16 March, 2021

(Audiobook) Review - Ringworld (Known Space #1) by Larry Niven

This is one of those mandatory reads for sci-fi aficionados (like myself of course) and I have to say it did not quite live up to the hype.

Funny story, I actually read one of the newer books a number of years ago, Betrayer of Worlds or something like that, since I had received BoW as a review book for my blog. Not knowing much (clearly), I jumped in and really ended up enjoying it. 

The funny part is, I didn't love Ringworld all that much. It had some very interesting concepts, but I tend to read for characters or at least some plot with great concepts, but this didn't really have much more than the concepts. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style, but mostly the cardboard cutout characters kept reminding me of characters like Belgarath the Sorcerer from the Eddings books. 

They had one character and that was it. The Kzin is angry, the girl is flighty but lucky, Louis Wu had some character I guess, but it was hardly a focus.

I think what really disappointed me was the "twist" at the end which I'll address with spoiler tags:

spoiler: Then there's equating "luck" with "fate" that just didn't seem to work for me. Maybe I've watched too much Deadpool, but this felt like such a stretch as to make it deus ex machina. End spoiler

Narration: Grover Gardner was one of those old-school narrators. The reading was pretty stiff and didn't do the story I was already bailing on much justice. On the good side, I believed his female voices so that worked.

2.5 out of 5 stars (recommended with reservations)