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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but very much about the ideas
The third entry in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's 'Long' series is pretty similar to the first two - the narrative is split into quite distinct chapters leaping around between a group of main characters each on an unrelated adventure.

I felt though that the story didn't really live up to my expectations. There was a significant conclusion to the previous...
Published 10 months ago by Jim J-R

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather Disappointing
I have been a Terry Pratchett fan for many years & very much enjoyed his first book with Stephen Baxter "The Long Earth". This is the third in the series.
In this book Sally Linsay meets up with her Father Willis, the inventor of the stepper box, and they head off to Mars. Maggie Kauffman is on her own trip through Long Earth joined by Snowy the Beagle and...
Published 10 months ago by DJF


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather Disappointing, 31 July 2014
I have been a Terry Pratchett fan for many years & very much enjoyed his first book with Stephen Baxter "The Long Earth". This is the third in the series.
In this book Sally Linsay meets up with her Father Willis, the inventor of the stepper box, and they head off to Mars. Maggie Kauffman is on her own trip through Long Earth joined by Snowy the Beagle and Joshua is helping Lobsang with some super intelligent humans who have evolved.
This is a very bitty book with the result that I just could not get a grip on the story. Sally's trip to Mars was not particularly interesting. Sally, Willis & Frank head off on their gliders and rush through a series of Long Mars worlds. This allows the authors to give free reign to their imaginations & a series of unusual worlds and creatures are created. There are some interesting interactions between Sally and Willis but not enough to enable this section of the story to hold my attention. Joshua & Maggie's stories are intertwined with Lobsang & the super intelligent children. This has the makings of a very interesting idea but there just isn't enough of a story to it. By putting both of these large concepts in one book neither is allowed to develop fully and produce an interesting and gripping storyline. The result is two half finished stories which I struggled to engage with fully and left me feeling rather disappointed.
Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter are both excellent authors with vivid imaginations and good writing skills.They can write clever and entertaining books both separately and together. This book, however, just didn't work for me. There were some gems of good ideas but they just didn't come to life properly. The characters that we have already met weren't developed further and I never felt that I got an opportunity to get to know anyone new.
This was a disappointing book in a series which showed so much potential at the start.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The long, long book, 20 July 2014
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I'm a big fan of both pratchett and Baxter and have stuck with this series since it started, but this one left me frustrated and unsatisfied. The humour of the first novel seems to have been abandoned in Earth west 1, the tension of the second fell into the gap and really I'm struggling to find any redeeming points from this third instalment. Despite taking us to earth west 250,000,000 and various joker mars', ironically the plot didn't go anywhere. The idea of super intelligent children is far better realised in baxters time series, poor old lobsang seems to have been an afterthought. If there is a fourth part, I would like to see the seeds sewn here developed into actual threads and some pay off for the hours I lost reading this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It’s a true voyage of discovery for those who love the whole “Captain Cook” nature of these novels, 18 Aug. 2014
The third “Long” novel from this collaboration is an improvement on the second effort. The content and style of it seems to be more Baxter than Pratchett – the latter’s hand is clear in the Lobsang episodes but it seems the waning powers of the author have meant Baxter has taken a lead on this latest effort. It is heavier on the science fiction, with lighter touches on brow-breaking philosophy…a subject matter Pratchett indulged in with his last Discworld novel – Raising Steam.
This novel is all about “Evolution”. It takes three main routes post Yellowstone super-caldera: the first a decision for the inaugural Unites States of Step-wise America to head to East 250 million; the second a change for Sally and her dad, Willis, to fly over to Gap Mars and then step a few million Mars East; the third the spasm of evolution that is the “Next” – think ‘Tomorrow People’ or a proper Homo Sapiens if you will. The rest of us all are just dimbulbs, after all.
The first effort is a chance for us to follow the author’s own Star Trek notion. This time Captain Maggie is off with the cat Shi-mi, Mac, and Snowy the Beagle to discover more and more bands of worlds dominated by crustaceans, purple algae, and acid-developed life-forms amongst many other matters. It’s a true voyage of discovery for those who love the whole “Captain Cook” nature of these novels.
The second effort means we follow the unlikeable, dour Sally as she floats off with her Dad and Frank to Gap Mars, then heads East to find a Joker Mars with a civilisation. The arrogance of her father backfires slightly on this trip…they should really have adhered to the Star Trek tenet of “non-interference” but this gives the authors a chance to inject some action into the story whilst inserting their own version of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 monolith.
Both trips are East…clearly the West steps are being saved for later novels.
The final journey is back on Madison 5 and Happy Landings. A group of young people - who were hinted at with Roberta Golding in the previous novel – have emerged as a new homo species with accelerated cerebral cortices. Speaking their own language, understanding everything much faster, yet without experience, they are seeking their own home. The journey here is pretty much X-Men…and humanity’s reaction to a same species/genus ‘threat’. Joshua Valienté steps in and a decision to wipe them out is stopped giving them the chance to head off into the realms of another novel.
This book is all about growth, all about exploration, all about potential. It’s also an improvement on book two as it’s more purposeful, more inventive….more hard science fiction than aimless fantasy. I get the feeling that Baxter took the lead on this one and the rhythm of the story is much better handled, despite the genius of Pratchett. As Mac opined:
“Who would ever have imagined that life even without the power of oxygen was capable of such beauty, such inventiveness of design?”
Indeed. Let’s see more inventiveness on the Long Universe, Mr Baxter and Mr Pratchett….
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It follows very much the vein of the previous two ..., 4 July 2014
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It follows very much the vein of the previous two books but the repeated concept is beginning to become rather tired (various worlds are travelled through, not much happens other than imagining the alien quality of the world repeat). The voice of Terry Pratchett is also something lacking from this book as, whilst that voice was quite minimal, the humour which occasionally appeared and the hint that Pratchett played a role is definitely not noticeably evident, this may be due to Pratchett's unfortunate medical situation but this does definitely feel that it is a Baxter book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better, 4 July 2014
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Mike Roach (Christchurch, England) - See all my reviews
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Not very impressed. I've read all of TP's novels and I just don't hear his voice and style in this book. It's very sad. The story is moderately interesting but much of it is simply descriptions of various "earths" in a long series of earths.

The use of english is often stilted and there are far too many instances of the same word being used in adjacent sentences, as if the writer had not read through what he had written before starting off again with the same thoughts inhis mond.

Disappointing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I’m so very disappointed in this third volume of the “Long” series, 13 Aug. 2014
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I’m so very disappointed in this third volume of the “Long” series. The idea of a seemingly endless trail of adjacent Earths that could be “stepped into” using simple technology intrigued me and indeed The Long Earth (1) captured my imagination and enthralled me. I did wonder if I’d missed something in the reading of The Long War (2) because there seemed to be undeveloped elements in the plot. I had hoped such issues might have been resolved more satisfactorily in the following book – but alas, no. Although I enjoyed considering some of the different civilisations described in the Long Mars (3), the end of the book took me so much by surprise, I had to double-check to ensure that, in using my Kindle, I hadn’t skipped over a couple of chapters by mistake. I am a great fan of Terry Pratchett and always look forward to reading his works, but regretfully, couldn’t recommend this one to other readers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars First I must say I enjoyed the book, 7 July 2014
By 
Dave Siddons (uk) - See all my reviews
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SPOILER ALERT !! A bit.

First I must say I enjoyed the book. Not massivle and it certainly wasn't "can;t put down" kinda book but it was enjoyable. My first issue was that it was short. It introduces 3 story arcs with massive potential for adventure and consequence and delivers nowt.

The journey through the long mars should have been fantastical. They encountered sapient lifeforms that reacted to there interventions but the consequences should have been more far reaching and dangerous. The reason (theory) for the long mars journey was stupid and a very poor plot device. Could have made so much more of this arc.

The journey to the extreme long earth. The encounters they should have made. The complete loss of Trolls. The discovery thay make deep into the journey. And the many other encounters should all have led to greater adventures and more dire consequences. There should have been more seat of your pants action. Even the happy landings conclusion was poor (as this arc crossed with the next one). In fact this story arc had almost no point other than the final discovery. The loss of a landing party was also treated in a very metter of fact way. So much potential missed.

The new homo superior story arc had the potential to really create havoc. Real big adventure stuff with many moral implications. Just fizzled out when it finally crossed with previous arc. I fact, it never really got going.

The whole book almost seemd like a first chapter. Setting up 3 stories to be further explored. Didn't need a whole book for it. Sloppy writing with such good material at hand.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but very much about the ideas, 4 July 2014
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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The third entry in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's 'Long' series is pretty similar to the first two - the narrative is split into quite distinct chapters leaping around between a group of main characters each on an unrelated adventure.

I felt though that the story didn't really live up to my expectations. There was a significant conclusion to the previous book that I had felt would become the focus this time, but although it sticks in the background, it felt like the repercussions had mostly been brushed aside in favour of a more 'sci-fi' plot that felt less engaging to me, and a little more like an ethical manifesto. There are two other areas of the story that felt a lot like repetition of a theme that's used throughout the first two books.

Having said that, once I had got through the first few chapters, I was surprised by how easily readable I found the book and was disappointed each day when the end of my commute meant I had to put the book away. Having glanced back now at my reviews of the previous books in the series I realise that I may have been misremembering as I seem to have felt similarly then.

Ultimately though it's a book about the plot, exploring scientific concepts of parallel worlds and some moral and ethical questions, and it felt it suffered from not making the characters more engaging. I also felt that the wittiness had dropped off in this book, making it a more serious read despite the continuation of classic movie references.

So overall, it's worth reading if you enjoyed the first two books, but I don't think it serves as a particularly enticing entry point to the series. It feels like it might be the final book, and if not I'd probably think twice a about whether I want to continue.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, but not great, 29 July 2014
I'm kind of at a loss as to what to say about this third book in the triology.
I read the first part and was massively impressed with the concept of the Long Earth...loved the idea of it.
I even loved the characters that TP and SB started to fill the story with.
But I was left ploughing through chapter after chapter just like the airship stepping through earth after earth...constantly moving on, but with pretty much nothing happening. And then, abruptly, part one ended. Oh...was that it? Maybe part two will explain/enhance/improve on things.
So I read part two...and felt exactly the same thing - that the story just constantly felt like it was building up and building up and building up to something big...something to make me go "wow" but then book two ended. And I thought again oh..was that it?
And now I'm a third of the way through book three - and STILL it feels like it's all building to something...all plot points and stories and set pieces building to something big. A slow burn maybe...a very slow burn...
But to be honest, I'm struggling to finish it. I know I will because it's TP and it deserves to be finished. I just wish something would happen...
It's well written, highly descriptive, a great concept...but it just never seems to go anywhere. Never seems to get going.
If the rest of book three continues along similar lines I think I'll call it a day, even if there is a part four and five.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but the weakest of the sereis so far., 23 May 2015
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I'm a big fan of Pratchett's Discworld series, and I've thoughtfully enjoyed many of his non Discworld books, too. But I was a little disappointed by The Long Mars. It's the weakest of all of the Long Earth books so far. The story doesn't really seem to go anywhere, the characters aren't really as strong as I'd like, and the overall narrative feels unfinished (Even for a book in a series).

Without wanting to spoil too much, then ending to both of the main story threads feels extremely rushed. Things that would be massive revelations in real life just seem to be shrugged off as "something that happened". Most of what happens on Mars, in fact, seems to just be noted and then forgotten about. I had expected some dramatic 2001 Space Odyssey style finish, but the characters literally just finish up what they are doing and go home. It's rarely a good thing to end the book in the written equivalent of a voice over montage scene.

Other details seem to be glossed over. An escape for a government facility that would probably be the dramatic finale of a movie (with massive set piece chase scenes, or Ocean's 11\mission Impossible style escapades) rates maybe half a page. Even then it literally only tells you that the escape happened, then leaves it at that.

A bit of a disappointing read, though this is probably because Pratchett has set the bar very high already.
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