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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"Good 2nd book"
I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the first in the series. Good narrator. Will definitely continue listening.
I love the detail in the story telling. I feels like it could be real.
"a great idea drags on"
there is no real punch or climax to the story, it just drags on and then is just neatly tied up at the end!
"Good but I was hoping for more"
After reading the first book, I certainly thought the story concept was interesting and I will read the rest of the series too. My main gripe is that the characters are too shallow, especially Joshua which is disappointing as the main protagonist. He doesn't appear to have any endearing qualities and is always mechanical and bland in his dialogues, I don't feel connected to him at all. Sally and Monica are much better developed characters whereas Joshua appears to have no special abilities or traits which make him worthy of being the main character for the series. The plot is also a bit too meandering at times; I understand the author is exploring this whole concept of parallel worlds but several times I found myself thinking "why am I reading this? It's not really going anywhere", there needs to be more overall drive to the plot than just these random sporadic unconnected events. Even the first person singular plot from the first book is treated as ancient history in this book, so it's not even like the books in the series are connected at all. I will continue to read the other books in the hope that the author finds his footing a bit more and gets on with why we are actually here. "The Long War" was also a very poor choice of title, as the story is a disappointment to this enticing claim, as you spend the entire book waiting for something to kick off.
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.
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