“A Long Book… But a Good One” (The Long War)

The Long War (Cover)
The cover for The Long War, from 2013

Earlier on in this blog’s history, I wrote a post on Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s The Long Earth. A science fiction exploration novel, it focused on exploring the infinite number of new Earth’s opened by devices called Steppers. Now, after that ridiculously good book (a 7 out of 10), I finally got the chance to read the sequel, The Long War.

Over a decade after Joshua and Lobsang’s pioneering voyage into the depths of the Long Earth, the world has spread out. Lobsang researches the Trolls in the Low Earths, while Joshua has set up a family in the vast expanse. However, a new civilization called Valhalla has been created, more than two million steps from the Datum Earth. Taking a page from the original American revolutionaries, the Valhallans hate being controlled by the Datum. On top of that, the Trolls are beginning to migrate away from humans, and Joshua must find out why.

The original book, The Long Earth, was split into three sections, at least for me. In the first, I had no idea what was going on. In the second, I realized what was happening: nothing. The third blew me away. It was so good that I had to read the sequel. The second novel, The Long War, had the same basic principle in mind. But, the first section was mercifully short, the second was tortuously long (though still intriguing), and this third was better than Earth‘s third. I’m definitely reading the sequel. 8 out of 10.

Though it dragged on a bit, The Long War was still intriguing, filled with new plot points, prospects, and just all around interesting things. While I may have had my doubts, (particularly around the second section) The Long War is definitely an improvement over the first.