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The Long War (The Long Earth #2)

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,128 Ratings  ·  1,070 Reviews
A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. Mankind is shaping the Long Earth - but in turn the Long Earth is shaping mankind... A new 'America', called Valhalla, is emerging more than a mill ...more
Hardcover, 426 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2013)
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Shannon Appelcline
Jul 19, 2013 Shannon Appelcline rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
To start off with, the title is a fallacy: there's no war here, long or otherwise.

Instead, the book has the exact same problem as the original: It's a dozen or so characters in search of a plot. Baxter and Pratchett do a marvelous job of continuing to explore the ramifications of the Long Earth, but that's about all the book is. Beyond that we get some disconnected stories of various individuals that we're not really that attached to.

If you thought the setup in the first book would be paid out b
Graham Crawford
Jul 17, 2013 Graham Crawford rated it did not like it
There is a place in the multiverse for even the most improbable of worlds, even a flat one on the back of a giant turtle. Unfortunately we live on the ONE world where the forces of nature did NOT prevent this book from being written. In this unlucky universe Stephen Baxter must have cornered Terry Pratchett at a Sci Fi convention, pouncing on him like an over excited puppy.
"Ooooh please Sir Terry, Let me play with one of your nice shiny worlds!"
And sir Terry threw him a short story world as a
Jun 24, 2013 Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When The Long Earth came out about a year ago, I considered it an interesting exercise in world building, but not so interesting as a fictional novel. But what the hell, it was nicely written and only part one of a two part series, so I was happy enough to be introduced to this fascinating world of literally infinite possibility, ready for the sequel to actually have characters doing things in some kind of “plot line”.

Here we are a year later and that sequel, The Long War, is out. It's an intere
Jun 23, 2013 Leo8 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: page-turners
Giving a three star review to a sequel of one of my favorite books is really difficult. So let me try to warrant this in writing.

The Long Earth book introduces us to so many new, interesting, and weird concepts. Its sequel, The Long War, provides us with just some human centered stories that run in parallel and, as usual, foreshadow the existence of a third part.

The writing of this book was very well copyedited, as is the case with all Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter books that I have read s
Brendon Schrodinger
'The Long Earth' was the story of the human race after it discovered a way to access infinite parallel Earths. It really was a thought experiment really - there is a small amount of plot, but a lot is just exploring the implications of this discovery. And it is done intelligently, with humanity and with wit. But not the Discworld in-your-face type of wit. Subtle wit.

The second volume of the Long series is essentially more of the same of volume 1. But that's not a bad thing at all. The thought e
Jun 14, 2014 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I hate reading books from a series that isn't finished yet, I don't know how all of those fantasy geeks do it. This being the second entry in The Long series I found it somewhat of a disappointment after the world building that was done, presumably as a set up for the longer series, in the first novel was essentially just continued with further travelogue-like anecdotes from several characters scattered about The Long Earth. I'm not complaining too much, I've signed up for this ride now, afteral ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Chris rated it did not like it
Terry Pratchett loves cat but I'm not sure how he feels about dogs considering the dogs in this book. But that's okay, he loves cats. His cat apparently tried to eat hamsters once.

For the record, I love Pratchett's work, and the three books I read by Stephen Baxter I enjoyed. I was thrilled they were working together. It should be noted, however, that I am a reader, not a fan as Pratchett would say. I still love Pratchett, and I am glad about his book deal.


If you have never read Stephen
Jun 26, 2013 Kam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
One of the greatest problems humanity faces as it heads into the twenty-first century is resource management. As humanity's population grows, so does its appetite for a hundred different resources: some as basic as food and water, and others more esoteric, such as rare-earth metals. The problem is, there is only one Earth, one planet upon which to live, and as it gets ever more crowded, and humanity grows ever more hungry and thirsty, there will come a time when our species hits the breaking poi ...more
Mar 10, 2015 Sub_zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2015
El concepto de multiverso es quizá uno de los temas que se abordan con mayor frecuencia dentro de la literatura de género, y como tal, ha ido quedando enraizado con el paso de los años en la conciencia colectiva de todos aquellos lectores asiduos (y no tanto) al siempre retorcido campo de la ciencia ficción. Por eso, es muy de agradecer que en la actualidad sigan apareciendo propuestas frescas e innovadoras sobre un planteamiento que a veces peca de trillado; propuestas desde luego tan originale ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Cissa rated it really liked it
I see I liked this more than most reviewers did. I'll try to explain why.

OK, the other reviewers are correct: the characters are pretty much cliches, and mostly do not directly have any conflict with each other (though they missed a GREAT opportunity with the Sally/Helen subplot!). Mostly, though, everyone is railroaded by the book's version of fate or destiny, which is an AI. (I doubt that this is a spoiler for anyone who's read #1).

The overall plots are diffuse, though some of the individual,
Jonathan B
Jul 30, 2013 Jonathan B rated it it was ok
First I would note that according to the goodreads rating system, 2 stars indicates that the book was okay. In other words, the book isn't bad. I just thought it was okay.

I loved the first the books and was highly anticipating this second book. Unfortunately it lost a lot of the charm and curiosity of the first book and focused more on those areas that I didn't like from the first book.

In the first book it was a lot of fun to read the chemistry (or lack thereof) between Joshua and Lobsang. In
Aug 17, 2013 Paula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I’ve reached the “tolerance” stage of book addiction. I loved Pratchett novels for years, but he’s just not doing it for me anymore. Far from making a dent in my cravings, The Long War is like being handed a warm near-bear when you asked for a double rum and coke. The Long Earth was at least an interesting. Parallel-universal travel is discovered, not everyone can do it, and, in an Earth far, far away, a mysterious being slowly makes its way to human civilization in order to absorb it… Oh ...more
Anne Holcomb
Oct 11, 2013 Anne Holcomb rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopias, science
The sequel to THE LONG EARTH! This book continued and expanded on all the numerous plotlines and characters we met in Book 1. Now that humans are colonizing all the alternate versions of Earth that were opened on Step Day, of course the government is trying to reach their hands into the pie. Trade and military expeditions are accomplished across the alternate earths via "twains," fleets of blimps that can travel across earths high in the air. In THE LONG WAR we meet a sensible military captain w ...more
Book 2 of this series is set some 20 years later than book 1, but generally follows many of the characters we first met there. Joshua Valiente is now settled, married and with a child, but still takes little persuading when it comes to another journey through the Long Earth. Other people are making journeys of their own, including the trolls, strange almost human creatures that can step naturally from one Earth to the next. And stepping out of the way of humans who are exploiting them seems to b ...more
Jul 25, 2013 Larry rated it really liked it
I highly recommend that all humans of datum earth go forth and read the long earth and then its sequel, the long war. I think the long war lives up to the long earth very nicely and I once more can't wait for the next book. While there were a few inconsistancies (such as the ship named the Benjamin franklin having metal fatigue when it was earlier stated that metal couldn't be brought from one reality to another) over all it was very interesting. Some of the twists and turns took me by surprise ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok
The long earth is a very long read and I felt like like a kid in a car on an interminable journey - "are we there yet?"
The ideas were brilliant, what a wasted opportunity to explore the implications of the sapient inhabitants of other earths.
The wooden characters often behaving in juvenile and naive fashion - reminded me of Isaac Asimov at his worst.
Tasha Robinson
Jun 16, 2013 Tasha Robinson rated it liked it
Liked this one better than the first in the series, The Long Earth, which mostly feels like setup and exposition for the series to come. There's very little plot to the first book, and only a scattershot of plots to this one, which introduces even more characters and worlds while still focusing on the previously established ones. It's a compelling plot hook: Humanity discovers the ability to "step" into parallel Earths, which are each slightly different, each having developed along a slightly di ...more
Jun 30, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I adored The Long Earth and if anything this is even better. Some years on from the first book, this one continues in a universe where humans have learnt to "step" across to other version of the Earth, a series of parallel worlds if you will, all different and yet all the same.

This book has a much stronger plot than the first book. I say "plot" but actually there is lots going on at the same time which interlink but are not connected much. The first main strand is the US government trying to ke
Aug 22, 2015 Magnús rated it it was amazing
Bók tvö í Long Earth bálkinum er mögnuð. Sögusviðið er gríðarlega stórt, endalaus röð af hliðar heimum og höfundarnir fá útrás fyrir sköpunargáfuna. Alternate history, heimspekilegar pælingar, furðudýralíf, vísindi og fantasía eru brædd saman og útkoman er frábær.
Athugið samt. Ef maður les yfir gagnrýnina hér á Goodreads þá sýnist mér margir hafi vonast eftir einhverju í anda við önnur skrif Pratchetts. Long Earth serían er ekki skrifuð í sömu leiftrandi frásagnargleði og Discworld bækurnar, en
Dec 29, 2013 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
2.5 Stars

The Long War was a disappointment to me. I rather enjoyed the first book The Long Earth and was looking forward to going on straight into this one. The two books are not all alike. This book lacks the adventure, the character building, and the excitement of book one. It also suffers from having so many deep plot themes that are poorly resolved.

This book and this series could be so much more. There are so many deep directions that could be taken. This "Long War" turned out to be quite la
Damian Dubois
Jul 13, 2013 Damian Dubois rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Well that was rather enjoyable although I do have to say the 'Long' War wasn't all that long and was resolved rather quickly. But, look on the bright side, at least we'll get another book in the future as it ends on a rather ominous note in a certain park back on the Datum Earth...
Daniel Gonzalo
Seguimos con una idea buena, una realización regulera y un final malo, marca de la casa Baxter, seguiré la serie en el futuro por cariño a Pratchett más que otra cosa.
German Review on GosuReviews

You would think that the title "The Long War" promises a bit of suspense, wrong! The Long War starts where the first book ended in terms of plot and characters, very flat. You don't have any connections to the protagonists and the story is on the sidelines, while Pratchett and Baxter do more worldbuilding... as you will see the title is I guess ironic :)
I would only recommend if you absolutely loved book one, else don't waste your time. You don't even get a lot of
Okay, I'm rounding my 3.5 or so stars up to 4. Maybe I'm just doing this for Sir Terry, it's hard to say. Truly, I enjoyed this book, despite the flaws that have other reviewers hung up.

Personally, I love the world building. If I could experience a fantasy/sci-fi world, the Long Earth would be a top pick. It's fascinating, and opportunities are endless (making everything probable, right Douglas Adams?).

Unfortunately, this seems to have put the authors at a loss for which story to tell. There is
May 07, 2015 Cherie rated it really liked it
I had to go back and look up what I wrote about the first book in this series befor I could sit down and write up my comments about this second one.

What a contrast in the way that I felt at the end of this story! The biggest contrast to this second book from the first one is that there is almost too much going on. So many new characters and so many new worlds, millions and millions of "steps". A lot of back and forth from situation to situation. I did not mind it too much as it all seemed to be
Okay, mostly it's just a mind-tour through infinite possible worlds. And that's fine. There's also a bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation-like advising in a supremely wise manner. And I like that, too. There isn't a war, which I probably prefer to skip, although it does make the title misleading. There is also stuff that was just plain wrong, specifically about drug abuse. (Drug use and abuse isn't more common among poor people, it's just more visible, and more frequently and harshly punished; ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Annette rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Grabbed this off the best-sellers shelf at the library and was 40 pages in before a friend informed me it was a sequel. In deference to his horror that I might continue to read out of order, I stopped around page 100, obtained "The Long Earth," and then came back to this one.
It actually reads very well as an introduction to the "Long" universe.
However, as it progressed it became more and more a series of only loosely connected vignettes, none more than half developed. Really, one could not hel
Jul 04, 2013 Katy rated it it was ok

Sequel to "The Long Earth" I really wanted to like this, and I still love the setting, but I'm just not feeling this one. I think my main problem was that there were too many plot threads, which made it all a bit confusing to keep track of; in particular, I'm not sure what the point of any of Nelson's subplot was, and while the Chinese expedition subplot was interesting, it didn't really add anything. Similarly, I thought a lot of the Franklin crew's subplot was interesting but irrelevant, and i
Aug 27, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This was good. Weird. But definitely good.

I kept thinking it was all about to kick-off which never happened (well, sort of not). But lots of small things happened and you learn a lot and there's just so much to see and find out about that it's so overwhelmingly interesting and strange. Which, really, when I come to think about it, is probably the point. The overwhelming hugeness of the Long Earth, the impossible complexity of trying to govern even a part of it, the constant barrage of new and w
Thomas Walpole
Aug 31, 2013 Thomas Walpole rated it it was ok
After reading The Long Earth, I was eager to jump back into the strange parallel universe that Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter have created. After reading The Long War I wish I could say I am as eager for the next book.

I think the problem I have begun to realise with this series of novels is that while the concept is intriguing, and novel, the books don’t have a coherent narrative to support all the cool ideas and themes presented to the reader. The “hook” of these novels is an idea that mult
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

The Long Earth (5 books)
  • The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1)
  • The Long Mars (The Long Earth, #3)
  • The Long Utopia (The Long Earth #4)
  • The Long Cosmos (The Long Earth, #5)

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“Joshua, cynicism is the only reasonable response to the antics of humanity.” 11 likes
“The nice thing about artificial intelligence is that at least it's better than artificial stupidity.” 11 likes
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