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The Long War (The Long Earth) Hardcover – 20 Jun 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 426 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (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 (426 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am also a Terry Pratchett fan and have read I think everything - or pretty much, not all the science of Discworld books.

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?
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Format: Hardcover
The problem with creating a science fiction "opportunity" such as the one the Long Earth presents is that you need a space opera to do it justice. When "The Long Earth" came out with its Pratchett notion of a potato inspired device (quickly forgotten in this latest because it was a tad too ridiculous) that gave rise to an infinite series of earths for humanity to expand into, it created a vast series of options for the authors to explore.So vast, in fact, they've fallen short with this latest, directionless effort. All it has done, in truth, is show the brilliance of the idea (though rehashed somewhat - see Greg Bear's 'Eon') and the incapacity of the authors to deal with it. The reality is the concept needs Peter F Hamilton to do it justice. The vastness of the new world of Datum East/West requires more words than these authors are prepared to throw at it and this sequel flounders in a mire of nothingness.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Usually I can't put a Terry Pratchett book down as they are page turners that have me hooked, however, Long Earth was ok, but this sequel was just so boring, numerous sub plots that did not culminate in an ending.
I think this book was trying to be too clever and failed. And we still don't know if Lobsang is Time indulging himself in the affairs of Humans.
This book with certain words and phrasings appears to be aimed at the American market which to an Englishman is annoying but not as annoying as the story which was just plain boring.
I love the Discworld books and to my mind TP is THE greatest living author, however this collaboration is not up to the usual standard of a Discworld story and I certainly won't be buying a Steven Baxter book anytime soon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was so sad - The Long Earth had a lot of interesting ideas (many not explored)and I was hoping that The Long War would delve deeper into them. I was wrong. It's just a pot-boiler, a fluffy padding-out of the first story to get to the next.

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.

Sad.
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