The Long Earth Book Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on a book called The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I took the book out of my local library so I’m just doing this review for fun. It’s also the first book review that I’ve ever done.
The Long Earth is the first in a series of Sci-Fi books by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. There are a total of 5 books in the series including The Long War, The Long Mars, The Long Utopia and The Long Cosmos, in that order.
Before I get into the story, I’d like to take the time to explain what The Long Earth actually is.
The Long Earth is an infinite series of parallel Earth’s. An event known as Step Day allowed everyone in the world to visit all of these parallel worlds using a device known as a Stepper.
Each Earth is similar in date and time but there’s one key piece missing, humans. Humans didn’t evolve on the Step-wise worlds so everything is as it was millions of years ago before humans with dense forests and filled with animals, plants and resources.
There are some very big differences the farther you get from the base Earth, known as Datum Earth in the series. Evolution and natural selection occurred very differently in many of the far out step-wise worlds, so you have the descendants of Dinosaurs wandering around the world. There are also various animals that The characters also meet sentient beings along their journey as well. The possibilities that you’ll find in the step-wise worlds are endless and I’ll end this section at that.
The Long Earth mostly follows the story of a man named Joshua Valiente. Joshua gained much fame during the events of Step Day but it was fame that he didn’t really want. He’s a fairly big loner for much of the book but he’s smart and resourceful. I found him to be pretty relateable and he becomes more open as his journey continues.
The first parts of the book focus on his childhood and the events that took place on Step Day but at the halfway point when Joshua is in his late 20’s, he teams up with a “man” named Lobsang and they set out on a journey using a prototype airship known as the Mark Twain to explore farther into The Long Earth than anyone before.
There are other characters that you’ll get to know throughout the course of the story as well including a police officer known as Monica Jannsen, a young girl named Hellen and her family’s trek across The Long Earth to build a community. There are quite a few different stories mixed into the events of the book.
It’s worth mentioning that the book doesn’t just follow one character consistently. The events are told from various perspectives so while Joshua is one of the main characters in the book, you’ll get to read what’s happening among other characters as well.
One thing that I will admit is the book does get off to a slow start and it does require a good imagination to fully enjoy. I could visualize everything in my mind and felt the descriptions for all of the different scenery and creatures that Joshua encountered on his journey with Lobsang were superb. But, if you have trouble visualizing these things you might not be able to fully enjoy the series and it’d be better to look elsewhere. Also, I wouldn’t go into this series expecting it to be like Discworld either because it’s very different.
Overall, The Long Earth was a wholly enjoyable story and I loved every second I spent reading it. I also love the premise behind the story as well, an infinite number of possibilities stretched out along a billion or more worlds is pretty epic. If you’re looking for something to lose yourself in, then this could be a great candidate because it definitely gives you a lot to visualize. I give The Long Earth an 8.8 out of 10. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into Sci-Fi.
Thanks for taking the time to read this review folks and I’ll be back with another review soon.
-Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!