Explorer Louis Wu, an Earth-born human who was part of the first expedition to Ringworld, becomes enmeshed in interplanetary and interspecies intrigue as war, and a powerful new weapon, threatens to tear the Ringworld apart forever. Now, the future of Ringworld lies in the actions of its children: Tunesmith, the Ghould protector; Acolyte, the exiled son of Speaker-to-Animals, and Wembleth, a strange Ringworld native with a mysterious past. All must play a dangerous role in order to save Ringworld's population, and the stability of Ringworld itself.
Blending awe-inspiring science with non-stop action and fun, Ringworld's Children, the fourth installment of the multiple-award-winning saga, is the perfect introduction for readers new to this New York Times best-selling series and for long-time fans of Larry Niven's Ringworld.
©2004 Larry Niven; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
Larry Niven's Ringworld saga/extended thought experiment comes to a conclusion.
In the foreword, the author reveals that he never really intended for Ringworld to be more than a one-off story and interesting thought experiment. However, it captured the imagination, and so he returned for 3 more novels, adding the concept of Pak Protectors, another thought-experiment-turned-saga from his Known Space universe for novels 2 through 4.
We're at the final chapter, and there is now a burgeoning "fringe" war among the species of Known Space (mostly Humans and Kzinti) while the protector Tunesmith, Louis and their companions try to keep the Ringworld safe from invaders. The story is a pretty good windup to the saga...although it is now getting somewhat long in the tooth, and it is good that this is the last one.
However, I find the narrator pretty irritating. He makes Tunesmith sound like an overly cheery salesman (rather than a ghoul-turned-wizard) and Acolyte sound like a mentally subnormal child rather than an (adolescent) 7-foot tall feline predator. Especially a come-down after listening to the excellent narration of the previous book in the cycle, The Ringworld Throne.
The narrator did a great job on this, his performance matched my own 'inner voices' for the characters and in this way I think enhanced the audio version over the printed one.
Discovering the true history of the Ringworld
Pretty much - in fact I completed it in a couple of days of travelling
I was extremely annoyed by the change in narrators. The difference in pronunciation and ridiculous voices for the main characters was a constant letdown and distraction throughout the book.
Great story. Very well written.
Tom Parker or Paul Michael Garcia did an excellent job on their narration throughout the series.
Poor Teela Brown
Louie Wu. Because he can always count on out-maneuvering those who would control him.
Just about everything, his alliteration, tonal infliction, &c
Tribes of Ringworld
I was somewhat dismayed that Teela's luck finally ran out on her and would have preferred a more storybook ending for her.
Right up there!
The small Protector was a standout. Finally a different character you could empathise with.Pretending to be a pet chimp ook ook really cracked me up.
Ok his voice was ok. Sorry Barrett the Tunesmith voice was way too human, with perfect pronunciation etc. And the Kzin Battle cat sounded like a castrated teenager! Barrett could have used some help with other readers to do the different voices.
Spoiler alert, Louis turning Protector then human was a nice twist.
More please Mr Niven.
Ringworld is my all-time favorite sci-fi audiobook for both story and narration. I was looking forward to listening to this because I wanted more of the same.
Unfortunately I could not finish this. The narration makes the story hard to follow, or the story is hard to follow, or both. For me it was a disappointment.
I love the story and plot lines, however Barrett Whitener should have listened to the earlier volumes if for no other reason than to stay consistent on how to pronounce character's names and the names of objects. It is a little irritating to hear these mispronounciations over and over again.
Another complaint is the speech patterns of some of the characters is all wrong for their personality and again, as they were in earlier volumes, for consistency sake.
Except for these issues, it's OK, but I preferred the hard copy version to the audio book. Usually it is the other way around.
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I've listened to all the previous Ringworld and some other of Niven's books on audio, and this is the first one where I found the narrator's performance disappointing. Not only were names from previous books pronounced completely differently (which alone, I might forgive, if no guidance was given by the author), but this narrator made some bizarre choices for portrayal of some of the characters. For Acolyte, the Kzin, the narrator chose a rather goofy sounding voice, which actually reminded me of Goofy as opposed to a 7-foot speaking tiger! For the Protector Tunesmith, he made no attempt to sound like a protector might sound, speaking with a hardened beak-like mouth. Previous narrators have very convincingly portrayed how this speech "impediment" might sound. The puppeteers voice didn't convey the musical or feminine nature that is usually used to describe them. On the whole, the voices were just more whimsical and jovial that I would have expected. There were also some off inflections which made me think the narrator didn't understand what he was reading... like when referring to Louis Wu as a "current addict". The inflection made it sound as if he meant current as in "right now" as opposed to "electricity". Perhaps if I was completely unfamiliar with Niven's universe or previous books, I might not notice these subtleties, but I found them quite distracting.
Great to continue the saga. Wish I could stand to listen to the narrator's voice.
In print, a good story.
Turned it off after five minutes. Painful to listen to.
Would love to hear this book read by someone else. Anyone else. Of the 50 or so Audible recordings I've listened to, this is the only one that was unlistenable due to the narration.
Barrett Whitener's reading is so harsh with a creaky brass-toned voice that I just can't get into the book. This is too bad, as I thought Mr. Whitener a good choice for Protector, and he did a decent job in Catch me if You Can. Sorry, Mr. Whitener, but I'll have to buy the paperback after all some time, and hope it's not as poorly plotted and interminable as Ringworld Throne. Give me the original Ringworld anyday over the sequels.
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