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Ringworld's Children

(Ringworld #4)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  8,372 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Welcome to a world like no other.

The Ringworld: a landmark engineering achievement, a flat band 3 million times the surface area of Earth, encircling a distant star. Home to trillions of inhabitants, not all of which are human, and host to amazing technological wonders, the Ringworld is unique in all of the universe.

Explorer Louis Wu, an Earth-born human who was part of th
Mass Market Paperback, 284 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published June 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  8,372 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I totally loved this return to Ringworld, the mysterious artificial world that has the surface area of a million Earths and populated by hundreds of hominid species that have evolved there from human ancestors placed there a half-million years earlier. Since its discovery Ringworld has been the target of multiple alien species now engaged in warfare to gain access to its technology (the “Fringe War”). Destroying the functionality of the Ringworld and thereby killing its inhabitants is one soluti ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Ringworld sequels certainly take their time to appear. Tens of years between books and so much information that's just waiting to be forgotten. On the other hand, new discoveries (and re-discoveries) await! Even though Ringworld's Children has been around since 2004, I have only now gotten around to reading it. What's more, a lot of time has passed since I finished The Ringworld Throne. Niven certainly doesn't waste a lot of time chucking a bewildered reader into the thick of things and dragging ...more
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

(2013 was turning into a stale year for SF. That summer, I really needed the solace of good, hard SF to escape, if just fleetingly, some harsh realities, same reality having given me long days and nights to read and listen. So, without really making a decision to do so but compelled by circumstances, I started a re-read of the Ringworld series. The publication history of the series was such that one book came out every ten years, on average. And so each book read provided a reflection of a de

Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Much better than Throne, which wasn't too hard to do. In fact you could compare this to the last part of Throne where things heat up with Bram. The difference between the 3rd and 4th novel seem greater than my rating going from a two to a three, but I still can't make myself give this novel a four. It's a short book and wraps up the series in a way that allows me to move on and leave this world behind. I'm glad he eased up on all the Rishathra, because if that had started up again i'm not sure I ...more
Sep 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
If this is Larry niven's new level of writing he should stop.
Chaotic storytelling, no bright new ideas.
Better than the last in the series but it is missing something more....
Jona Cannon
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
The 4th and final of the ringworld series. Louis Wu, yet again (still yet?) a slave to the whims of the protectors of ringworld. The ringworld seems to be in danger again, but this time to a fantastic new weapon and the fringe war. Even the awesome intelligence of the protectors are challenged by all the new complications, and the luck of Teela Brown lives on.

When I read books that are part of a series, I always want to know how the story ends. The original Ringworld story was great, and the ser
Al Maki
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: story
The resolution of the Ringworld series. For me: too many events, too little explanation, too many coincidences. There's also the question of whether or not to resolve the mysteries of the series. I think some things are richer and more interesting if left to the reader's imagination. ...more
Cristian Tomescu
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
The Ringworld series has finally ran out of steam.
Pretty bad.
Rishindra Chinta
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Todd Martin
Jun 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
You may wonder why anyone would continue to read Niven’s Ringworld after the dreadful third installment in the series The Ringworld Throne. A book so dumb it thinks Johnny Cash is a pay toilet.


Call it a compulsive disorder because when I learned Niven has returned to the Ringworld trough with a fourth book Ringworld’s Children I couldn’t resist. Well, you know the old adage … fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me?

So … uh … shame on me.

I found it to be an uninspired effo
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first three books in physical format and was not planning on reading Ringworld's Children as I didn't have a physical copy. I ended up reading it as an ebook so I could get proper closure on the series.

I actually thought the story was pretty good; the plot was more understandable and less convoluted than the previous stories, especially Ringworld Throne. And it does give a decent ending to the series.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, audiobooks
I’m surprised there is another after this. The ending was rather conclusive. Story was better than the last one, but did not grip me enough for 4 stars.

I didn’t like the new person who did the voices. (Audiobook)
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Louie Wu always a slave to someone. Lol
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2000s, sci-fi
The Ringworld Children is far superior to the previous Ringworld Throne. There's a return to Louis Wu as the main character. The plot moves steadily along and it is not so concerned with all the inter-species "rituals."

Tunesmith, the Ghoul-turned-Protecter, is performing his duty to protect Ringworld. The Amalgamation of Regional Militia, aka ARM, aka former UN military force, has discovered Ringworld, along with military forces from other worlds, and they are engaging in warfare for Ringworld's
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970) was originally written as a stand-alone, and won numerous awards. Since then, he has infrequently produced additional sequels, creating a series of which this is #4. I've now read The Ringworld Engineers (1979), The Ringworld Throne (1996), and Ringworld's Children (2004). These later books also integrate significant background started in Larry Niven's Protector (1973). Beyond that Niven and Edward Lerner have written one more sequel, that I have not read - Fate of ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm changing my mind about this one. I had only remembered it somewhat fondly, but after rereading it, I've got to bump it up because of how satisfying it was. Not only good writing, but it was full of great story, great characters, and the fulfillment of a fear that had followed all of the ringworld books. Well, one of many. I'm referring to poor Louis. I was thrilled and awed and rooting for him the entire way. I wasn't even slightly surprised at the very end, either. It's great to have godlik ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, scifi
Much better than the prior book in the series (The Ringworld Throne), but unfortunately this book wouldn't hardly make sense unless you've made it through the previous one. I'm glad that I continued reading despite that I disliked the last book because overall this book made up for it and more. ...more
Peter Tillman
My 2004 booklog notes: has moments, but it's very disjointed. I think the most interesting part of the book was the introductory essay, glossary, and cast of characters. Not a good sign. I read RC only a week ago, and it's already fading into the mists of memory. Bottom line: harmless mind-candy. Avoid, if recent Nivens have irritated you.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Fourth in the Ringworld series and theoretically a culmination, but never put it past Niven to find something else to mine. Not the best but it's always fun to visit the Ringworld. ...more
Eric Stodolnik
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Since, for me, The Ringworld Throne was a bit of a departure of form, a bit of a drawl drawl, and a bit of a disappointment for me compared to the first 2 installations in the Ringworld Tetralogy, this volume turned out to be just what I wanted from the wrap-up finale of the series.

Pretty much everything that made the third novel fall short for me was rectified for this book. For one, a big part of what made The Ringworld Throne a bit of a let down (and let me stress, it was a BIT of a letdown,
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am tempted to give this one 5 stars because of the contrast with The Ringworld Throne, which was a slog to read. This book takes the story to bigger and flashier places, when Ringworld's existence is threatened by a war between different species that have gathered in the system to grab a bite of the Ring. Also, we learn what really happened to Teela Brown, and Niven gets to bust out most of the new big ideas about Ringworld physics he and other people have come up with since the original Ringw ...more
Steven Reiz
Jul 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: livingroom
Reread. This book wraps up the 4-part Ringworld series nicely, with quite some new technology but it feels a bit forced and unlikely. I appreciate that wrapping up all these loose story threads was tricky, but waving nanotechnolgy around as if (literally) sprinkling fairy dust was a new low. It was interesting to see how the restrictions on stepping disks were loosened from book to book, until they've here turned into invisible magical portals that will teleport without any considerations to the ...more
Jonas Salonen
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Hah, didn't see this coming. After the pretty boring Ringworld Engineers and the abysmal Ringworld Throne I was pretty afraid Ringworld's Children would be bad. Well, I was surprised.

What is different this time is that the action that takes place is interesting. Or that there actually is action. And that the book feels like science fiction. For some reason the main characters are a lot more interesting than in the two previous books. Also there is almost zero rishatra, thank god.

Anyway I think t
Marius Ungurean
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Until we meet again, old friend.

This book, as the rest in the series (ok except maybe the 3'rd one, rishathra much?) was excellent which really scratches that wanderlust itch, it never fails to bring forth the colossal size of this big dumb object and good old Larry takes the technology knob and turns it so high it breaks the damn thing. The first part of the book drags a bit however during the beginning of the 2'nd half things start ramp up real fast.
Towards the end some would say there's a hug
Nov 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This will likely be the last Larry Niven book I read. Not because this one is terrible but because overall Ringworld is just not that great of a series.

Essentially in this book outside invaders are coming to the ringworld to obtain its tech and in a war for the world and its up to louis Wu and the protectors to avert disaster.

I gave this a 3 star review mainly because it seriously lightened up on rithshara (interspecies sex) which honestly made the story telling better by that fact alone. Which
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
In many ways this is simply the natural continuation and ending set up by the first three books. It does a better job of maintaining a cohesive plot than the 2nd book did, which makes it a more fulfilling read. The final conclusion is satisfying enough.

The only real drawback is that since all the same motifs are carried over from the first three books, they've become just a bit tired. Once again, the superintelligence of the protectors approaches Deus Ex Machina status. Once again, the protagoni
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This is a just above the middle of the road entry into Ringworld series and the Known Space universe. I am invested in this series and the universe now, so I will read or listen to most of them just to find out what happens. Once you get to know Louis Wu, you want to see what becomes of him. There are some interesting developments and the Fringe War introduces some complications to the story which had previously only been Ringworld inhabitants, so I think I enjoyed this more than the previous en ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirty-some years after Ringworld's appearance, this very good fourth volume was published. I don't think anyone not familiar with the previous volumes would be able to follow this one very well, but it's a real treat for those willing play in what the author calls his "playground for the mind" in the preface. The characters and plot take a back seat to the exploration and speculation of the world itself, and I suppose that the ending isn't really entirely satisfactory, but it's a great installm ...more
Oct 24, 2020 marked it as didnotfinish
I accidentally acquired this years ago, and I finally decided to give it a try. I've never read a Ringworld book, but the summary does say this is a good entry point for new readers...Let me tell you, I do not agree with that assessment. I actually like being thrown into the action and characters of a new world, but there was definitely this implication that I should know who people were and what they were doing, and I didn't. I read about twenty pages, and found myself uninterested and unengage ...more
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more

Other books in the series

Ringworld (5 books)
  • Ringworld (Ringworld, #1)
  • The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld, #2)
  • The Ringworld Throne (Ringworld, #3)
  • Fate of Worlds (Ringworld, #5)

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