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Beowulf's Children (Heorot series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Larry Niven , Jerry Pournelle , Steven Barnes
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.99
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Book Description

**Book file has been updated to correct formatting issues. 12/7/2011**

Colonists on the far-off planet Avalon fought a terrible, bloody war against a native species they named Grendels (THE LEGACY OF HEOROT) and, almost 20 years later, are afraid to leave the "safe" island of Camelot to journey to the mainland. Their children, however, are restless. Under the influence of a charismatic but ruthless leader, they employ sabotage to establish a colony on the mainland. But the native ecology there has terrors in store unimagined even by the young people's more cautious parents. A science fiction thriller that Library Journal called "Panoramic sf adventure at its best".

"Few writers have a finer pedigree than those here ... As one might suspect BEOWULF'S CHILDREN is seamless ... absorbing, substantial ... masterful novel."
- Los Angeles Times

"Panoramic SF adventure at its best."
- Library Journal

On THE LEGACY OF HEOROT: "Page-turning action and suspense, good characterization and convincing setting … may be the best thing any of those authors has written.”
- The Denver Post

On THE LEGACY OF HEOROT: “Outstanding!…The best ever, by the best in the field … the ultimate combination of imagination and realism.”

On THE LEGACY OF HEOROT: “THE LEGACY OF HEOROT is well written, action-packed and tension filled … makes ALIENS look like a Disney nature film."
- The Washington Post

On THE LEGACY OF HEOROT: “Spine-tingling ecological tale of terror… A story as relentless as the Great White Shark of JAWS.”
- Locus Magazine

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to the authors' bestselling The Legacy of Heorot (1987), in which "Earth Born" colonists vanquished an alien life-form known as the Grendels (hence the title here), starts slowly. The colonists' children (the "Star Born") spend too much of the first half of the novel discussing the "brain damage" the older generation has suffered as a result of the long trip to the planet. Meanwhile, the whiff of social Darwinism that blows through the book is enhanced when Aaron Tragon, the only "Star Born" who both gestated in an artificial womb and never bonded with any of the families on the planet, leads a movement to colonize Avalon's mainland. Aaron becomes increasingly vicious?a matter blamed primarily on his lack of a familial bond?after his calculated cruelties lead to his being given exactly the authorization he desires. Ultimately, the colonists end up less with success in the present than with hope for the future, with much of that hope deriving from the novel's improbable denouement. The authors create several unusual indigenous life-forms that make the mainland a fascinating place, and in-jokes designed to please SF fans are scattered throughout the narrative. Even Niven/Pournelle/Barnes loyalists, however, will find the one-dimensional characterizations here (especially of the women), as well as the increasingly absurd actions of the humans, disappointing. The bloom that lured many readers to the original is long off the paper rose of this book.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

For two decades, the colonists of the planet Avalon hid from the carnivorous monsters of the main continent by securing themselves within their island fortress of Camelot. Now their children, the Star Born, have one goal: to conquer the mainland for themselves and for their colony's future in the stars. This fast-paced, complex sequel to The Legacy of Heorot (S. & S., 1987) blends the talents of three top-notch sf raconteurs. Strongly defined characters and intriguing, speculative science make this novel an example of panoramic sf adventure at its best. A good choice as a stand-alone story or in combination with its predecessor. For most sf collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3113 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005AZ533O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting sequel September 9, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The trio of authors involved in this have to be commended for not basically rewriting the first book with different characters, which I think is what a lot of people expected/hoped for considering the hostile reviews this (and "The Gripping Hand" another sequel in the same vein) have garnered. Of course they can't capture the magic of the first book because that was all about the shock of the new . . . but they gamely try here and almost succeed. If you haven't figured it out yet, reading this book is absolutely useless without first having at least a passing knowledge of the Legacy of Heorot, this expands the story twenty years beyond the end of that book (one of the problems is that there was no pressing need for a sequel, the first book wrapped itself up fairly well and neatly) and follows new and old characters as a new generation grows up on the planet of Avalon and gets ready to grab the torch and settle the planet. The Grendel Wars of twenty years ago are long forgotten and the generation gap is in full force here with the "Earthborn" and "Starborn" undergoing quite a bit of friction with each other. This book is highly entertaining and you'll find yourself devouring large chunks of it in a sitting, it's not a weighty philosophical book, mostly adventure with a bunch of science thrown in to dazzle the readers. Part of the problem is it tries to be everything at once and winds up being gigantic without really satisfying any of those parts. It's a scientific exploration of Avalon, delving into the flora and fauna with typical Niven zeal, and I have to admit his ideas are dazzling, the place feels both alien and familiar at the same time. Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different than the first, but still very good! November 30, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up The Legacy of Heorot the predecessor to this book a few months ago and read it thinking that it was a standalone piece. While browsing for books I found this sequel and grabbed it up having enjoyed the first book. Obviously, if you haven't read the first book go check out the reviews for it before reading any further.
The second book picks up about twenty years give or take after the events of the first. The next generation has grown into their own and are faced with the fact that their parents are much too cautious in exploring their adopted homeworld. Their parents, the characters from the first book, have built up their own system for making decisions. This takes into consideration their experiences with Grendals in the first book and the fact that most to varying degree were affected by their trip to the planet in hibernation. In the words of their children they have ice on their minds.
The new generation of children includes some that were embryos brought from earth born from artificial wombs. These children were raised among the colonists without a strict mother and father. The standout among these now grown bottle babies is Aaron Tragon. His leadership of the new generation is what sends them out to explore the unknown main continent.
Cadmann Weyland and the original group of colonists struggle to deal with the differing attitudes of this new generation which leads to conflict. The hostile nature of the planet itself comes into play as well giving this book a tense edge as after having seen the events of the first book the reader is left wondering what other dangers lurk on the main continent. When those dangers come to the fore they make for exciting and fascinating moments.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The sequel to Legacy of Heorot(LOH), takes you back to Avalon 25 years after the Grendel Wars. The community is split between the orginal settlers and the "Star Born". This rift is evident during the novel, and only gets larger. The colonists finally take a step to settle the mainland, in which they meet a deadly new "Avalon Surprise". Unfortunately, this book lacks the raw intensity and power of LOH. The book plays more on social structures and issues. On the positive side, the book does create an intersting new threat found on Avalon, and makes you wonder if there will be a sequel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing sequel to a great book February 5, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We all knew that "Legacy" is an extremely difficult act to follow. Unfortunately, the pressure that the authors were under shows on Beowulf. It is strained and patchy. May be the society that evolved on Avalon is too futuristic to make sense to us but trying to sound outlandish just by strange sexual rituals feels a bit naive.
Not that there are some good efforts at trying to come up with good ideas. I liked the parts from grendel's viewpoint best. And there is even an attempt at the explanation of how intelligence might have come about (at least for grendels): disease.
Unfortunately, the suspense is lacking. The mysterious killers that are repelled by (I won't say what it is for people who may read the book) .... are no surprise, really. Although the ecology of Avalon is explained in detail I still had to push myself hard to imagine the planet. I didn't have that problem with Legacy. The telling was so graphic, I felt immersed in the first novel of the series.
The characters are vaguely defined. I usually develop strong feelings such as "like and hate" for the main characters in any book I read. With Beowulf, this was very difficult. I couldn't even visualize them. They are too thinly spread, in my opinion.
Still, for any lover of the Legacy, this is a must read. Just don't raise your expectation too high or you will be as dissapointed as me. IF there is another book to come (and I must say I hope there isn't because I don't see how they will be able to recover after losing so many critical characters and not being able to create any new ones with real substance) I hope they do a better job of it.
One final remark: the edition that I read was horrible. There were several mistakes. It was sloppy work and this added to the disappointment I felt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars is the product of three awesome science fiction writers who provide an...
This novel, the sequel to The Legacy of Heorot, is the product of three awesome science fiction writers who provide an exciting story with engrossing characters, half of whom were... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael E Stauffer
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel to Legacy of Heorot
It's been a long time since I read Legacy of Heorot, and having matured it was interesting to see how the original colonists and the society had been changed since the end of that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Troy Campbell
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Story but lacks Niven normal catchy style
lacking the atypical Niven style. The story is very slow moving and seems to be drawn out. Definitely not up to Niven standards in my opinion
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequels are seldom better
This is a most capable of sequels and answers two of the biggest questions while posing others as intriguing. Who eats generals? Something more terrible of course. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars These guys create amazing worlds
Lots of interesting characters. A rich alien world full of fascinating creatures. The last 40-50 pages are so exciting I couldn't put it down.
Published 5 months ago by spendangler
5.0 out of 5 stars pretty good book.
Pretty good you cap probably guess I really don't like to be pressed into writing a review. Thus eighteen words. Bye.
Published 5 months ago by Jacki Goldenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but goodie.
What a great science fiction story should be. Great sequel to The Legend of Heorot. Keeps surprising you at every turn.
Why hasn't it been made into a movie?
Published 7 months ago by A. Semeco
3.0 out of 5 stars Children run wild
then cultural differences were too wide for the child adult setting. Examples of children violating the colonies rules and are not held accountable this include allowing unknown... Read more
Published 7 months ago by David
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent sequel
Not as good as the first part. Slower pace, not entirely convincing characters and a bit too much emphasis on boy-likes-girl dynamics. Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Roman Bermejo
5.0 out of 5 stars Beouwulf's Children review
Just no equal of these three when it comes to telling a powerful, compellingly entertaining tale that holds together no matter the imaginative circumstances and unheard-of... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Thomas Baumgardner
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