I read this book about 1-Apr-2005. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1985. This note was last modified Friday, 08-Apr-2005 20:55:54 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
By Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I understand that this and Lucifer's Hammer started out being the same book, and the detailed aftermath of the asteroid impact became that one, and the story of the aliens became this one.
These aliens are pretty well done. They're a herd species, and I don't think they came from predator stock. And, in fact, they were uplifted, or at leasted given a kick on their way, by their extinct progenitors. They have some interesting quirks and limitations.
On the other hand, this book is sloppy, and sloppy about unexpected things. I mean, would you expect Niven and Pournelle to kill of Robert and Virginia Heinlein off-stage and almost without mention, after introducing them as important characters performing a major function?
I do rather admire explaining the braided rings of Saturn as being caused by the exhaust of the alien spaceship, though. And I'm always pleased to see an Orion vehicle (propelled by throwing nuclear bombs out the back) fly.