Publishing Date: May 2014
Publisher Description: On Wunderland, a generation after Liberation, memories of the bloody kzin conquest and Occupation have faded, and men and kzin live largely in peace. But the fabulous treasure of the kzin pirates, hidden on a distant world, remains a magnet for freebooters. Young Peter Cartwright and his kzinrett friend Marthar receive information and map from a most unlikely source and soon themselves fighting the most ruthless pirates in Known Space for an unimaginable prize.
Review: The cover art looks like a gay tiger parade.
Let it be known that this is NOT written by Larry Niven as evidenced by the overuse of the verb, “growled” at every turn. I think I will make a new rule. If growled is used more than 2x before 10% of the novel is completed it will get a DNF and zero rating. I am sick to fuggin’ death of authors using these dam word crutches to expedite scene closure. Its fuggin’ lazy and irritates the shjt out of me.
Larry Niven is a wonderful author but that is where the similarities end with this installment. Larry hand feeds these dopes the story-line with creative license and they bungle it with poor character development and the whole “growled” thing. Backstories at various descriptive levels is lazy, and just so happens to be a part of the conversation. Like they have to tell each other what they both already know. Riiiiiiight.
So a Kzin tiger space pirate who talks like a frickin’ human earth pirate and drinks rum, strolls into a human village and suddenly everyone is off to a distant galaxy to find Space Pirate Tiger Treasure. Really? It is that fast. One day they are fighting ‘ye olde pirates of Katmandu, ARRRRGGGHHH!!!!, er….meow??’ and the next they are on a spaceship to “fin yeh olde space treasure, aye”.
Besides the ridiculousness of giant warring space tigers that behave like drunk piratical Klingons speaking like Captain Barobossa, we have Peter the human who is dumber than a bag of hammers and bounces around with no real assertive intelligence. And how is this guy supposed to carry the novels load? With a frickin’ amulet a dying space tiger/pirate gave him. His best friend, Marthar, a Kzin princess?? has this super secret royal family lineage that enables them to go anywhere in the galaxy without little monetary effort. But she chooses to live in a backwater town, on a backwater planet in a backwater galaxy. Fug. The bad space pirate, Silver, speaks in this olde pirate English, then all of a sudden it is switched off during a lengthy narrative. Huh? When space tigers say things like “Skel showed a bit o’sense,..an’ e gone…we lives rough an’ ye’ die..K’zarr’s hisself was feared o’ me, an’ be sure o’ it.” Double fug.
The authors kill off 3 of the most interesting characters in the novel at about the 15% mark, then we get dull space travel and tiger pirates masquerading as the crew of the Black Pearl. I would say Larry Niven would be turning over in his grave but he isn’t dead yet.