The Ringworld Engineers: The Ringworld Series, Book 2 Audiobook | Larry Niven | Audible.com
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The Ringworld Engineers: The Ringworld Series, Book 2 | [Larry Niven]

The Ringworld Engineers: The Ringworld Series, Book 2

It’s been 20 years since the quixotic and worldsweary Louis Wu discovered the Ringworld. Now he and SpeakertoAnimals are going back, captives of the Hindmost, a deposed puppeteer leader.
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Publisher's Summary

It’s been 20 years since the quixotic and worldsweary Louis Wu discovered the Ringworld. Now he and SpeakertoAnimals are going back, captives of the Hindmost, a deposed puppeteer leader.

With Louis’ help, the Hindmost intends to regain his status by bringing back such extraordinary treasures from the Ringworld that his fellow puppeteers will have to be impressed. But when they arrive, Louis discovers that the Ringworld is no longer stable—and will destroy itself within months. To survive, he must locate the control center of the legendary engineers who built the planet.

His quest becomes a wild and gripping venture blended with the mysteries and spectacular technologies that only Larry Niven can conjure.

©1980 Larry Niven (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

The Ringworld Engineers has all the imaginativeness, convincing detail, and narrative vivacity that have come to be associated with the works of Larry Niven. Furthermore, it answers a lot of questions that have been tantalizing his readers for a long time. Most highly recommended!” (Poul Anderson)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (403 )
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  •  
    Kevin d. Falls Church, VA, United States 04-16-13
    Kevin d. Falls Church, VA, United States 04-16-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Good Story, Wrong Narrator. Way Wrong."

    Short review - long winded soapbox.

    Casting picked the wrong narrator for this book. Mr.Garcia speaks with a clear voice that might be a pleasure to listen to if given the right story. His voice has a pleading quality to it - sometimes a whining quality. I see Mr. Garcia reading the classics or maybe some genre I don't listen to such as childrens books.

    After listening to the first book in this series my impression was serious fictional science with fun banter, appropriate sarcasm, and witty conversation. Mr. Parker nailed the first book with his outstanding performance. I mean he nailed it. His voice, inflections, emphasis were all spot on. I was able to laugh in the right places, be shocked in other places and follow along with the story very easily.

    In the second book much was lost. Too much. I would have to listen to something multiple times to realize that was supposed to be a funny part or the characters picking on each other or some serious encounter. But instead the whole book is lost in an incorrect emotional interpretation. All sense of tension countered by comic relief is lost. Instead all the characters seem to be whining or complaining to each other.

    This is one of the fails when converting a series into audible content. Publishers need to realize the narrator is a huge part of the book. They can turn a wonderful book into a painful drag or even turn a mediocre book into something worth listening to. With Mr. Parker they found the right narrator - then immediately changed for someone so wrong for the part. I notice in future books Mr. Parker does not return. Unfortunate. I'm not sure I can go through one more book with Mr. Garcia only to be facing another change in narrators. Ugh.

    As a parallel - Jim Butcher has a series called The Dresden Files. It is outstanding! For 13 volumes the narrator, Mr. Glover, gave an outstanding performance. Voice perfect. In volume 13 they brought in a new narrator and I almost lost interest in the whole series. Maybe I was totally used to Mr. Marsters by that time but I don't think I would have listened to the whole series if it was read by the narrator of volume 13. Fortunately this publisher realized the situation and brought out volume 14 with the original narrator. Outstanding!

    If all publishers would realize their narrators are bringing their books to life and their voice must be matched to the character then I think the audible world would be much better. If they find the right voice in the early volumes of a series - stick with it! Pay him or her more if you have to but don't swap voices without due consideration for the impact on the listener. Narrators are celebrities in a real sense. If my favorite artist (narrator) is reading in a genre I listen to (or one I want to try) I jump on it because of the narrator and I'm generally pleased with the outcome.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Coventry, RI, United States 01-10-12
    Michael Coventry, RI, United States 01-10-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Finally the second book is in audio"
    What did you love best about The Ringworld Engineers?

    It seemed to pick up perfectly from where the last book left you, and leaves you ready for the next.


    Any additional comments?

    After having read all the ringworld books it is great to see them come to audio. It makes the drive to and from work enjoyable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Detroit 02-21-13
    Colin Detroit 02-21-13 Member Since 2009

    Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv

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    "Great continuation for what was never a series"

    First let me say that the Narrator isn't as good as the one on the first book but not as bad as the one for the 4th book Ringworld's Children, it should be the same narrator for all the books in a series but I guess its not possible every time

    This is the start of a series of books that the author never set out to make a series, this was never planed but after 10 years and many fans point out errors with the Ringworld as well as wanting more he made this book and I am glad he did.

    The author says that MIT students attending the 1971 World Science Fiction Convention chanted, "The Ringworld is unstable! The Ringworld is unstable!" Niven says that one reason he wrote The Ringworld Engineers was to address these engineering problems.

    In the first book you are introduced to the Ringworld and there are some inaccurate or overlooked features about the Ringworld that were corrected in this book or at least helped to explain them better, if you read the first book and loved it then this is a must read.

    Louis Wu went to the Ringworld 20 years ago and now he goes back with his friend Chmeee (the "ch" is pronounced like a guttural German "ch", as in "ach" the narrator does it correct in this book but the one for the 4th one Ringworld's Children don't) "Speaker-to-Animals" from the first book who has a name.

    This book explores some of the Ringworld and you get to see more of how it works, it has become unstable in its orbit and if not corrected it will brush against its sun and obliterate everything on the surface and probably destroy the Ringworld itself but Louie Wu and hos motley crew are back to help fix the problem.

    There must be a control or repair center on the Ringworld to fix the problem and they must find it, but who made the Ringworld and how long ago is still a mystery that will be discovered in this book.

    There are whole maps of planets in a 1:1 scale on the Ringworld that are of Worlds in Known Space including Earth and Mars, others are unknown but you find out its the home world of the makers of the Ringworld.

    other questions still remain after reading this book, some will be answered in the following books and others can be found in the prequels, still others remain a mystery for the reader to infer.

    This is pretty much a must read if you liked the first book, now some people say the next one isn't that good and that the 4th one is also not so good, I have read them all and they aren't bad, you can read my reviews of them also if you look them up

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Ellison Ca USA 12-21-12
    T. Ellison Ca USA 12-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Good attempt"

    It was great for an author to come back and provide another glimpse into his work. The information gleamed from the many fans was included to a large degree and it was very interesting to read. The story itself didn't seem to hold together though and at times it felt like the technical information was drowning out the plot. I wish it had blended a little better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew New Lenox, IL, United States 12-18-12
    Andrew New Lenox, IL, United States 12-18-12
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    "A Great Book made even better on audiobook"
    What did you love best about The Ringworld Engineers?

    The creativity of Larry Niven is nearly unparalleled. He puts so much thought into every detail, all the way down to wind patterns. The adventure of it all and the sheer size of the Ringworld, even in the book, just contemplating the scale can leave you in awe. He makes it feel like it could really become a future engineering project.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Michael Garcia – was your favorite?

    His voice as both the narrator and Chmee is perfect. His excitement for Louis' voice is a bit overdone and forceful however.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niall ALEXANDRA HILLS, Australia 08-13-12
    Niall ALEXANDRA HILLS, Australia 08-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Enjoyable"
    If you could sum up The Ringworld Engineers in three words, what would they be?

    enthralling, listenable, enjoyable


    If you’ve listened to books by Larry Niven before, how does this one compare?

    not as encapsulated as the original "Ringworld" seeming to wander a little, but as I understand it, this was written to answer fan questions about Ringworld science tech. The reader isn't quite as differentiated in character voices as the original's reader, but he does a good job.


    What about Paul Michael Garcia’s performance did you like?

    nothing outstanding, but reads well and gives character to the book


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not really


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Henderson, NV, USA 12-15-12
    Kevin Henderson, NV, USA 12-15-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Not as good as first book, but quite good"
    Where does The Ringworld Engineers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    About an eight out of ten. I'll definitely listen to it several more times in the years to come, whereas some audiobooks need a long time in-between.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ringworld Engineers?

    Nothing really stands out since it was all about equally good. I did particularly like the fight at the end, however.


    What about Paul Michael Garcia’s performance did you like?

    A good reader who doesn't oversell but gets the tone just right almost every time.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The look at addiction in the future was interesting and I've thought about it many times over the years.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of my go-to books for working out, shopping, cleaning. That sort of thing. Some books demand your undivided attention, but this is one that is long and interesting, but I can do other things at the same time.

    I'd rank it about equal to the last four Harry Potter books for its consistent flow and engagement of the listener. There are battles and action-focused sections, but its mostly about character interactions and science.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler hayward, CA, United States 10-08-12
    Tyler hayward, CA, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Series Continues and Only Gets Better!"
    Where does The Ringworld Engineers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not top ten, but still very very good


    What did you like best about this story?

    It brought back all characters from the first novel in plausible ways, then culminated in a whirlwind event like the first novel


    What does Paul Michael Garcia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice IS the voice of the characters


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Several times I did laugh


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael DAYTON, OH, United States 04-30-12
    Michael DAYTON, OH, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2011

    MIke Charette

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    "Great Story by a Master story teller!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have, and I love the series.


    What other book might you compare The Ringworld Engineers to and why?

    Troy rising, by John Ringo, however Larry Niven is a slightly better writer.Mr Niven can write Fantasy as well as Science fiction, he is just one of the great ones.


    What does Paul Michael Garcia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The emotions, and the feelings of the charactors.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but it is just too long for that.


    Any additional comments?

    I give Mr. Niven a 97 out of 100 on this one, but I didn't like the incarnation of teela brown, but that is my only complaint. Other than that it was a wonderful journey I will love to take again, again.I didn't have a problem with the sex in the book, I thought it was appropriate, and important to the story. I also loved the intro by Larry Niven, "The ring world is unstable!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clyde Dale Chapel Hill, NC USA 11-01-11
    Clyde Dale Chapel Hill, NC USA 11-01-11 Member Since 2003

    Clydesdale

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    "A Sci-Fi classic but showing it's age - again"

    Written 10 years after Ringworld it's better but still showing it's age and I find Niven's use of sex in this novel rather odd, bordering on creepy and nonsensical. Still, a good read if you've nothing else and it's fun going back to books I read when I was a kid.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Stephen
    stoke on trent, United Kingdom
    11/26/11
    Overall
    "The Best Ringworld Novel"

    Ringworld Engineers is by far the best of the Ringworld books.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: For people new to the Ringworld series - Read “Protector” before you get “Engineers”
    (It fits between the first and second book)

    This novel is the answer to the riddle “Who Built the Ring and why”

    Note: The 1980’s Role Playing Game of Ringworld is based completely on this book.

    The original book was well worthy of the awards that it won, however this is a much more complete travelogue around the ring than its predecessor
    I rate it has a hard SF novel that that easily competes with Dune and the like because of the vast scale and clean science behind the writing.

    Perhaps most importantly it is just a great adventure story that explores the vast structure without getting bogged down in personal angst, politics, or too much scientific theory.
    (There’s far too much of that these days in science fiction)

    Niven at his very best!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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