All I can say it that if you like Larry Niven, and you loved Ringworld and the following books, then you REALLY need to read/listen to this first one. This is both history and background info that in many ways explains many things the original story may not have or simply left untouched. And yes, this first 'Of Worlds' book is a little slow, but as you get into it, it IS a classic in the works and you need to read/listen or hear the whole story, book by book ... and this is just the beginning!
Hat's off to Larry Niven for the WHOLE Ringworld saga, and many thanks for a GREAT story!
I only gave it four stars because it is a little slower that the rest of the saga.
I usually ejoy Larry Nivens' books. My wife and I listened to this book together, and we thought this was the most boring book we've listened to out of hundreds. It seemed as though nothing really happened throughout the story. When the end of the book came, we weren't sure it was over.
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So if you dont know thi sis a prequel of sorts for the book "Ringworld - 1970" by the same author so you might have read that some years ago, if not then even though its 42 years old (as of Oct 2012, did we survive past Dec 21st 2012 lol) its not dated that much if at all, I am 30 years old and I dont like much of anything older than the 90's when it comes to entertainment but I suggest you read Ringworld after these 4 books that take place 200 years before.
There is a problem I will note right off, the narrator is someone to get used to and he really trails off with the end of words like "world" is "woorllldd" and it takes a while to get used to that - also there is another major problem with the pronunciation of the name of a, well, not major character but not a minor one either since when he comes up in the 3rd book hes back in a semi-major roll - the name is "Baedeker" but in this book its pronounced as "bed-a-ker" but in the latter books its pronounced as "beta-ker" - also aliens called "Gw'oth" pronounced as "gwa-auth" becomes "guat-ta-oth" or something like that, this is stupid and if the cause was that they were pronounced incorrectly in this the first book then in the next ones where its changed it needs to be mentioned in a forward by the reader.
Now with that out of the way, the review.
This book and the ones that follow it all pretty much follow a story that although it changes it will lead up to the discovery of the ringworld which is awesome - in this book you are introduced to the characters that the story will follow for the following 3 books and learn that one of the "races" isnt what it thinks it self to be.
Humans from a colony star-ship find out the truth behind there history, even that fact that they are called "humans" - there ship was captured by the "Puppeteers" and the survivors were in gene banks and were implanted into the living humans left and the babies were told a lie when they grew up, but the truth is found out and then things get good.
Without giving much away here the humans are looking for Earth and will do anything to find it, they break into secure places and all sorts of cool things that are made easier by the fact that the puppeteers are not very good at security and easily scared so they get away with lots after they are found out.
Read this and the 3 that follow, then go on to "Ringworld - 1970" and I guarantee you wont believe that Ringworld was written in 1970 because it feels just like these books which are only a few years old
Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.
I only need one word to review this book: Puppeteers!
I got the whole series for a LONG drive. By the third book, the shear stupidity of the characters left me hoping they had been killed and that the bad guy would get away. This is so stupid, and I am a sci-fi nut, that after listening to book 3, unless I have had several drinks, I won't be listening to book 4. What a waste of money.
Niven’s known space universe is one of the most vivid and compelling SF settings ever devised never failing to entertain and provoke flights of fancy. Ringworld is a must for any one interested in SF or just good writing.
Fleet of worlds goes back to the beginning and brings a new thread to the rich tapestry this rich tapestry of tails and characters.