Title: The Long Mars
Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Page Count/Review Word Count: 448
By now, we’re up to book three of five in this series, and while I do think that the first book was incredible, it’s struggled to live up to the same high standard as the series has continued. We’re helped by the fact that the basic idea behind the story is pretty good and so it’s fun to watch the authors investigate.
In the first of these books, we follow what happens when stepping, a sort of new technology, is unleashed on the unsuspecting population of the world that we live in. With stepper boxes, people can hop from our world to a sort of adjacent parallel world, and that opens up whole new horizons when it comes to exploration.
The last two books have focused mainly on what’s been happening on our world, but in this one we see what happens when some explorers from a version of the earth near the Gap decide to head for Mars. Once there, they discover that you can hop between worlds on Mars too, and that opens up an entirely new type of exploration.
These books tend to take it pretty easy when it comes to the plot, and so sometimes it can feel as though the plot is dragging as you’re waiting for things to happen. In the first one, I quite liked that because I was having a lot of fun looking at all of the underlying science and the other ideas that it had in it. The problem is that the more time goes on, the more I kind of want the plot to accelerate.
Still, there’s plenty of good stuff here, and I’ll be continuing on with the last two books in the series and maybe even finishing the series by the end of the month. I just think that the series set itself up for a fall because the first book was so good, and the vibe that I’m getting so far is that pretty much everyone should give The Long Earth a go and then only the people who really enjoy that should keep going.
All in all then, I am of course glad that I read this, but at the same time I can appreciate that it’s not for everyone. Still, if you’ve read the first two books and you were thinking about continuing, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. And it didn’t even end on a crazy cliffhanger like the first two did, so it has that going for it too. And that’s it.