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Monday, October 12, 2015

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

This book is definitely original. I guess when you combine a master of Fantasy with a master of Sci-fi you're bound to get something amazing. True enough, I've never read anything by Baxter so this was a good way to introduce me to his work. I've read one book by Pratchett, which happens to be another collaboration with one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. In my opinion, Baxter plus Pratchett equals creative genius. That being said, I don't know how to categorize this book because it combines the two genres so effortlessly, that it can be placed in either one.

I really didn't know what I was getting into when I first started reading The Long Earth. Put simply, the book is primarily about a young man called Joshua who is travelling thousands and millions of parallel earths along with an artificial intelligence human called Lobsang. The ability to travel between the different Earths more or less became a worldwide phenomenon on Step Day, the day kids built steppers (the apparatus that allows most people to travel between Earths) and disappeared. For most, stepping between worlds is a nauseating ordeal but for Joshua, it's done effortlessly and even without a stepper. I guess you could say no to world is alike, some very similar, others completely different. New species of animals are being discovered, along with "new" hominid species that also have the ability to step. Some worlds are dangerous, while other are boring.

The main storyline is definitely Joshua's but you also get to read the point of view of many other characters. Personally, I'm never a fan of multiple point of views and this book is no exception. The various point of views makes it difficult to really get hooked by the book, but in this case, definitely important to understand how stepping has affected various people. However, once Joshua's story is established, the book is really hard to put down. I mean, who could put it down when you have two explorers travelling in an airship across the earth and through parallel universes at the same time?

I'm afraid true fantasy and sci-fi fans won't be able to fully appreciate this book. Personally, I really enjoyed it and I think it's the beginning of a great series. I think The Long Earth is simply an introduction, and things haven't really started yet. All series must start somewhere and this book is definitely a great introduction.

Personally, I think this collaboration is mind-blowing. The idea of parallel universes is obviously something that has been done before, but besides that, the rest of the book is by far one of the most original books I've read in a long time. The creativity behind every little detail is astounding and I'll be reading the next books as soon as possible.

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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