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on 11 March 2016
I too found this second book the be a poor shadow of the first. The first I finished in 2 days. This one however has taken me 3 months to plug through, mostly due to lack of any interest in the outcome. The story meanders all over the place, none of the characters have a particularly interesting or memorable presence and, as well as no central storyline, the subplots don't have any particularly coherent story either. I am in fact around 20 pages from the end, this being fewer than 10 minutes reading for me and I really can't be bothered. I may finish it later just to get it out of the way. I also bought the third book at the same time as the first two. I'm dreading starting it now.
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on 19 June 2017
I bought this book on the basis that the concept of The Long Earth and the seemingly endless possibilities it presented for mankind, would be fully explored. I expected that the Datum government would probably try to extend its territorial and fiscal hold over the Stepwise American worlds, and that disagreement and resentment would eventually build into a conflict. So I was surprised to find that there was no actual war, just some slightly antagonistic rhetoric and posturing between Datum's president and the self-proclaimed leader of the council of an independent Valhalla. In fact, the word war, was barely used throughout the entire book - excepting near the end where we are told in an almost throw-away one-liner that the Long War was over!

The main thrust of this story was more about Sally's concerns over the disappearance of the Trolls throughout the various Earths, which spawns a voyage of discovery to determine the cause and rectify the situation. It also covered the US government's attempts to stamp its authority and bring all Stepwise worlds under its aegis. However, there were then other threads and plot lines going off at tangents, like the Chinese mission, but none of these seemed to lead anywhere or feed into the other plot lines. I took an instant dislike to Sally, who was pompous, aggressive and abrasive and thoughtless, especially when it came to Helen and Joshua's relationship. Joshua seemed to lack gumption, considering that he was the person who had been the saviour of the day when the bomb caused havoc in the first book.

There were moments of great humour, and some moments where there seemed to be a developing threat or sense of menace, but which then never materialised. I found these lost opportunities really annoying. The Trolls' reasons for departing were never adequately explored or explained, and their subsequent discovery and return back into the worlds was all a bit simplified and unlikely.

I wanted to give up on this book about half the way through, but I felt that I needed to continue to the end to do it justice. I think that the infinite and expansive worlds that Baxter and Pratchett have created are simply too vast for them to be able to handle. There seemed to be too many threads running through this book that seemed to run to conclusions which I, as a reader, really didn't care about. The many threads did not converge or build to any kind of climactic final outcome, which left me feeling robbed of a final and conclusive ending. It is a great shame really, because I really wanted to enjoy this book, and then look forward to the next instalment. The reality though, is that I did not find this book engaging, although I felt that I had gone on a journey of sorts, that journey ultimately left me feeling fatigued and not interested enough to want to pursue any further.
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on 12 August 2017
Any sci-fi or fantasy fans are likely to enjoy this collaboration, a continuation of the Long Earth series. The twists and turns of Human interactions with each other and newly discovered salient species, the variety of possibilities of different earth where different evolutionary paths have taken place, a very BIG shadow of Discworld in a couple of chapters. A thoroughly enjoyable read with several storylines interwoven.
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on 18 July 2017
hope i can get into it as much as discworld but have only just got the book.
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on 8 October 2017
very long winded, starts many years after the first and has the same lethargic pace.
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on 22 February 2015
Terry Pratchett can do no wrong and his collaborations have also never failed to please. Whether it be Gaimon or Baxter it is a seamless meld of styles that results in a mind stretching story with both humourous and thought provoking moments.

Without doubt a damn good read (or listen)
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on 10 June 2017
Exactly as described and delivered in timely fashion.
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on 19 March 2017
Good, as usual with Terry
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on 24 May 2017
bought as a gift
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on 3 June 2017
Great book.
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