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Showing 1-10 of 29 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 137 reviews
on February 1, 2016
The third book of the Ring World series is pretty pointless to the series. Two Thirds of the book is about The Machine people and other hominids that align themselves to fight a vampire menace. This could have been a separate book by itself, albeit not a very good one. Finally after trudging forward you get back to the story of Louis Wu the Hindmost and Chmee's son Acolyte who have been indentured to serve a protector Bram who is shooting down ARM ships approaching the Ring World for reasons never revealed. Our characters get involved in a Protector power grab and then to the non climatic ending of this story with myself the reader wondering what was the point of reading this book. I am going to read Children of the Ring World and am hoping it is a much better read than this one. This is a update the last quarter of this book should have been the beginning of Ringworlds Children which at the time of writing I am down to the last third of the book and is so far been a great read. Additionally it has a minimum of Rishathra which is a nice change of pace.
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on April 19, 2017
I am writing this as as a counter balance to the negative reviews here.

There is no doubt Larry Niven's writing style is an acquired taste. It is often (every other page or so) difficult, if not impossible, to tell who is actually talking, what precisely they are talking about, and the significance of what they say. It feels almost like each page needs to be about 1/2 a page longer to make room for the missing exposition that would make it all make sense.

That's not going to happen. If you are willing to let go of needing a detailed, specific linear narrative, let go of needing to know who is talking, and even which character is which, and simply accept that Niven writes in what I call "bursts of brilliance" strung together, you will see what it's like to be Louis Wu-- because you'll be thinking like him. Things happen, people die, sex (rishathra) is handled as a commodity and a way for different "tribes" to negotiate & trade with each other... all linked with and by Niven's bright mind, skipping along a gigantic idea (Ringworld), like a skipping stone or a stepping disk; contained in an even larger, more thrilling and mysterious gigantic idea (the universe). Acquired taste, yes.. and for those who acquire it, rewards galore.
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on February 22, 2007
The third (and final, thank god) installation in the Ringworld series falls so far short of its predecessors that it leaves an unfortunate stain on the entire trilogy, which up to book 3 has been remarkable in the world of science fiction. Ringworld Throne left me so confused and angry that I'm not quite sure what to warn potential readers to expect, but here are a few that topped my list:

- The plot makes no sense at all. The entire thing is so disjointed, badly pieced together, and overall just poorly written it makes you wonder if Niven even put any effort into the book, or was just looking for some easy money. The first half is horrendous, focusing on a group of Ringworlders fighting some vampire infestation. Every character is completely flat and lifeless, and the vampire hunting episode does not fit at all into the overall plot of the book, despite the fact it fills half the pages. I skimmed through so many of the pages its ridiculous. Awful, awful, awful.

- There is absolutely no reason to give characters such absurd names. All it does to make up 13 syllable names is piss the reader off. Just stop it.

- Rishanthra is fricken stupid. Why so much focus on it? How does sex between species allow trade and communication between them? It just makes no sense, and it's really lost its novelty by this point. It comes up so often it makes Niven look like a sex-crazed teenage nerd who really doesn't know anything about sex at all.

- The "ending", if you can call it that, resolves nothing, and frankly doesn't make any sense. I know this goes back to my problem with the overall plot, but really: the ending is terrible. What happens to Louis? The ARM ships? Hindmost? Does anyone really care at this point?

- Action scenes are so terrible it makes the plot look sensible. Anytime something major happens (e.g. battle scene) I find myself rereading the paragraph 3 times and still having no idea what the hell is going on. Niven's writing is so hacky in some areas it makes me furious.

Well, I think you get the idea. I highly reccommend against this book, it was such a waste of time. Even if you loved Ringworld Engineers, I can almost guarentee you will hate this one.
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on January 5, 2017
I really love the Ringworld Universe and I wanted to like this book, but had a tough time not putting this one down. I finished it, just in case the later books refer back to this one. The characters you grow to love in the first two books are present, but hardly feel like the main protagonists. Instead you get ancillary characters that spend their time 'rishing' around exciting situations that you wish the main characters were more involved with. I did not hate the book, and I really liked how the story centered around the evolution of the Ringworld, but I was disappointed with the cast of characters you seem to follow most frequently.
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on June 5, 2007
I really enjoyed the first Ringworld book, and although the second (Ringworld Engineers) was a bit so-so, I was still willing to give this one a shot. Unfortunately, it was terrible. The plot is very disjointed and thrown together. There are at minimum two unconnected stories. The first concerns a group of vampire hunters. Louis Wu is largely absent for that part of the story. Most of the first half is spent with the reader wondering why any of this is important. The second half of the novel concerns Louis Wu and some protectors. I won't spoil the plot for you, but suffice it to say there is almost nothing new in either of these plots. You simply don't care what happens to the characters. Good grief, I don't want to ever read about another protector again.
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on April 24, 2013
I've always been a big fan of Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers and over the years have read them several times. When I found out there were two sequels I immediately bought this book and the following sequel even though there were many negative reviews. Unfortunately I must agree with the negative reviews.

For this book, in the first half so many new characters and species are introduced that I found it VERY confusing. And the overall task they were working towards didn't seem to serve any purpose. Near the end of the second half it becomes a little clearer but still quite confusing. Also there was very little about Louis Wu in this half.

The second half was a little better and was much more involved with Louis Wu but still was pale in comparison to the original two novels.

I'm glad I read this as its part of the Ringworld universe, but it was not as enjoyable a read as the original books.
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on May 5, 2017
It's Niven at his grouchy best. I can almost taste the Irish Coffee.
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on June 13, 2016
this story line has devolved into the 'sex on the road' show. nothing interesting added from the second installment.
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on May 4, 2017
A gripping sequel. Could not put it down.
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on February 26, 2012
The first half of this book had me scratching my head, trying to figure our what the heck was going on. I don't know if this was a product of the time it was written, and all of the horribly bad experimental movies of the early 90's, or if Niven just didn't have a good premise to start with. Still, I'm glad I read it.

So should YOU read the book? I would say that if you loved the first two books, love the world, and want to read Ringworld's Children (the fourth book) then yes. The first half of this book is a tough, and fairly uninteresting read. The second half begins to look more like a normal Niven book and does redeem itself a bit.

As mentioned, Ringworld's Children is reason enough why you should slog through this book. Ringworld's Children is an excellent book, and having read Ringworld Throne is important in that regard.
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