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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very good read as one might expect of Terry Pratchett
It seems this successful format grows somewhat tired & the authors, although raising some interesting questions, are running out of new ideas. Still, a very good read as one might expect of Terry Pratchett.
Worth its price !
Published 2 months ago by J P Parrott

versus
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better
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...
Published 2 months ago by Mike Roach


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better, 4 July 2014
By 
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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5 of 5 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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5 of 5 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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8 of 9 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very good read as one might expect of Terry Pratchett, 6 July 2014
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It seems this successful format grows somewhat tired & the authors, although raising some interesting questions, are running out of new ideas. Still, a very good read as one might expect of Terry Pratchett.
Worth its price !
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 20 Jun 2014
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The Long Mars is the third book in the extraordinary, quirky, mind-expanding, humane series, The Long Earth. This means that if you're reading this and you've not read The Long Earth or The Long War, then you must expect news of these in what follows. These are not standalone books. Instead, they form parts of a wondrous journey across earths, worlds, planets and into the very heart of life itself.

The eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano has caused devastation to Datum Earth, the kind that could take centuries to mend, if at all. The result is that whole populations have chosen to step to safety, using their steppers (manufactured from little more than a potato) to move in an instant to the next Earth. Even the President accepts that there's not much left to keep people back. In Russia, matters are even worse. The fallout from Yellowstone has committed Russia to another Ice Age. But this, though, is just the background to the three fabulous stories that we are told in The Long Mars.

Natural stepper Sally Linsay spends her days fighting for the rights of those prejudiced against as different, most memorably the trolls whose song had been largely silenced during The Long War. Her father, a man long-vanished, leaves a message for Sally and calls her into the depths of the Long Earth, to the edge of The Gap where there is no Earth, just shattered fragments of a long dead planet and space. This is the perfect place from which to launch an expedition to Mars. Once there, Sally and her two colleagues (her father and ex-NASA hopeful Frank) will step into the Long Mars aboard gliders Thor and Woden. Most of the Mars planets they step into will be as desolate as the one we know but every now and again there will be a Mars where something astonishing has happened to affect its formation - such worlds (whether they are Mars or Earth) are known as Jokers and on them anything is possible.

Much of The Long Mars takes place, though, in The Long Earth. US Navy Commander Maggie Kauffman has been set a mission by the US president to go deeper into the High Meggers of the Long Earth than any have gone before. The crew she gathers about her are a varied bunch, not all of whom are human and what they discover on their truly epic voyage is nothing less than mindboggling. The third element features our original stepper Joshua. He is reunited with Lobsang, the artificial intelligence (who has passed the Turing Test and believes he is the reincarnation of a Tibetan motorcycle repairman) with whom Joshua journeyed across The Long Earth in the first novel and who now has been inspired by news that a whole new species of human may have developed. A new race of children with great intelligence lies out there waiting to be discovered and Joshua is the man to find them.

The Long Mars continues the purpose of the previous novels - almost everyone in it is searching for something. This might be infinite knowledge, everlasting life, peace, freedom, supremacy or alien intelligence, but each of the characters of the novel believes that what they seek is out there - it may lie just one more step away. It is an immensely humane novel, laughing at the expense of mankind but also full of warm affection for his condition. Some of the people in this novel are only a few steps away from committing an atrocity but there are others, such as Sally, Maggie and Joshua (and there are others) who are there to keep them in check. The non-humans - the beagles, the cat, the trolls and Lobsang - likewise exert an influence. They are there to provide an alternative opinion. Wise people would listen to these different voices.

Arguably the biggest threat facing mankind in The Long Mars is the increase of The Next, the super intelligent children who can barely hide their disdain of the dim-bulbs who have wreaked such havoc on their original Earth and seem set on doing the same to the infinite other Earths. But it isn't straightforward - they might seem frightening at times but who are we, some argue in the novel, to destroy a new race of mankind?

The Long Earth was my favourite novel of 2012 (Stephen Baxter's Proxima, my favourite of 2013). I loved everything about it, from its premise to its wonderful execution. This made the slight dip of The Long War (still very enjoyable but less than what had gone before) difficult. The good news, though, is that The Long Mars is a fine conclusion to the trilogy and has far more in common with The Long Earth. The narrative does start slowly, reintroducing characters, reminding us of the themes of the past, but the final two thirds are superb, moving quickly between Mars, the High Meggers and the Low Earths, and I read all of this in one day.

All kinds of questions are raised in The Long Earth novels about the environment, the fate of humanity as a species, man's tolerance for other humans and other races (and species), and the answers to these are pursued across universes of spectacular wonder where the marvellous melds with the absurd, all described with wit, warmth and excitement. You never know what will happen in the next chapter. Anything can and it often does. I have heard that there are to be another two books in the series. This is good news indeed!

As with the previous novels, The Long Mars is a truly beautiful hardback. I'm grateful for the review copy.
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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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read with some flaws, 2 Aug 2014
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Despite this book reading like a Stephen Baxter greatest hits retrospective (I half expected the Xeelee to turn up) it was actually a very enjoyable read. Sally becomes much less obnoxious in this book, perhaps under the humanising influence of Mr Pratchett. There are still loathsome individuals however which makes the story more fun. The Next for example are Wrath of Khan style super human psychopaths. These proto Patrick Bateman's just see humans as something to play with or control. One thing that I would have really liked to see was a meeting between the Next and (world's smartest baseline human) Willis Linsay or (super AI computer) Lobsang. Never happens as I'm guessing with Baxter writing the Next and Pratchett writing Willis and Lobsang they wanted to keep them separate. The ending was more climactic than the Long War and and maybe they took some feedback on-board from the responses to the second book.
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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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