4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read with some flaws
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...
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The long, long book
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...
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Most Helpful First | Newest First
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The long, long book,
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.
5 of 5 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 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.
1 of 1 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,
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….
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 ...,
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.
9 of 10 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 sentences, as if the writer had not read through what he had written before starting off again with the same thoughts inhis mond.
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, but not great,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read with some flaws,
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars I’m so very disappointed in this third volume of the “Long” series,
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.
1.0 out of 5 stars The Long Booooring Book,
This is soooo much not Pratchett. The booooring Baxter has far too much to say here.
I have read all - and I mean ALL - books by Terry Pratchett, and they are excellent without exception.
I have read a few books by Baxter, and they are all boring.
This is a list of different worlds which could have been, and nothing more.
The story is so "thin", that it's very hard for me to believe, that Pratchett is taking this seriously, because Pratchett normally is very keen about a good story in his books - but not in this one.
The next book in the series (no 4) is already announced as "The long Utopia" - AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, A TERRY PRATCHETT BOOK WILL BE PUBLISHED, WHICH I WILL NOT BUY/READ.
Life is too short for this crap Pratchett - drop Baxter, and write some books with some proper plots/stories - please with sugar...
4.0 out of 5 stars Short on Mars,
I enjoyed this book but I was expecting a lot more exploration of different Mars alternatives; only a small percentage of this book explores Mars. In fact you have to read 37 per cent of the novel before lift off to Mars even occurs. It has some interesting moral dilemmas to ponder over about or attitudes to diversity when confronted with a species that might treat us as we have treated others. The same colourful characters put in an appearance such that I felt the urge to read the first book again. I love the work of both author's who have given me many happy hours of escapism since I was a young child. I wish Terry would write another witches abroad sequel too.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Long Mars: The Long Earth, Book 3 (Unabridged) by Stephen Baxter