Book Review – The Long War by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

Review of: The Long War
Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

Reviewed by:
On 2015-06-03
Last modified:2015-06-03


Middle book syndrome

The Long War by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

The Long War by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

The blurb parallels:

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by “stepping.” A new “America”—Valhalla—is emerging more than a million steps from Datum—our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government.

Soon Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a building crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any humankind has waged before.

I found the first half of this book to be really slow going – the protagonists are obsessed with the virtues of primitive living (which I have no interest in) and the bad guys are the kind of small minded politicians that really annoy me in real life.

I won’t spoil it, but considering the book has “war” in the title, the war was a big letdown.

Several characters took book-long journeys with no payoff whatsoever, and some major plot point happened off-screen.

The ending was disappointing because the plot arc was weird, so the book didn’t feel like it had a proper climax.

I think the problem with the plot arc was that there were a lot of main characters, with more added in this book whose arcs started and didn’t come anywhere near resolving by the end.  Presumably this is setting things up for later books in the series, but it’s still not good for this book.