Saturday, 12 September 2015

Review: The Long Earth

The Long Earth The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"The Long Earth" was only OK to me, which at Goodreads means only two stars, although I would tend to three.

I bought the book because I love Terry Pratchett's work and my boyfriend likes SciFi. Also, I was curious - and the idea behind the book is really interesting and worth exploring. The problems I had all originated from the writing style.

I won't complain that it didn't sound like a TP book. It has two authors on the cover, so I didn't expect a typical Pratchett. I did, however, hope for some humour (which I didn't find). That alone is not a good reason for such a low rating, though. For this, I have two other reasons:
First, the dialogue. The characters are suddenly faced with a reality where a (probably) unlimited supply of parallel Earths becomes accessible to them. They can't explain it any more than the reader can, but of course they discuss this (and related phenomena) a lot. And of course I wanted to read what they had to say; only, there were road blocks. Someone would say something interesting, and before I could read an equally interesting answer, I had to figuratively climb over a "XY said,". Sometimes, this (traditional?) writing style really disrupted the flow of the story.
Secondly, there were multiple moments when the characters seemed to be extremely sure about what needed to be done and would just go ahead and do it - but I didn't know why this specific action was the only possible way (even if someone could get hurt). I'm not sure if it was my lack of experience with SciFi, or the way the book was written, but I had problems following the story, understanding the characters and motifs... Things that a reader should be able to do in a good book.
That justifies giving only two stars in my opinion.

Nevertheless, I will probably get the second book as well, and give the whole thing another try. As I said earlier, the concept is interesting, and I hope that somehow now that the stage is set it will get better.

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