This is the first of 5 books ( so far at least) . I am not sure I will be pursuing it in earnest ( since as previously mentioned I have quite a lot left to finish for this month of may) so I thought I should mention it and review it individually.
I gave it 3 stars. It was a good read but for a person unused to Sci Fi as I am, it was a slow plod. This book deals with the premise that the earth we live in is in its current state due to multiple consecutive combination of occurrences. ( Not just the environmental impacting ones, even evolutionary). There are two directions East and West that the infinite alternative universes exist which in the beginning do not seem to have much human life. The concept of Stepping is introducedto us , a way to travelling between these worlds ( minus anything to do with iron).
This is a collaborative work and I have often wondered how that works out efficiently since it is just one story and all the characters stay constant. We have Joshua who is a ‘natural stepper’ who finds it overpowering to live in the base ‘datum’ earth. He is tasked with accompanying a sentient AI ( who claims to be the soul of a Tibetan motorcycle repairman). They set out to discover how things work in the Long earth and what the future might hold for humanity or other beings.
There are groups of people who either are afraid of the idea or have been let down by the long earth who want to ban or stop stepping ( which seems impossible to control) .
This is just the introduction or laying of the maps and the actual journeys seem to be left for the further books . Though of course they did go on one voyage in this book as well.