|Cover by Dean Ellis|
I read just about all of Larry Niven's novels published in the 1970s, including the ones written with Jerry Pournelle. I enjoyed them all immensely and this was one of my favorites. Protector (1973) is part of his Known Space series of short stories and novels. It's an imaginative tale, complete with fascinating aliens and much hard science which were Niven's trademarks. His ideas are quite large, in a literal big picture kind of way, making time and the incomprehensible size of universe central to many of his plots. This one is no exception, dealing largely with travel through the vastness of space. Prose style and characterization were not Niven's strong suit, but there are many mind-bending ideas, and it's written well enough so it's an enjoyable read, or in my case reread.