The thrilling conclusion to the internationally best-selling Long Earth series explores the greatest question of all: What is the meaning of life?
It's 2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth. Now, a message has been received: "Join us".
The Next - the hyperintelligent posthumans - realize that the missive contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind.
Meanwhile, on a trek in the High Meggers, Joshua Valienté, now nearing 70, is saved from death when a troll band discovers him. Living among the trolls as he recovers, Joshua develops a deeper understanding of this collective-intelligence species and its society. He discovers that some older trolls with capacious memories act as communal libraries and live on a very strange Long Earth world, in caverns under the root systems of trees as tall as mountains.
Valienté also learns something much more profound about life and its purpose in the Long Earth: We cultivate the cosmos to maximize the opportunities for life and joy in this universe - and to prepare for new universes to come.
©2016 Terry Pratchett, Lyn Pratchett, and Stephen Baxter (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
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Easy to pick up where we left off. Sad to see it end. Captivating from start to finish.
"A little weak to be honest."
I have referred to the Long Earth series as comfort food. Even though none of the subsequent books in the series matched the first, happens all too often, I still thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
And not being as good isn't necessarily a bad thing. Book one may have got an 8 out of 10. A 7 for the subsequent books still isn't that bad.
But this final chapter in the series gets a 6 I'm afraid.
All of the elements are there. Excellent narration, familiar characters. But as readers, and listeners, we're looking for something. We don't necessarily want the real world, or as its presented to us, we want something more.
A fictional work is the perfect platform to make assertions about existence that may not be well received by those who are asleep at the wheel. They don't read this stuff anyway.
This series felt as though it was building to something, but in the end did not take the risk.
Or, if it was there I missed it.
Equal crimes in my opinion.
Do not think there could be a perfect ending to this series
Still don't but enjoyed the whole series immensely.
All of them
"A Satisfying Conclusion"
Everything you'd want to close out the series. love the narrator and an excellent story. 5 stars!
"Wish there was more."
The end is such a great jumping off point for more stories. I'd love to see an anthology set in the long cosmos with stories by many different authors.
"A book with obvious Terry Pratchett holes in it."
The book feels incomplete. There are large sections of plot that are summarized over. These sections have interesting possible themes about death, the nature of life, and character-driven comparisons of philosophies that are not explored. I believe Pratchett may have intended to write these chapters himself but was unable to due to his failing health and death.
The result is a plot-driven story where Baxter again prioritizes speculations on metaphysics for speculation's sake with some late 20th century pop culture references.
To be honest, I wouldn't mind if this book had never been published.
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