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The Long War: The Long Earth, Book 2 | [Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter]

The Long War: The Long Earth, Book 2

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by "stepping". A new "America" - Valhalla - is emerging more than a million steps from Datum - our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government.
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Publisher's Summary

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter follows the adventures and travails of heroes Joshua Valiente and Lobsang in an exciting continuation of the extraordinary science-fiction journey begun in their New York Times best seller The Long Earth.

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by "stepping". A new "America" - Valhalla - is emerging more than a million steps from Datum - our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government.

Soon Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a building crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any humankind has waged before.

©2013 Terry and Lyn Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

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3.9 (266 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 08-26-13
    Amazon Customer MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 08-26-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh"

    If I had to sum it up in one word it would, unfortunately, be "disappointing".

    I understand that a five book deal has been signed for the Long Earth series but I'm not sure if it was the authors or the publishers who came up with that number, if the pacing of this book is anything to go by it was the publishers. I still like the basic premise of this universe but this book really felt like filler with a little bit of setup for the next book...s?

    Most everyone's back from the first book, with a few new additions, but generally the assorted sub-plots don't actually go anywhere, or do anything more than circle around so they're ready to kick off at the start of book three, like everyone was in a holding pattern for no particularly good reason.

    There are flashes of interest, you can pick out Pratchett's dialog and plot contributions (although they felt startlingly lacking in this volume) and the ideas that Mr Baxter brings are reasonably obvious and interesting when they appear (usually in some monologue form) but the whole thing never gels. It was an incredibly frustrating read, made more so by these little sparks that appear here and there defining the bones of what could have been a stupendous, much longer, book.

    This is also how I felt about a previous collaboration between Stephen Baxter and Arthur C Clarke, perhaps he just shouldn't collaborate, or perhaps he needs a better editing team, more willing to request changes from these two very well established authors.

    I'm not going to be able to not read the next installment, but I wouldn't recommend this book to any but the most die-hard completist.

    On the audio side, Mr Stevens did a bang-up job continuing on from the first book and I greatly enjoyed the way he read this, excellent personification!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 08-29-13
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 08-29-13 Member Since 2009

    I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.

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    "Excellent Sequel"

    If you're considering reading this, you've probably already read The Long Earth. These books are quite different from Pratchett's well-known Discworld Series. The Long Earth books aren't satirical or funny in the same way as Discworld, but the ideas and possibilities of the world are fascinating and well-developed.

    I actually liked The Long War better than The Long Earth. I read the former and listened to the latter. The narrator is good, but I think the breadth of the story also does well with the kind of long-time concentration I can engage in while listening for hours at a time as opposed to reading in shorter spurts.

    As for the narrator, there were a few pronunciations that seemed odd to me, a resident of Washington state who just returned from Yellowstone. Baxter pronounces the word geysers, like Old Faithful, as geezers, which makes me think of an old man. He also says "Ranee-a" when the reference is Mt Ranier. Weird, but hardly problematic for a listener.

    I suspect there will be more in the Long Earth series and I look forward to more.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Stockton, New Jersey, United States 06-16-14
    Adam Stockton, New Jersey, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Killer"

    This was fun! I'm very pleased that this is a series. I sort of wish Joshua would get a little more pissed off about how people use him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Williams Charlotte, NC 07-20-13
    John Williams Charlotte, NC 07-20-13 Member Since 2005
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    "A Long War to Humanity v Next"

    The Long war continues exploring the universe created in the long world. In this book Baxter and Pratchett explore what happens to human society when the pressures of scares resources and space is removed. Specifically, how old mental paradigms and the people who have lived all their lives with them deal with no longer being valid. The long war is specifically the conflict between those who adapt quickly to the new realities and start taking advantages of the new freedoms and those who want to deny that they need to change to live in a universe that has two new demotions.

    Unlike a majority of Pratchett’s works, this is not a comedy. There is humor in it, but this book is more a philosophical exploration of human society, prospecting, exploration, colonization driven through a science fiction setting. There is little attempt to explain jumping, why it is possible, but a lot on the consequences of it. The root appears to be a variation of the multi-world theory based loosely on a branch of quantum theory. This is however, not hard science fiction; more Douglas Adams than Isaac Asimov.

    Overall, it was a fun read with an interesting insight into humanity. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to explore new and interesting worlds.



    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Pawleys island, SC, United States 08-09-13
    Donald Pawleys island, SC, United States 08-09-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Not a lot of war, but a long one"
    If you could sum up The Long War in three words, what would they be?

    Out of mythology


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Long War?

    So many cool scenes, but not one that stole the show.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Fenton Stevens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Another strong performance by Michael F. Stevens. His return to the Long Earth was well done.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I couldn't stop listening, I devoured this book as quickly as life would allow.


    Any additional comments?

    The exploration of the varied denizens of the Long Earth kept the Long War engaging all the way through. Everything made a kind of sense, from an alien perspective.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Chai Scholl San Diego, CA 10-13-13
    Connie Chai Scholl San Diego, CA 10-13-13 Member Since 2005

    soymilk

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    "Great story, godawful reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The story is wonderfully complex and absorbing, however this production was ruined by the reader, who did not know how to pronounce the word "ensign". You know, the military rank ENSIGN. This reader pronounced it "IN-SINE".
    Really? This is a professional audio book reader? What a shame. Don't buy this audiobook, just buy the paper or e-book version and save yourself from having to hear "in-sine" over and over again.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Pronouncing basic English words correctly.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. I wanted to reach into my ipod and poke the reader in the eyes every time he pronounced the word "ensign" wrong.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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