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The Legacy of Heorot [Kindle Edition]

Larry Niven , Jerry Pournelle , Steven Barnes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $6.35

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Book Description

Light years from Earth, colonists land on a planet they name Avalon. It seems like a paradise -- until strange and terrifying native creatures savagely attack the Colony. It will take every bit of intelligence, courage and military-style discipline to survive…

PRAISE FOR THE LEGACY OF HEOROT by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes:

“The Legacy of Heorot may be the best thing any of those authors has written…Page-turning action and suspense, good characterization and convincing setting…The Legacy of Heorot has it all.” – The Denver Post

“A very good book…Many people who don’t normally like science fiction will enjoy The Legacy of Heorot.” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Outstanding! The ultimate combination of imagination and realism… The best ever, by the best in the field.” - Tom Clancy, bestselling author of THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Barnes has joined the co-authors of Footfall to produce an entertaining if uncomplicated SF version of Beowulfwith a Grendel courtesy of the Alien movies. The colonists from Earth have spent a century in cold sleep to make the first journey, one way, to settle a planet in another solar system. Avalon seems perfect, a verdant, livable world still in its prehistoric age. The biologists and engineers who busy themselves planting and building scoff at the warnings of professional soldier Cadmann Weylanduntil a large, unnaturally fast and cunning predator begins stalking the colony. Learning how to kill the beast is only the first step, for they must then reevaluate their entire understanding of Avalon's ecology. The novel is best in its sympathetic treatment of the once formidable scientists who wake from cold sleep with impaired mental powers. Paperback rights to Pocket Books.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA As the name suggests, this is a science fiction version of the first part of Beowulf. It takes place on Earth's first stellar colony, where the colonists find an apparent paradise. Only Colonel Cadman Weyland, the defensive officer whose skills seem unnecessary, remains skeptical of the perfection. And when dogs and cattle begin to disappear, the colonists remain slow to tighten security against the unknown but very real recent development in the planet's evolutionary cycle. While the book's tough realism and complex characters make the story seem frighteningly real, it reads much like a Stephen King horror novel. The three authors have succeeded in writing a cohesive book which is of interest to students because of its reference to Beowulf, but great art this is not. Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2465 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q9TC8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SF adventure at its' best. March 20, 2006
By L. Ochs
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Why Hollywood has not made a movie from this book is a mystery to me. It has a creature that would eat the "Alien" for a snack and come back for the "Predator" as the main course. Adrenalin-pumping, fast-paced thriller set on an Earth-like planet being colonized by humans. Everything goes well, until they tangle with the 'Grendel', than all hell breaks loose. One of those stories that can be read and re-read, (I usually read it about once a year.) Very good SF which requires literally no suspension-of-disbelief. Has lots of lessons on ecology intertwined with the plot. I love it!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a Niven/Pournelle fan but this one isn't as good as, say, "The Mote in God's Eye." There is lots of action, but some of it is hard to follow, and the spaces between the action sequences are a bit heavy-handed with the suspense-creating devices (you can almost hear the cellos from Jaws going duuuuuh DUH!! duuuuuh DUH!!) as well as being thin on characterization.
You will find a fascinating alien world and people in peril, but you won't find a moving human story. There also seems to be too much sex in this book--but whether this is a plus or a minus I'll let you decide.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary action movie July 6, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was really entertaining but definitely not the best place to start for the works of Niven/Pournelle (I'm not sure what Barnes contributed) they seem to be slumming a little bit on the ideas here, the Grendels are the only really new idea and the secret to their life cycle isn't all that impressive and easily dealt with, unlike say the Moties. The beginning scenes with them are great as the authors pour on the suspense and horror but by the end they're just this faceless horde that keeps coming, scary not because they're frightening but because theirs so friggin' many of them. In my opinion it reduces the book to little more than an action movie romp, with the big men strapped on guns and blasting away. Though the strategy stuff is interesting but considering that the Grendels are nearly mindless except for animal cunning, it's not like they're going up against suprageniuses. That and the characters, while drawn enough so you can care about them a little, aren't all that deep, the motivations for coming onto the planet aren't delved into all that deeply. Most of them stick to one type of personality and stick to it without change, heck if I want to read cardboard characters, I'll go get an Ayn Rand novel (ooh, that's one is asking for it, maybe Amazon will delete it to avoid contraversy). But they are sympathetic at least even if everyone seems to think about sex, with or without making babies. Am I being harsh on this book . . . well considering how much better the team has done before, it's probably warranted but at the same time this isn't bad, it's just not as idea driven as the other novel, you sort of check your brains at the door, sit back, relax and have a little fun. It's not even that long. So go try the others first and come to this to see what Niven and Pournelle are like on auto-pilot and you'll see what I mean.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beowulf 1987 December 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
In this story some 200 odd especially selected and trained colonists arrive on Avalon to establish the first extra-solar human colony. The hundred year space voyage in suspended animation was fairly successful, although it had side effects as some of the colonists find their intelligence and reasoning skills are impaired. Some are only mildly afflicted whiles others suffer varying degrees of emotion instability or mental retardation. There are the regular clashes concerning who should do what, but basically the Avalon colony is off to a good strong start. The town is being completed, the Earth brought crops are growing, transplanted animals, fish and birds are thriving. It's almost Mayberry MD on another planet. The only problem is the security officer, Cadmann Wayland, seems to be outliving his usefulness.

Then of course, then things start to go wrong, missing animals, damaged property and sabotage. After a few false starts, the Avalon colonists begin to suspect that Wayland is creating an invisible threat to justify his position. And Wayland is starting to feel isolated from his own people. Not a good thing when you have already made a voyage of no return across the vastness of interstellar space. The story moves quickly into a question of whether Wayland is suffering from mental instability or is there truly an unidentified threat outside the Avalon colony. Then it transforms into a monster story and then again into an ecological parable. Without giving away plot elements, the story is a fantastic SciFi first colony rendition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Masterpiece, But A Whacking Great Read October 26, 2007
This is an extremely fun read - someone with no expectations other than to be amused and thrilled for several hours could do a lot worse than to read this book. The pacing is fast, the suspense knife-edge, and the xenobiology fascinating. I surprised myself with a second reading of the book, many years after my first reading which left me with an ambivalent reaction.

A reviewer has posted that they are not sure what Steven Barnes had to do with the writing - I would venture that the book's more disciplined structure and social interations probably are mostly his work. This can be deduced by a read of other Niven/Barnes collaborations, such as "The Descent of Anansi" or "The Locusts." In the latter, a group of interplanetary colonists face the tragic realization that mankind's entire intellectual evolution is solely a mechanism for seeding other worlds, as their babies are all born as throwbacks to Homo Erectus - a Niven story idea if there ever was one. Given to Barnes to complete, this novella has a clean, clear structure quite different from Niven's natural momentum/shaggy dog story-type of narrative. The relationships within the colony are also more utilitarian and down-to-earth than in some Niven's more recent works which display aggressively libertarian societal presumptions (as in "The Smoke Ring" or "The Ringworld Engineers").

Of course, the concept of heroism and military tactics point straight at Pournelle in the character of Cadman. It's very believable that in a seemingly harmless world, a career officer might find themselves sidelined, and struggle to win the colony's respect. That is pure Pournelle, master of that sort of self-defining warrior character.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
My favorite work of science fiction. Very entertaining and thought provoking. This should be on every high school reading list.
Published 8 hours ago by Justin Bollen
5.0 out of 5 stars The always superior plots and writing skills of Pournelle and Niven...
The always superior plots and writing skills of Pournelle and Niven produced another fine novel. I couldn't put it down.
Published 6 days ago by Richard Hubbard
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better the second time I read it.
I remembered reading this before Kindle existed, so when I saw it was a Kindle book, I wanted to read it again. I was amazed at how far my memory was off! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary E. Eckert
5.0 out of 5 stars If this is not a classic, it should be.
THE LEGACY OF HEOROT was published in 1987. Yet it holds up well. For example, communicators called "cards" resemble cellphones we use in 2014. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Solipso
4.0 out of 5 stars great sci fi read
The book goes quick and is a fun tale. A bit predictable, but that doesn't stop it from being fun.
Published 4 months ago by Mcalello10
3.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced hard sci-fi classic
A fast-paced hard sci-fi classic. I enjoyed the book, but enjoyed the first half a lot more than the second. Read more
Published 9 months ago by LouiseC
5.0 out of 5 stars This novel was done very well and is, in my estimation, a one of the...
Legacy of Heorot (1987) - book 1 Heorot - Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Steven Barnes - cover artist Richard Pracher

I happen to delight in carefully thought out... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Paul Brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars Excitement and Suspense
If you like Niven & Pournelle (which pretty much sums up to, "if you like sci-fi"), you'll like the addition of Barnes to the mix. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gus Gwynne
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is Hollywood?
This book is such a grand book. It deserves to see the big screen. The characters are deep, fleshed and like able or not depending on how you feel. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read for Sci-fi / Post-apocalypse fans
I enjoyed this book and found it fresh, interesting and fun. Author does a good job in writing from a relatively agnostic perspective of technology so even though the book was... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Master of None
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