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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2017
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on 20 June 2004
I've been a great fan of Larry Niven's for 20 odd years. This is his best book in a while with a cracking narative that zips along without a dull moment. Much better than any of his recent joint efforts with Pournell et al. My only critiscism of the book is that the ending is a bit weak. It's as if the publishers said 'you can't do that to Louis Wu!'. The only explanation I can think of is that there's another sequel in the pipeline. Not a bad thing on the overall strength of this book.
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on 4 August 2005
After the poor 3rd book, Ringworld Throne, this new story is Niven at his best and offers an exciting conclusion (?) to the saga. Niven shows us his old talent of pushing the laws of Physics beyond reality yet making it all seem so believable.
The story kicks in without delay and moves like a rollercoaster, as Louis Wu tries to keep pace with the Protector he has created and save the Ringworld from the fleets of Known Space.
Being a fan of Known Space and the old Niven style, this book was a delight to me.
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on 22 June 2005
Ringworld's Children was spellbinding for me. From the first page, the action moves at a blinding pace.
We re-join Louis Wu where the previous novel left him, after the battle for control of the Ringworld and its Repair Centre.
Now, however, the various races of Known Space are fully aware of the potential treasure trove of technology and other wonders on the Ringworld. They are preparing to fight for posession of them, but will the Ringworld survive the battle?
No spoilers here, but you will not be disappointed.
One word of caution, do not read the glossary (at the end of the book) before you finish the novel, as it contains a small reference that may give away the ending.
As for the final installment, well there is always another novel in Larry Niven. I rate it 5, and I've been a fan since Neutron Star.
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on 1 August 2007
As other reviewers have stated this book provides the 4th installment of the Ringworld sequence and is certainly better than the 3rd part. However, even after his many books, Niven continues to struggle to maintain his energy and brilliance of ideas conveyed as a single snapshot into the novel format (think Inconstant Moon, Bordered in Black, Flash Crowd). This book contains several great scenes (antimatter vs scrith for example) but I just found it hard to appreciate the characters, particularly the new ones. Certainly worth a read if you've read the others but if you want classic Niven stick to his short stories.
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on 25 March 2006
The ringworld and known space franchises are two of the best conceived ideas in the history of science fiction. "Ringworld" and "The Ringworld Engineers" are both a joy to read, whereas "The Ringworld Throne" is most definitely not. Fortunately, Larry Niven is back on form with the fourth (and possibly final?) ringworld book. "Ringworlds Children" continues louis wu's adventures aboard the enormous artificial ringworld and also fills in plenty of missing gaps about it's builders, the pak protectors - mankind's forefathers. The ringworld is under threat from other space-faring species, who all want to harvest the technology on offer without consideration for the effect on the billions of mankind-evolved inhabitants. Louis joins forces with the ghoul-people protector tunesmith and a newly-discovered protector, the only surviving member of the original pak who built the ringworld. Niven brings his incredible imagination to bear on the story, which is told in a far easier and involving manner than "The Ringworld Throne", and delivers an astonishing finale which had me re-reading it to make sure I'd read it right! Larry Niven, when he's of a mind, can deliver a story of pure hard science fiction wonder, and this book is a worthy companion to the first two ringworld novels
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on 28 June 2011
This is to my mind the novel Ringworld Throne should have been.

The Fringe War - the constant jockeying for position between Humans, Kzin and others to exploit the Ringworld has turned into a Hot war.
Antimatter and high energy weapons threaten the structure of the Ringworld itself.
Loius wu, Hindmost and the son of Chmee are forced into an alliance with the Protector Tunesmith to save the Ringworld from imminent destruction.

This book is a logical extension to the previous three. it has more in common with Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers than it does with Ringworlds throne.
The plot builds nicely on the earlier books and pulls in some elements from other known space stories. Its well though out, pacey and suprising, something the last novel lacked.

Its a must read for any real Niven fan and gives us some final closure for the Ringworld. The book draws on several elements from other known space stories and really feels like a well crafted piece polished over time.

I think this is the last true Niven novel we will see. Recent work with his name on it has been collaborative and lacking his style and flair. This one was written with love and feeling and brings together so many other elements its obviously a work of love. This book shows us the writer of Ringworld and the Mote in Gods eye can still turn out a truly epic romp when he turns his mind to it.

Mr Niven I salute you!
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on 2 December 2006
The ringworld series started with good, easily read SF but I found this book difficult with too many plot lines.

Larry Niven's Ringworld is a classic of science fiction, imaginative with good strong characters and enough real science to keep your interest. Ringworld Engineers is an excellent sequel and I was looking forward to Ringworld Throne, but I found the characters more muddy and the plot murky. Ringworld's children is more of the same with good ideas scattered throughout but without the direction and focus to allow us to enjoy them. This is like the writer's notes for ideas about the Ringworld scenario jammed together. Great ideas, but not a great book.

What's happened to Louis Wu? The adventurous, extravagant hero becomes a current addict but throws off this cafard only to become dull in the last two books. From hero to pawn is a great idea, the reverse of the vast majority of books but it somehow doesn't quite work and leaves this reader feeling Wu has become a pawn of his writer, a hollow character.

Sorry about this because I greatly admire most of Larry Niven's work
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on 9 September 2012
This is a review of the audiobook, narrated by Barrett Whitener.
Much has been written on the deficiencies in Niven's text in this and the previous book - "The Ringworld Throne". I think much of the criticism unfair. If you enjoyed the first two books, I think the 3rd and 4th a worthy continuation of the story. They plunge you deeper into the Ringworld itself, uncover the creatures that populate it (was this not what reviewers were clamouring for in "The Ringworld Engineers"?), and answer more of the riddles. I look forward to returning to this in book form.
Since I am reviewing an audiobook (I listen while ironing), however, I have to review the narrator. And this is why I am awarding this two stars. My God. I thought Paul Michael Garcia (narrated "The Ringworld Engineers" and "The Ringworld Throne") made a meal of the characters at first, but I slowly became accustomed to them, and absolutely loved his protector. Whitener has clearly not listened to Garcia's rendition. He employs a limited set of cadences, apparently at random, and often utterly out of place. The book is generally droned, rather than narrated. And he only seems to attempt a "voice" for two of the characters: Acolyte (who sounds like a muppet) and Wembleth (who sounds like a bizarre cross between Chekov from Star Trek and a Mexican). To cap it all, he pronounces Chmeee with the "ch" in "cheese", which makes him sound like a curry dish. This is a Kzin, for crying out loud. He is meant to sound angry. Whitener has ruined it all for me.
If you did enjoy the first three books, then for Buddha's sake buy a paper copy of the last in the series.
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on 28 November 2016
In Ringworld, the technology was "tapes and spools". in Engineers, it miraculously updated to a gaint microfiche reader that was so big it had to be chopped up to get it through the stepping disks. Now the storage solution if a large brick-like object that unfolds to a holographic library....this is just Niven making do with today's technology to define tomorrow's sci-fi. Like every other writer I know, he didn't foresee the digital revolution, and just updates his technology on the fly. Really, tapes and spools! It's true what they say, sci-fi reflects the era in which it was written...

Well, and he goes on and on about food in this one, as in all the Ringworld follow-ups. But at least this is the one that attempts to tie all the former efforts together, though really it does so saying nothing new, beyond bringing invasion fleets into the fray (which really should have come a lot sooner...like, weeks after Ringworld was first discovered...!) It's great when you can set your own parameters for a future that won't ever happen. I mean, Microsoft just wouldn't allow it!

The writing style is truly skeletal...the narrative itself seems part of a vast on-going mathematical caculation rather than an unfolding story. This is Niven's trademark writing style so can't really complain, it's done him good so far.
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