The Long War : The Long Earth

  • by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Series: The Long Earth
  • 13 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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!
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- Amazon Customer

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.



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- John Williams

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-16-2013
  • Publisher: HarperAudio