characters from the first book are still there but don't do much of merit while the new characters and types of sentient beings are interesting but ultimately don't add much (if anything) to the overall plot.
On reflection the first thing that this book does wrong is the title; do not expect a war, do not expect a battle, don't even expect the characters to break a sweat!
I found myself asking "What is the purpose of this book?" I can only hope that it is a build up to book 3 and that it is putting the characters and pieces in place for the next book. Even if this is the case it is a very long set up and I can't help feel it could have been written better in less pages.
I still love the concept of the long earth and I am still excited to see where the story goes next.
Was it read well? Yes
Will I listen to the next in the series? Yes
Would I ever go back to this book? No.
"A great follow up."
A huge story, told with style and panache. The concept of the long earth is difficult to comprehend, but the complexities of this story are well explained. Entertaining and engrossing.
"Far from TPs best work sadly."
Well narrated but pedestrian in developing an intriguing idea a real shame as the series showed promise
"Excellent in parts"
Excellent and moving in parts. Confusing and many loose ends at times. Great vocal performance.
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