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The Long War

(The Long Earth #2)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  21,134 ratings  ·  1,534 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, 419 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Shannon Appelcline
Jul 10, 2013 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 16, 2013 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 22, 2013 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
B Schrodinger
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
'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
Barry Cunningham
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous, the concepts are thought provoking, the story continues - on to number three!
Jun 23, 2013 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
Sep 17, 2013 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
Jul 30, 2013 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
Jun 07, 2014 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
Aug 01, 2013 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,
Michelle F
From the book jacket:

The Long Earth is open. Humanity now spreads across untold worlds linked by fleets of airships encouraging exploration, trade and culture.

The Long War is certainly a continuance of exploration – a long reaching tour pointing out just a few of the highlights of possibility in this enormous landscape of maybes. The plot(s) in this second book of the series focus on the American claim of governance across all the Stepwise “Americas”, and the resistance from the spread-out inhab
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Its been a while since i read the first of these but i apparently liked it enough to co-pay for the set ,which i kinda committed to getting through this year. A decision i might come to regret.

This is a bit like the Long-Earth itself, when people explore this infinity of alternate earths they only get to stop in each place for a short period. The story follows that formula presenting a lot of interesting ideas which rarely expand beyond simply being an interesting idea.

Of the 4 or 5 main story
This, the second book in The Long Earth Saga I give 3 1/2 stars. It is long and slow to start out. Most of the good stuff takes place in the last third of the book. It is mostly a travelogue, following the old stereotype for science fiction and fantasy trilogies.
It does end with a great, big, huge natural disaster on Datum Earth (that would be our earth), and the death of a major character, setting up for the third book, "The Long Utopia."
Craig Brown
Aug 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Good points:
• had 69 chapters, which is the funny number
• Ends with (view spoiler)

Bad points:
• Every character has been distilled to the worst kind of robotic sci-fi exposition machine with the text occasionally telling us they have X character trait but never showing it
• Writing has generally taken a huge downtur
Jun 09, 2013 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.
Jun 24, 2013 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
Thomas Walpole
Aug 13, 2013 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
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
Anne Holcomb
May 20, 2013 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
Jul 01, 2013 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
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book is kinda misleading, I think. Maybe it was intended to drum up excitement in a way that may not have been needed. The first book of the Long Earth spans across more than a million alternate Earths that we are now able to "step" across, and the implications are explored at least in the early days quite well.

This one takes place 25 years into the colonization phase and we're in a cooperative space with "trolls" humanoids that grew up being able to "step" and have a singing l
Jul 25, 2013 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
Kaethe Douglas
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
Tasha Robinson
Jun 16, 2013 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
Aug 12, 2013 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
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013, e-books
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 08, 2013 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...
Jun 30, 2013 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
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those who expect this to be an action-filled story about war, weapons, injuries and such will be very disappointed.
Those, however, who expect an adventure, a well-written study of society and possibilities (the Long Earth IS about possibilities after all) - geological, mythological, biological and physical alike - will be delighted.
As in the first book, you will also find wonderfully humorous passeges in this sequel and the characters have even more depth.
What stands out is that this second book
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, ai, sf, space, digital, fantasy
This series with its endless possibilities is going to tread the murky line between science fiction and fantasy. On the one hand it is easier for me to imagine it as the former which explains the latter, but it could be interpreted differently. The book develops on its foundations from the first expanding both figuratively and literally with a plethora of worlds and various attitudes. All and all it is a rather subtle slow paced book, which is fun to read but not too exciting fully appreciate so ...more
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, i

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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