This return to the ringworld was both boring and unsatisfying. The Characters are _STILL_ inanimate, the dialogue _STILL_ horrible and plot developments _STILL_ mysterious.
While reading Ringworld Engineers I felt left out of the story, quite an odd experience while reading a book. Louis Wu and his 'pals' would constanly leap to conclusions (which were invariably correct) based on literally, almost nothing. I almost feel that Niven knew the story but didnt want to tell it, he'd rather us read 200 pages of bad interaction then suddenly spring a left-field 'conclusion' on us.
The 'aliens' were nothing more then oddly shaped/colored humans, bad ones at that, and the 'technical' details on ringworld he added seemed out-of-place, almost as if someone gave him a scientific fact-sheet and he incorperated those facts just to validate himself..
I still wonder what I'm missing, why are these niven books such classics? There are other storys (written in the same era) that blow ringworld away technically and through sheer originality. maybe I've been spoiled by such stories.
Anyway I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Read John Varley's Titan Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, Demon) for what ringworld COULD'VE been.
email comments appreciated.