Well, my copy of Harry Potter 5 didn’t come on Saturday (even
though I’d paid for Saturday delivery), so I read this instead.

General Information

Title: Protector

Author: Larry Niven

Original Publication Date: 1973

ISBN: 0-345-35312-9

Cover Price: $5.99US, $6.99 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

The typical signs of old age are actually the body’s attempt to
reach
the next stage of evolution. All we’d need would be the right
catalyst.

High Point

The ending. There’s just so much potential there!

Low Point

The introduction of Alice. Her relationship with Roy gets intimate
very rapidly, with no clear reason for it. She seems to be there
mainly to give the character someone to talk to on his journey,
who
can then be cut loose later, giving the hero more motivation.
She’s
more of a device than a character.

The Scores

There have been stories suggesting that mankind was birthed on
another
planet before, but how many of them set us up as an enemy of
the race
that colonized here? Include the fundamental changes in human
physiology here and it’s enough to bring the
originality
score up to 5 out of 6.


The imagery is good when it comes to describing
devices and
other settings, but it’s pretty much up to the reader to decide how
the characters look, apart from height and muscle mass. I give it
4
out of 6.

The story is well written, and crafted to keep up the
tension
of a space battle, even though its adherence to science means
that the
space battles can be several months long. It takes some time to
get
started, but once Brennan is reintroduced, it takes off and doesn’t
slow down. I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization is a bit weak. Alice is a plot
device,
Brennan and Phssthpok are logic boxes, and Roy can get a bit
bland.
The rest of the story keeps things moving, but these are still flaws.
I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced is much like
the story;
things take time to get moving, but there’s a steady build at a
hectic
pace for the last two thirds of the novel. I give it 4 out of 6.



The editing could tighten things up in the early pages,
but
it’s not really a major problem. The time is well spent building up
the two relative societies, so the reader understands how
bastardized
the species has become. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very entertaining tale, despite some
technical flaws. I find rereading it more enjoyable than rereading
Niven’s Ringworld. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Protector receives 30 out of 42.