Betrayer of Worlds (Fleet of Worlds series Book 4)

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The first four novels are prequels to Ringworld ; the last one is a sequel. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fleet of Worlds First edition. Return from the Ringworld , New York: The Ringworld series by Larry Niven. Revenge of the Patriarch Return to Ringworld. Retrieved from " https: Known Space is a great universe, but it doesn't seem like Niven wants to explore new characters and places so much, and instead keeps recycling back what he has already used.

Oct 03, Erika rated it liked it. I am reviewing a copy provided by the publisher. Nathan Graynor has been to war and survived only to become an addict. Nessus is an alien that requires the assistance of a very specific person, but decides his son might do just as well.

When Nessus rescues Nathan from a miserable fate, he also cures the physical ailments caused by withdrawal on a machine invented by his father and informs the ex-soldier that his real name is Louis Wu. T Originally posted at: The Ringworld, a collection of planetary bodies traveling through space to avoid a natural disaster years before it happens, is under threat of a war that might or might not happen.

It has the potential to be a great starting point for novice Niven readers like myself, who might be overwhelmed with the daunting number of Ringworld titles already published. Despite the description as a prequel, Betrayer of Worlds has the feel of an established series. The prose has a relaxed and easy delivery of tricky, in-universe things—such as Puppeteers, Resistance, aristos, etc—without compromising the fluid manipulation and introduction of the same terms for new readers.

This relieved the already convoluted and complicated plot largely involving Puppeteer politics, which relies heavily on ponderous scientific outcomes. Louis and Nessus frequently agonize cerebrally over the minutiae of time, distance, and speed between different types of starships and whether perceived aggressive behavior is only a combination of paranoia and bad timing. There are frequent moments in the narrative where Louis retreats into his genius to solve problems that sometimes resolve themselves.

Add to that a vengeful, constantly thwarted villain making one desperate move after the next and the plot becomes a series of anticlimactic moments in which the heroes finally manage to prevent nothing. The implication is one that favors fans of the series rather than newcomers who are not very invested in their outcomes yet.

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Fans might take this as just another adventure, but I found it difficult to appreciate beyond the basic premise—how does Louis prevent a war? Lerner, a physicist who no doubt had his hand in the numerous abstract problem solving found in abundance in Betrayer of Worlds. In fact, I think I liked the aliens more than I did the humans. As much as there is to enjoy about this novel inter-species tension, threat of war, scientific-based drama, aliens that almost defy description , there were some stylistic choices I found distracting. You are too important , his solicitousness declared.

We cannot allow you to injure yourself. You know Achilles better than anyone on this planet. As did the frequent division of chapters into parts that proved more disruptive to my reading experience than helpful. Within the scope of what the novel was doing well and where I felt disconnected, this was less detrimental and more of a quiet bother. Overall, Betrayer of Worlds works as part of an existing whole. I may become more invested if I decide to start from the beginning. Mar 31, David rated it liked it.

Betrayer of Worlds is a great example of science fiction popcorn: Continuing that analogy, while it's a good snack between meals, it wouldn't stand on its own so well, and here too, where this shines is as a character study of the pre-Ringworld Louis Wu, and a further exploration of the character of Nessus. Niven is of course the master of ultra-mega-big idea SF, and the Fleet of Worlds series as a whole does do an excellent job explaining what w Betrayer of Worlds is a great example of science fiction popcorn: Niven is of course the master of ultra-mega-big idea SF, and the Fleet of Worlds series as a whole does do an excellent job explaining what was going on with the Pak fleet and with the Puppeteer homeworlds.

Where this volume is less successful, to me, is in conveying the motivations of the G'woth - they are questioned and an explanation is given, but I'm not sure I buy the answer. Additionally, the relationship between Louis and Alice feels thin.

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The series is good, and this is a good installment. This is the story of Louis Wu and how he came to be mixed up in the Fleet of Worlds' business. If you've read the Ringworld series, you'll already know of him; I hadn't, so he was completely new to me and that was fine. Nessus brought him in to find Louis' stepfather, who we've met before in this series - but it turned out to be not-that-easy, of course.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, go and read the three books in this series that come before it - I think it's pointless reading this b This is the story of Louis Wu and how he came to be mixed up in the Fleet of Worlds' business. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go and read the three books in this series that come before it - I think it's pointless reading this book on its own, and it will make much more sense if you've got that history behind you.

Like the others, it's not a long read at just under pages. Might have to go and dig out the four Ringworld books published in the s now, and see what all the fuss is about - it sounds interesting. Niven has never disappointed me. Apr 25, Brendan Coster rated it liked it. About the same as the rest of the Tetrology - I'm not really sure any of them were great - but then I admit I'm kind of just ripping through them all by Audio book so I can sit down and enjoy Ringworld 5 and put the entire damn series to bed.

The book is fine, it was full of ideas, as always. I'm not sure why there was a need to bring in Louis Wu, it felt unnecessary that he needed to be tied in with everything else that has happened, he was a fine character from Ringworld and built up over 4 books. So there's this whole adventure and, conveniently, because Louis obviously knows none of this in Ringworld, he has to have his mind wiped at the end.

The book loses me because now it's trying way to hard, as opposed to the last three, to tie up the last loose ends of Known space. As always, it's okay to leave threads un-bound. Even when you're really good at sewing it up tight looking at you Sanderson And when you're not good at it, it's kind of pathetic. Jul 09, Rob Micensky rated it it was amazing Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. This fourth installment of the Ringworld prequels was so immensely satisfying and enjoyable. Having read all the original Ringworld books already, it was great to see Louis Wu emerge as the new main character. The events of this book create a totally seamless transition to the events of Ringworld 1. Before reading the fifth and final book of this series, Fate Of World This fourth installment of the Ringworld prequels was so immensely satisfying and enjoyable.

Before reading the fifth and final book of this series, Fate Of Worlds, you simply must read Ringworld 1 through 4 although 3 sucks. Feb 12, Alexandra rated it liked it Shelves: This review initially appeared at Dreams and Speculations. Thanks to TJ for having me as a guest reviewer! Louis Wu is dragooned by the alien Nessus into trying to help his species, the Puppeteers, from the possible menace of another species, the Gw'oth.

Betrayer of Worlds by Larry Niven (Fleet of Worlds #4)

Meanwhile all sorts of machinations are going on within the various species, with potentially disastrous results for all of them. What I got was something that tried to be that b This review initially appeared at Dreams and Speculations. What I got was something that tried to be that but instead left me cold, with no connection to characters and caring little for the outcome.

The publishers claim that this book can stand alone. It proclaims itself a "Prelude to Ringworld," but there is no mention on the jacket that there are three other books that fall in the same category, all of them covering events chronologically preceding this one. While it is true that enough back story is given that events and references mostly make sense, that back story cannot help but feel frankly tedious. And sometimes there just wasn't enough explanation for various characters' motivations or desires to make sense.

I think the publishers would have been better marketing this as the fourth in a series, allowing relationships and character nuances to therefore develops organically - and readers like myself, coming in late, be damned. This review is necessarily biased by the fact that I have read no other Ringworld book. I have no doubt that those who have read the other prequels, or even those who have read the original series, would be more forgiving of its flaws and more understanding of subtleties that no doubt passed me by.

Nonetheless, a discussion of the plot and some of the characters: It's a fairly complex plot, with multiple changes in viewpoint and numerous crosses and double-crosses. There are humans, Puppeteers they prefer Citizens and the Gw'oth; there are stationary planets as well as the Fleet of Worlds belonging to the Puppeteers; there are spies, and mercenaries, and politicians.

Some good things happen, but not many. With few exceptions, though, there was little development of motivation for the Evil Deeds. Additionally, the plot sometimes bypassed 'fast-paced' straight to 'chaotic and jumpy'. It was the characters that seriously let me down. Louis Wu, aka Nathan Graynor, is a seriously boring lead human. He's meant to be the one that the reader can genuinely identify with He largely lacks motivation and personality; he's haunted by family memories that are poorly explained; and he mopes a lot.

He also gets off a drug addiction so annoyingly fast that it simply screamed Plot Device. The Puppeteers - so named by humans, apparently, because their double heads look like sock puppets! I don't recall ever reading about a species whose distinguishing characteristic is ingrained cowardice: It is totally unclear to me how they developed any technology at all with those two characteristics; perhaps it's covered in another book, but it made them quite implausible to me.

I did like that they took classical human names when interacting with our species - it was a nice touch - but there was so little presented of their society that really, I did not care. The main redeeming feature of this book are the Gw'oth, as a society. Wily undersea critters that I imagine look a bit like anemones - they certainly have wavy tentacle bits - they are divided in this story between two planets, one a traditional monarch-ruled society, the other essentially a science-based, Enlightenment-type place. In the latter, the Gw'otesht - essentially a gestalt of made of numerous individuals - are finally accepted as legitimate members of society.

This species is genuinely intriguing, and their motivations and desires made the most sense of all.


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Two other things bugged me about Betrayer of Worlds. First, the madey-uppy slang. It felt forced and silly. Second, the women, and lack thereof. The first female who gets any real amount of page-space falls into bed with Louis. There's a female merc, and some female Gw'oth who have a genuine, if cameo, role. And the place of women or reproduction in Puppeteer society is totally opaque; there's a mention of Companions, who might become Brides if necessary, but that's it. I finished it, but I will admit that I skimmed for the last hundred or so pages; I wanted to know how it resolved - and there were some surprises, which pleased me - but overall, the writing did not warrant a thorough read and the required use of my time.

However, that should not make as much of a difference as it did to feeling a connection - or emotion at all - towards the characters. It should, in a good book, make me itch to go read the rest of the series. Sadly, the writing and characterisation let what could have been quite a good story down. I may one day track down the original Ringworld, and if it's amazing I might try the others, but they by no means go to the top of my teetering, slightly perilous to be read pile. Aug 28, Heath Lesjak rated it really liked it. Very enjoyable, though not quite as good as the one before it.

I could tell that they had to bend over backward a bit to get the stories to line up with the first of the Ringworld set. I enjoyed the further adventures in Known Space!

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Apr 14, Henry rated it liked it. A worthy continuation of the Fleet of Worlds series. Well-paced action and further elaborations on alien societies. Giving it 3 stars instead of 4 simply because there were several instances of "Why did they do that?


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That character wouldn't have done that. Now that I have finished this series, may need to go back and read the Ringworld series. Sep 29, KevinS rated it it was ok. Worst of the tetralogy. You have to read it to get the last book but it has little to recommend it except for setting up the grand finale. Jan 09, Sibylle rated it really liked it. Nice, but not as good as the earlier volumes. Very good and interesting continuation of the series. New developed characters which allow for more books in the future. Oct 23, Stephen Smith rated it liked it.

Moves the story forward. Still tying things together. I did enjoy it but the series is getting tedious for me. Not so much a criticism on the book rather how long series impact me. I love the stories but slogging through a series gets old. Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles.

Fleet of Worlds (novel)

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