- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (20 Jun. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857520113
- ISBN-13: 978-0857520111
- Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 4 x 24.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (408 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Long War (The Long Earth) Hardcover – 20 Jun 2013
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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?
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 '...to 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.
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.Read more ›
The book laboured over re-establishing the characters and re-visiting the plot, and had none of the freshness and wonder of the first book. Indeed, the old characters seemed washed-out and uninteresting, while the new ones really didn't establish themselves.
On the basis of this sequel, this doesn't feel like an idea with legs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
story line was not as good as book 1 and lacked the humour we all love from my favorite author ever he will be missed greatly.Published 8 days ago by l perring
Collecting alll Terry Pratchett books in hardback - perfectPublished 17 days ago by Suzanne Edwards
This was bought for someone else so far they have reported back as saying this is a great read and a must have for any Terry Pratchett fan.Published 18 days ago by Andrina
I am a die-hard Terry Pratchett fan and would buy anything of his regardless but having said that, having read the first installment 'The Long Earth' and looking at getting this, I... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Marc