In Ringwolrd’s Children, Larry Niven continues his popular Ringworld Saga. As the book opens, Louis Wu awakens from a lengthy stay in a healing chamber to find himself the reluctant tool of the protector Tunesmith. The protector is closely monitoring the Fringe War, which is getting worse as other races recognize Ringworld’s technological treasures. The use of antimatter weapons has already punched a hole in the floor of the flat Ringworld, threatening to destroy it. Tunesmith sends Louis, along with his alien companions, to help repair the hole before everything is killed.
There is plenty of hard scifi action here. The novel has a very strong, although sometimes sparse, plot. Niven is not one to waste words, often giving just enough to keep the story going and further his scientific speculations. For the most part, the characters are one-dimensional, with very little motivations for their actions. This is definitely a plot driven novel.
I must admit this is the first Ringworld book I have read, so the character listing and glossary came in handy. Although there is an introduction that explains the physical attributes of Ringworld, there is nothing explaining previous plotlines, which is needed to understand the first few chapters. Further into the novel it is easier to piece things together as Niven gave a little more background to the characters.
If you have never read the other Ringworld books, I would not recommend reading this one first, unless you like to spend the first few chapters a bit confused. If you already know Ringworld, this is an enjoyable read.