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The Long War (The Long Earth) [Hardcover]

Stephen Baxter , Terry Pratchett
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
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Book Description

20 Jun 2013 The Long Earth (Book 2)

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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (20 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857520113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857520111
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

From the combined talents of the UK's bestselling novelist and a giant of British science fiction comes the sequel to the phenomenal No.1 bestseller The Long Earth...

From the Inside Flap

The Long Earth is open. Humanity now spreads across untold worlds linked by fleets of airships encouraging exploration, trade and culture.

But while mankind may be shaping the Long Earth, the Long Earth is, in turn, shaping mankind - and a collision of crises is looming.

More than a million steps from our original Datum Earth a new America has emerged – a young nation that resents answering to the Datum government.

And the trolls – those graceful, hive-mind humanoids whose song once suffused the Long Earth – are, in the face of man’s inexorable advance, beginning to fall silent . . . and to disappear.

It was Joshua Valiente who, with the omniscient being known as Lobsang, first explored these multiple worlds all those years ago. And it is to Joshua that the Long Earth now turns for help. Because there is the very real threat of war . . .

. . . a war unlike any fought before.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What is the point of this? 19 Sep 2013
I am also a Terry Pratchett fan and have read I think everything - or pretty much, not all the science of Discworld books.

Like many reviewers I found the first book engaging - a clever idea, there was focus on the main plot line and characters and I looked forward to the follow up.

Unfortunately this book seems half-finished and is remarkably lifeless. There are lots of different subplots but they don't seem to really add up to anything. There are various remarks about the role of government and the state and the freedom of the individual but I'm not sure the authors actually had anything useful to say about this debate.

The stories themselves didn't seem to go anywhere - there really was no excitement, no twists and it was difficult by the end to know why many of the characters and plots had been included. The main plot was about the "war" between the settlers on the various long earths and the main "datum" earth, but it ended with something less than a whimper, the other plot - the search for the Trolls and the discovery of the Beagles - again ended in such a way I thought I'd skipped some of the book.

Very disappointing. I'm sure the authors know why they failed to deliver this time, perhaps they need to take it in turns to write subsequent books in turn rather than continue with joint efforts?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many wasted opportunities 7 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's a great concept but all too frequently a really interesting thread of an idea is not pursued leaving - as others have said - far too many loose ends.

I also felt that the last chapter before Yellowstone was just silly. The storyline was so preposterous that even with two authors working at it, they had to drop it in the bin and bail out. It did occur to me that they were not seeing eye to eye on the thread's development and were deliberately leaving the other in a deeper and deeper pit of silliness. In my opinion, the whole dog planet scenario was a really bad idea, poorly carried out and not well written. And the dud ray guns, an ancient tomb that opens with a dinosaur's magic ring that flies off on its own and returns to the sender? For Hog's sake, Granny Weatherwax would have been far better in the role, at least one could believe in a witch on a broomstick!

Running through the whole book is an off and on distrust of The Black Corporation for no reason that I could see. The described actions of that organisation were philanthropic and kindly in the extreme, yet the main characters had no trust in the organisation which left the reader unsettled as though you'd missed something.

It is fashionable to distrust the Establishment especially in the form of the military. This is maintained in The Long War which had the unfortunate result of making the characters seem paranoid when taken together with their dislike of all things Black. The title is completely misleading, no war is fought nor even Police actions, in fact now I think of it, I cannot recall a single shot being fired!

I like Terry Pratchett. Read all his stuff for years. I was happy to give Stephen Dexter a go on his say so but really, I think 'the Long Earth' was a standalone book and it should have been left at that. 'The Long War' is a sad mish-mash of a good outline poorly carried out.

'Way Station' writ large is is most definitely not!
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poor sequel to a great opener 11 July 2013
The problem with creating a science fiction "opportunity" such as the one the Long Earth presents is that you need a space opera to do it justice. When "The Long Earth" came out with its Pratchett notion of a potato inspired device (quickly forgotten in this latest because it was a tad too ridiculous) that gave rise to an infinite series of earths for humanity to expand into, it created a vast series of options for the authors to explore.So vast, in fact, they've fallen short with this latest, directionless effort. All it has done, in truth, is show the brilliance of the idea (though rehashed somewhat - see Greg Bear's 'Eon') and the incapacity of the authors to deal with it. The reality is the concept needs Peter F Hamilton to do it justice. The vastness of the new world of Datum East/West requires more words than these authors are prepared to throw at it and this sequel flounders in a mire of nothingness.
Part of the problem is Joshua Valienté's weary inclusion - it's almost as though the character isn't interested; part of the problem is the character of Sally - she's intensely dislikeable; part of the problem is that Lobsang's not in it enough; the whole of the problem is nothing gets the detail it deserves. We've too many threads fighting for four hundred pages of large print space and no one's a winner. As a reader I want to investigate more about the culture of Trolls, of Kobolds, of Beagles; I want a thorough story following Capt. Maggie on her personal starship Enterprise with the Cat; I need Joshua to be kicked in the backside to show some enthusiasm; I want the gifted Roberta and her Chinese expedition to get ten times the airtime. The whole East twenty million voyage is begging for a juicy hook to yank the reader.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Andy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was so sad - The Long Earth had a lot of interesting ideas (many not explored)and I was hoping that The Long War would delve deeper into them. I was wrong. It's just a pot-boiler, a fluffy padding-out of the first story to get to the next.

The authors carefully make sure you don't empathise or identify with the characters by constantly calling them by their full and formal names and rarely giving them any interior monologues or motivation. So the whole thing is very cold and impersonal - a rare thing for a Pratchett novel.

As for the plots, there are three that are flagposted early on in the book - the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery and ecological disaster. The first reaches its climax with everyone deciding 'meh, whatever...', the second is just hand-waved away but the third is the best. As the book goes on the signposts get bigger, more neon, more 'Danger, Will Robinson!' until it climaxes with ' be continued.'
Meanwhile there is a whizzkid on a Chinese expedition to nowhere for no reason, and a Mary Sue who makes all the right moral decisions (but we aren't given access to her reasoning for her decisions) and best of all a proper Deus Ex Machina, when Valiente's hunters (for no reason that we can see) suddenly see the Light and discard their cultural, moral, social, traditional and evolutionary imperatives and decide to be lovely instead. Which is nice.
Add that to a long list of plotlines that are just dropped as they reach a climax and you end up with the feeling that the editor just looked at the page count, rubbed his/her hands in glee and never bothered to read it.

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