Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven
I’ve always enjoyed Larry Niven’s work; even his books from the sixties and seventies read like they could have been written today. However, while I’ve read Ringworld, I’ve never gotten around to reading the sequels. Luckily for me, Ringworld’s Children, the latest book in the series, is perfectly readable without having read the rest, although there are allusions to what has gone before. That said, having a basic familiarity with Niven’s universe will definitely increase your enjoyment of this novel.
At the start of the book, the human Louis Wu and puppeteer Hindmost are trapped on Ringworld by the Ghoul protector Tunesmith. Ships from the various factions which seek control of the Ringworld (ARM, Kzinti, puppeteers, Trinocs, and others) fight a cold war in the immediate area, and due to using antimatter weapons, they may actually pose a threat to Ringworld.
Tunesmith, having learned all he can from the technology available on Ringworld, has determined to capture the Long Shot, the only known ship with a Quantum II hyperdrive. This results in moving the Fringe War closer to Ringworld, where an antimatter explosion blasts a hole large enough to quickly drain all the air from Ringworld if Tunesmith cannot close it in time.
If you liked Larry Niven’s other Known Space books like Ringworld and Neutron Star, you will like this book. Quite possibly the end of the Ringworld series, it wraps up the storyline by making the Ringworld inaccessible to the species of known space…for now. If you like Niven’s writing, you want this book.