Tag: Shots

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter – The Long War | Review

Title: The Long War

Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 512

Rating 3.75/5



This book wasn’t as good as the first book in the series, but it wasn’t a total failure either. It’s also going to be difficult for me to review, because as the second book in the series, I can’t say a huge amount about it without spoiling both this book and the one before it. It was pretty good though, even if “The Long War” is a bit of a misnomer because no shots were fired. It was kind of anticlimactic in that way.

It was also a little jarring because a big chunk of time has passed between the end of the last book and the start of this one. Joshua Valiente has married Helen, who was a little girl during the first book, and so it almost feels a little bit wrong. I’m not entirely sure what the age difference is, but it has to be a fair amount.

The Long War was also longer than the first book, and I feel like it suffered because of it. It was dragging by the end, and I ended up skim reading the last fifty pages or so, at least until something big happened right at the end. Unfortunately, that’s starting to feel a little bit old and worn, because the same thing happened in the first book. I’m now fully expecting it to happen in books three and four as well. Sure, it’s not unusual for books in a series to set the next book up, but at the same time the events at the end of the first two books are so apocalyptic that they really need a rapid follow-up.



On the plus side, I did enjoy reading it and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, even though it’s starting to feel as though none of the original characters are even left. In many ways, that doesn’t matter, because I’m more interested in the ideas that the book has to share than I am in the characters or even in what actually happens. I’ve been consistently impressed throughout this series by the way in which it uses popular science and psychology while simultaneously telling a cracking story.

Then there’s the way it taps into mythology, albeit in quite a subtle way. As people explore various corners of The Long Earth, they also find new types of creatures, including the elves and the trolls that we met in the first book. But they have little in common with the established mythology, and really the terms are just used as a way to give things a label. It’s a nice little nod to fantasy from within a science fiction novel though, and it was cool to meet kobolds. I feel like they’re an underrated fantasy creature, and even though the creatures here weren’t true kobolds, they were interesting enough on their own.

All in all then, I enjoyed this one and want more!



Click here to buy The Long War.


Yann Martel – Life of Pi | Review

Title: Life of Pi

Author: Yann Martel

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 320

Rating: 3*/5


Yann Martel - Life of Pi

Yann Martel – Life of Pi


Yeah, I’m not really sure what the fuss is about. But then, that happens a lot when I pick up award-winners, and this one won the Man Booker Prize in 2002, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. I also think that if I’d known a bit more about the book then I wouldn’t have bothered with it, as I picked it up knowing nothing except that I’d heard good things about it.

The problem that I had was that while the writing itself was pretty good, nothing really happened. I felt throughout as though I was meant to be asking myself these deep questions about life and religion, but nothing like that was forthcoming. Instead, it felt more like when I read the Oxford English Dictionary – I just kept ploughing through to the end, just so I could say that I’d done it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I read it. I just don’t think I could recommend it to anyone else without warning them first. Possibly the strangest thing about it was that when I got confused about what was actually supposed to be happening, I actually enjoyed it more than the main narrative. It was a welcome relief and it helped me to pretend I was reading something else for a while.

What I will say is that I haven’t yet watched the movie. Originally, my plan was to pick up the movie after reading the book, but now I’m not so sure. Still, I imagine that the movie is at least visually spectacular, which means that even if nothing happens for two hours, I’ll get plenty of cool shots of a tiger on a tiny boat. Speaking of which, I still don’t understand how Pi never spotted the damn thing. Seems impossible to miss.


Yann Martel

Yann Martel


Click here to buy Life of Pi.