I loved this story, and was sad to find it was a standalone as upon finishing I immediately looked for the sequel. However, it is a complete story inI loved this story, and was sad to find it was a standalone as upon finishing I immediately looked for the sequel. However, it is a complete story in itself. The book starts off as sci-fi thriller set 200 years in the future, where an Apocalypse has rendered earth a lifeless husk, and we are following the story of an archaeologist studying the wastelands of Paris. The story then switches to Paris of the 1950s, but not a 1950s we recognize, some things that should have happened by 1959, haven't.
The stories intertwine, and we are treated to a thriller where the main protagonist, aforementioned archaeologist, Verity Auger, has to complete a mission on this 1950s world as she has the knowledge of Paris at this time. She is a kick-ass character and Reynolds treats her to several near death experiences which left me on a rollercoaster ride of emotion, wondering if she, and the other characters I had come to care about with little, but careful, character development, were going to make it. Recommended.
Audio-book version: I listened to the audio-book narrated by the British John Lee. He did an excellent job with the many female voices, and his narration was very even and I now associate Alastair Reynolds with John Lee's narration. ...more
2.5 stars If you pick up this book based on the title you'd be disappointed. It carries on the story set-up in The Long Earth but set 10 years later.
M2.5 stars If you pick up this book based on the title you'd be disappointed. It carries on the story set-up in The Long Earth but set 10 years later.
Many worlds have now been populated by humans, who use trolls for free labour, and the trolls don't seem to mind, of course if they did they could just step (teleport to another duplicate earth) away. Unfortunately for humanity's expansion of the long earth, the trolls are beginning to drop tools and escape after some bad treatment of trolls by a few unethical humans. The trolls are able to communicate across the long earth by the "long call" a song that can spread news and information surprisingly quickly. What the book didn't show was the alleged humans who were missing the trolls, or demanding their return or asking for help for their return. The main protagonists' regularly said how important the trolls were for the ecology of every long earth they had been established in, which makes sense as they hunt and gather and thus would have shaped the evolution of any animals and plants they ate, or competed with. This troll migration leads to a "war" between the colonists of the long earth, original earth's military who travel in Air balloons across the earth's.
I wasn't that invested in what happened, and the climax was so anti-climatic to be laughable. I did enjoy the fact New Zealand had a significant part towards the end of the book, but I did see it coming, and if you know any Maori (aboriginal people's of New Zealand) mythology you may guess it too. Overall, it was an okay read and I won't be actively hunting out the sequel, but may read it to be a completest....more