Customer Review

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Lacking magic, 11 July 2012
This review is from: The Long Earth (Hardcover)
Pratchett has sparkling wit and dialogue, and Baxter is known for coming up with a fantastic concept and making it epic. It feels like they swapped roles for this book.

What we have is a setting where there are millions of parallel Earths. An inherently fascinating concept, that produces all sorts of questions about how people will deal with it. What will we find? Will people try to exploit it? Will people fear it? What are the effects on those who are unable to join? These are presented as short asides that intersperse the main story. And these were all fascinating.

Unfortunately I found the main story somewhat tedious. We're introduced to our two main characters, Lobsang - an advanced AI that's legally human, introduced by some rather clumsy expositionary dialogue - and Joshua - a loner - who simply lacks personality. Their interactions seem polite and tolerant. No feeling of a relationship between them. The main problem is that there's simply not that much to explore. We travel to foreign lands and see... a few animals, lots of forests and occasional settlements

I'd love to have read more about the settlers in reboot. The lives of the trolls. The anti-stepping movement. But we just get glimpses of these. It feels like the writers simply didn't know what to do with the world they'd created. The concept is good, and there are some interesting ideas, but I feel this could have been so much better.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Aug 2012 01:40:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Aug 2012 01:40:34 BDT
Dibble says:
This is such a fair minded review I felt I had to do more than just click the "helpful to you" button. More than that, I'll recommend reading this review rather than the book itself - a more rewarding experience, and a saving of time not to be casually ignored.

One would hope that when writing a book review there ought to be *something* that should not be mentioned, a spoiler to be avoided. Not so here. You really have just read the entire essence of the book.

To cap it all off, the "plot runs into a brick wall" ending is offensively dismissive, at least I found it so, and with the oddly sticky feeling that the writers themselves felt it was rather clever. No one will ever read this book twice. Many will wish they hadn't read it once.

Posted on 13 Aug 2012 12:29:58 BDT
mark twain says:
yep I agree wholeheartedly with both Lucky Kaa and Dibble...I have always enjoyed Terry Pratchett,but have never read Baxter, I sooo wanted this book to get going a bit more,and there could have been so much more detail and interest (what was the SILENCE????just a lack of noise????? and with multitudes of worlds, people just wanted to recreate what they had on Datum???really????)...but it felt flat, even the supposed 'threat' was not very interesting...and the ending is bewildering as if someone just powered down the laptop because they couldnt be bothered with the story anymore and you were left thinking...'is that it???'

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2012 08:42:30 BDT
T. Boyle says:
Unfortunately, i agree with you all. I really looked forward to getting this book, i'd had it on pre order for quite some time. And i just felt like the book never really got going, the story wasn't really what i expected and the ending left me feeling like i had missed something or been cheated in some way.

HOWEVER! As someone else has pointed out in their review, this is only the first book in a series. Could they have made this a better book? Yes. Does it being the first book in a series justify the way they dealt with the story as a whole of this book? No. But i am still excited to see what the whole tale can produce. Call me an obsessive fan of Terry Pratchett to the point that i will never admit he's done anything wrong if you like. But i can't help feeling like Terry Pratchett has never done anything wrong (in my eyes).

Here's hoping.
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Location: Brighton, UK

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