First the bad news: The book is not world altering, life changing, deep, or otherwise valuable. It is occasionally insightful, but is primarily a romp..Show More » through a novel and creative universe. As a romp it is first rate.
Niven is excellent at creating novel concepts. He avoids nearly all of the cliches of space-based science fiction. His aliens are first rate, they are truly alien in both form and behavior. His universe has some creative twists, all of which are carefully thought out and explaind to the reader. Niven has a good grasp of the basic concepts of science, technology and engineering. While some of his ideas are fantastic, none of them are laughable.
The plot is well crafted. There are few, if any, loose ends, and only a few minor inconsitencies. All the twists and turns make sense, once you hear them. He avoids the infamous "non-sequitor plot twist."
The voice acting is also quite good. The reader avoids both monotony and over-acting, making it a pleasure, not a chore, to listen to.
All in all this is one of the best quality books I've downloaded.
Unfortunately, this book is not really science fiction, or at least not the kind you normally expect from Larry Niven.
Taking place eleven ye..Show More »ars after the events in The Ringworld Engineers this book oddly is mostly about sex, and no, not romance but a kind of formalized inter-species ritual that all the the cultures on the ringworld seem to be obsessed with. They do it to seal trade negations, celebrate battle, or whenever they meet someone new.
Oh yeah, and vampires. Lots of vampires who emit a pheromone that makes everybody....you guessed it....want to have sex.
Now I don't mind sex and I don't particularly mind vampires but neither subject makes a good focus for what is supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.
This really is a far cry from the the first book and very disappointing. I don't think I will continue with the series.
I for one happen to like the reading by Whitener. One should read at least "Ringworld" and "Protector" before reading this book as this one is based ..Show More »on both of these works. Great read, one that you don't want to stop until it is finish and then you want more.
Larry Niven told me that if I read "Fleet of Worlds" and "Fate of Worlds" all my questions about Puppeteers would be answered - and then he changed th..Show More »e subject. That made me laugh so and I came up with another question about something else and he answered that one. This was about 6 years ago. I didn't much care for "Ringworld's Children," and "Fleet of Worlds" was awkward. Niven and Lerner wrap up many of the Tales of Known Space here, take a couple of subtle pokes at society along the way, and there is pretty much all the Puppeteer Action you could want. I finally got my answers, they just had to travel at sub-light speed to get to me or something... (About the same length of time New Horizons is taking to get to Pluto/Charon.) It was worth the wait. I have to give the book a 5 star rating for story because Mr. Niven gave us an ending to a story that unfolded along a road with many forks. I had forgotten about some of the characters and knowing what happened to them, "In the end" was satisfying. Niven cares about his fans, and this book shows it. It is also less awkward then the last collaborations I have read. This book flows very nicely and is full of action and surprises. Again, thank you Larry for giving us a conclusion.