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The Long War - Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (7*)

Title: The Long War
Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
© 2013 Terry and Lynn Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

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.

It's been a while since I've finished reading this book. I found it to be a little less entertaining than it's prequel, The Long Earth. To my opinion there were too many story-lines only coming together at the end of the book, what I found somewhat tiring.

In this book Joshua is a grown-up man, married to Helen (the girl he met at the end of The Long Earth, with kids, and a job as a mayor. It's been a long time since he's seen Sally. His wife Helen is a bit envious at the history those two share, and the still lasting friendship. Then Sally (same old blunt Sally) pops up again asking Joshua to go on a quest with her for something bad is happening to the trolls. Joshua consents, and so this story begins.

There is a lot less humour in this book than there was in The Long Earth. Lobsang still plays a roll, though a lot smaller and in a very different way. The cat (ah the cat) still plays a roll in the story, a kind of funny role, I quite like the cat. Lieutenant Jansson plays a big and important part again. She's still very much the same character, though retired for she is suffering from late-stage leukaemia due to the atomic blast which happened in The Long Earth. She is still a very likeable character. In this book the really funny note lies with the character of Sister Conception, a reincarnation of Sister Agnes whose consciousness Lobsang uploaded into a new, mechanical body in order for her to be his 'guardian' in keeping him on a just course.

There's a lot of mayhem in the story, and Joshua even ends up badly hurt. At the very end of the book there is no real closure of events and it certainly has the sort of ending which points towards another sequel, which indeed there is: The Long Mars.


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where despair seeps into your veins
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how far would you go