Maddi Hausmann's Reviews > Betrayer of Worlds

Betrayer of Worlds by Larry Niven
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Oct 28, 2011

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Read in October, 2011

Three and a half stars, interesting plot but I clearly was missing some context. The cover of the book said it was a prequel to Ringworld, but from the reviews on the back cover, there's another book (Fleet of Worlds) that I obviously missed.

The usual set of talking heads with no bodies. Even when the main human male falls for a women, he thinks about her with his brain instead of his other head. I just don't find those kinds of characters complete; it's like they're big ten year olds or something.

I like how Niven is trying to tie together all the different races in Known Space, but I suspect I would have gotten more out of it had I read the other book. I do appreciate the attempt to characterize different aliens and how they'd think, especially _insane_ aliens. The aliens don't seem much more driven by their mating drive as the humans. Too bad there aren't any Kzinti in here to take great offence and slash a few others up.

And I have to say it, as much as I enjoy the plot, what kind of SF writer would come up with not one, not two, but THREE different alien races without sentient females? (The other two races are not in this book, just the Puppeteers/Citizens.)
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King Ævil Strictly speaking, the Pierson's puppeteer species has no females at all (the "females" are another species entirely, and both/all sexes are likely parasitized by the puppeteers, unless Betrayer of Worlds has more information—I haven't read it yet). Also, in the Chirpsithtra race (in the Draco's Tavern stories), the males are the property of the females (though it's hard to tell how intelligent they are).


message 2: by Maddi (last edited Nov 04, 2011 10:41PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maddi Hausmann Thanks, Rob. There is no mention here about it other than a brief allusion to Brides, and I couldn't tell if they were a necessary life transformation of existing Citizens/Puppeters or what.

I haven't read much of the Draco's Tavern series. The other two species I was thinking of were the Kzinti and whatever race bred Whitefoods as meat. I've forgotten. I HATE being old!

I just checked the Wikipedia page looking for list of his aliens and found this list of books. I got some catching up to do!

Ringworld Prequel series (with Edward M. Lerner)
Fleet of Worlds (2007)
Juggler of Worlds (2008)
Destroyer of Worlds (2009)
Betrayer of Worlds (2010)

Okay, there's a Wikipedia entry on Known Space that covers all the aliens. I believe I was thinking of the Thrint, but the summary doesn't mention sexuality and breeding for most of the aliens. It only mentions the Kzinti sexual dimorphism in particular and doesn't even discuss sex/gender with most of the others.


message 3: by Cat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cat I don't remember which book it's in, but the Puppeteers have 2 sexes, both sentient, providing egg and sperm respectively. There us a third animal, a separate species, which they call a "Bride" which is non-sentient and raised, like cattle, to serve as mating "prey"-- they breed like parasitic wasps, implanting the fertilized egg into the Bride, which dies ehen the offspring hatches and, presumably, eats its way out...


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