Fleet of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
I had heard of the Ringworld series but had never read any of them. And there are a lot of them. Where to start? I decided to go with a prequel, and I have to admit I’m intrigued by the universe even though Ringworld wasn’t present at all.
In the future Colonists (humans) serve the Citizens through farming and the manufacture of items. They do this willingly out of thankfulness since their ancestors were taken in when their ship was adrift hundreds of years before. Current Colonists are sent away on a mission to investigate life forms on a newly discovered planet. Their job is to assess the threat level of these beings to the fleet of worlds which will pass by that way in a hundred years or so. The actions of the Citizens make the Colonists start to question their beginnings. Is the story of their rescue all that they have been led to believe?
What a cool book. The Citizens are fascinating. They are definitely otherworldly, smart and amazingly timid. They sort of reminded me of intelligent deer, that’s how skittish they seemed. The authors do a great job explaining their physique as well as their emotional state. It was also great to see humans get in touch with their inquisitiveness and sense of fairness among other traits. Even if you’re not a huge fan of aliens, you would probably enjoy the intrigue created here.