Erich Franz Guzmann's Reviews > Ringworld

Ringworld by Larry Niven
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I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya something. The book is mainly an exploration novel of another land during the earth year of 2850. The exploration of the Ringwold is magnificent and is detailed crisply into my imagination.
It is also about the characters too; a great character building story I must say. In a way I found that the characters in the book and their interactions between each other had to be the most interesting part of the story.
It had 4 main characters that were all very different to each other in many, many ways; and somehow made the perfect team. The 4 characters are Louis Gridley Wu, Nessus, Speaker to Animals, and Teela Brown.
Wu is a 200 year old human man that is in perfect physical condition, due to life extending drugs.
Nessus is a Pierson's Puppeteer which has two forelegs and a single hindleg ending in hooved feet and two snake-like heads instead of a humanoid upper body. The heads are very small, containing a forked tongue, extensive rubbery lips, rimmed with finger-like knobs, and a single eye per head. The Puppeteer brain is housed not in the heads, but in the "thoracic" cavity well protected beneath the mane-covered hump from which the heads emerge. They use the "mouths" to manipulate objects, as a humanoid uses hands. He is in charge of the operation to the ring world and the being that finds the team and puts it together.
Then there is Speaker to Animals or just Speaker and is a Kzin. A Kzin is a very warlike and bloodthirsty race of cat-like aliens. The Kzinti are larger than humans, standing around 8 feet and weighing around 500 pounds. These tiger-sized bipeds have large membranous ears, a barrel-chested torso with a flexible spine, and large fangs and claws. He was responsible for the expedition's safety on Ringworld and because if that he was in charge most of the time.
And last we have Teela Brown, a twenty year old human girl. Her sole qualification was that she was descended from "lucky" ancestors, six generations of whom were born as a result of winning Earth's Birthright Lottery. The Puppeteer saw this as a kind of artificial selection, tending to breed for a psionic power of good luck. He hoped Teela would bring luck and success to the entire expedition.
The team was a great mixture of characters and the main reason for the 5 stars. What an imagination Larry Niven had!
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Michael Ringworld's one of my favourite books - most of Niven's Tales of Known Space are really good and you're guaranteed to like them if you enjoyed .

If you fancy reading the next in the series, The Ringworld Engineers, then there is another book earlier in the larger Known Space series that you might want to read first. I will put the title behind spoiler tags as it does give away part of the plot, so I guess I've presented you with something of a dilemma as to whether to look or not! (view spoiler).

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