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Beowulf's Children (Heorot, #2)
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Beowulf's Children (Heorot #2)

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,990 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
From the authors of the bestselling Footfall comes the long-awaited sequel to The Legacy of Heorot. Breathtakingly original, towering in scope, unmistakably authentic in its creation of a complex alien world, Beowulf's Children will stand as a SF epic, ranking with such Pournelle/Niven classics as Lucifer's Hammer and The Mote in God's Eye.
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published December 1st 1995 by Tor Books (first published 1995)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
The Legacy of Heorot is one of a few novels I have read multiple times. It was also my introduction, not only to hard science fiction, but to horror. The Grendels were terrifying.

The Dragons of Heorot (also published as Beowulf's Children) is a very different kettle of fish. It gets off to a slow start. Then it hits a slow middle. Finally there is a bit of an upsurge, but then it dies a slow death. It’s not just that it’s a bad book, but it’s got too big boots to fill. The new generation of char
...more
Claudia
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Same as previous part: Hollywood movie style. But it's a light reading, full of action (although a bit improbable on occasion and has some unimportant details stretched too much).

What I liked most was the interaction between grendels and humans, idea which could have been developed more.

Anyway, it is an enjoyable story, perfect for vacation or a relaxing weekend.
Zachary
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I grabbed this book because I remembered it being mentioned as a highlight of Larry Niven's bibliography in another of his books. That, and the cover was kinda exciting with the gold print and all. That said, I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book too much because one of the aspects of sci-fi that I enjoy so much is the gadgets, gizmos and high tech in general. This was a book about a group of colonists sent out to a planet from Earth who have lost contact with Earth and are struggling to make th ...more
Nathan Russell
Reading Beowulf's Children I found my self equal parts absorbed and frustrated. I enjoyed the setting, no, I loved the setting - a beautifully constructed world that the inhabitants were struggling to understand and live in, with lifeforms that struck the right chord between alien and believable. Where I struggled was with the protagonist's. More specifically the protagonists'ages. Here we have a community where 16 and 17 year-old's have a genuine say in the politics and governance of the commun ...more
Dave
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
An excellent follow up to The Legacy of Heorot. I really wouldn't mind if they did another book set on Avalon, maybe one set a few generations in the future, once the colonists have really started to come to terms with Avalon's unique biodiversity.

I also like the snippets, early on, from a speech (made by one of the characters) on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein having a crypto-feminist agenda. I wonder if that speech exists in full somewhere.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable return to one of Niven
...more
Bryan
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darth
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: niven
I was at like 2 1/2 on this, and I would usually round up not down, but something about this really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe just a let down feeling after liking the first one so much.

It started out with lots of my LEAST favorite things in sci-fi: POLITICS.
It is a tiny group of people, light years from Earth, most of the people are under-aged, and the leadership cannot keep things in order...

A bunch of teens and barely 20-somethings run amok and cause problems, but in a very boring and pro
...more
Bekibunny
Suffered from the same cliched social interactions as the first one.
Not enough Grendels and world exploring, too much in-fighting and superman Aaron.
I'm a speed reader and I found myself flipping past all the human social boring stuff to get to the parts about Old Grendel.
Someone should do a fanfic edit of this and have it just be Old Grendel; she was the most interesting part of the book, and honestly, the only character I had any emotional interest in.

The first one (Legacy of Heurot) was bette
...more
Rusty
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is an exciting read about a group of bright and highly intelligent earth explorers who settle a world they call Avalon which has creatures beyond what they ever experienced on earth. The most feared is the grendel and the survivors finally settle on an island they name Camelot where they manage to kill all the grendels. As the colony expands, the population divides into two groups - The Star Born and the original colonists. As the intergenerational conflict escalates, Cadmann finds his lead ...more
Dr. A.R. Davis
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sci-fi emphasizes exobiology and the attempt at a utopian human colony on the planet Avalon. The planet comes alive in the description and the characters are interesting. But, how did three separate authors blend this all together? Very good.
Jeffrey
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Disappointing sequel to Legacy of Heorot.
Rich Brown
This would've made a nice short story... it needs 350 pages chopped out. If I wanted a soap opera, I'd quit my job, buy some bon-bons, and sit at home with the other ladies.
Neil
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to The Legacy of Heorot and takes place about twenty years later. It moves at a good pace; it is still interesting to read and still held my attention. The character development is also well done in this book. I hated a portion of the ending, but it definitely added to the story despite being so heart-breaking. I also liked how one of the 'major characters' had some pretty impressive character development [despite coming from such an unlikely source]. There is a lot of free sex ...more
Colleen
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The monsters in The Legacy of Heorot were bad enough. Now the colonists are on the mainland where there's a whole ecosystem adapted around grendels and the grown kids want to explore it. And there's a power struggle going on in the colony to see who leads the exploration. The first generation is too cautious and probably brain damaged from hibernation on the ship so who can really trust them. The second generation doesn't have the power, but they've got the curiosity and energy. And there are a ...more
Charles Harrison
For a book which gripped me as much as this one did I finished it feeling somewhat underwhelmed. I think it is because it peaks too early. After the climactic confrontation around halfway through the rest of the book seems to be waiting for the social stuff to run its course and for a half decent biology explanation.
The ecosystem is amazing but it felt more like an essay than a novel in places. The interspersed Grendel bits seem a little fanciful and slow things down a lot. A wonderful bit of w
...more
Florin Constantinescu
If you liked the previous book in the series, then this one is almost the same. Certainly the same style. Maybe a little slower, diluted, but don't let that get in the way of entertainment.
Will certainly not break any new ground, but it won't be a disappointment either.
Brian Gaston
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
One of my all time favourites. Almost nudges into a 5 star but not quite a classic (but almost).
Tony Manning
I found the plot fairly simple, but interesting enough at times. I really like stories like this (survival, overcoming adversity, exploration, and science) so I'm a bit biased in my opinion of the book. I was super annoyed with how sloppy the editing was. It was the most error-filled book I've ever read. In one paragraph, they spelled a name Mobutu then by end of paragraph they had spelled it Mubutu. There were many errors such as these and while I expect a few (no one is perfect) this makes you ...more
Jake Hahn
It just plodded around until the end. If it weren't for the ending I would have given it one star.
Andrew
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book (Legacy of Herot) I really enjoyed, for many reasons which I won't go in to here so you can imagine my eagerness to get my hands on this the sequel to it.

I will have to admit I didnt enjoy the book as much as I did the first. Yes the book did carry on chronologically from the first book in that it dealt with the colony and the generation that followed on. It also dealt with the characters some more favourably than others - which I think is why i didnt take to the book as much as I
...more
Chris
Fantastic Sequel to "The Legacy of Heorot".

While most reviewers here were disappointed, I found it better than the first in the series.

Anyone into alternate ecological systems should read both of these.

As a footnote, I've found this note online indicating a third book in the series is in the works.

"Larry Niven and Steve Barnes came over just after my morning walk and we had a conference on a notion for a new book in the Avalon (Beowulf's Children) series. We used Skype to call Dr. Jack Cohen who
...more
Melinda
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
First part dragged, but I did enjoy the hostile world the colonist aimed to settle. The Old Grendel was a great presence in this book, but the sociopath Aaron - geez, so much time was given to how perfect he was, too perfect... ad naeseum. Anyway, though it explores intriguing themes of intergenerational conflict and the role of sexual mores in society, Beowulf's Children just beat it's dead horses to a pulp. I'm done, and I'm not bothering to read the first in this series, "The Legacy of Heorot ...more
Todd
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a vastly different book from its predecessor - not that there's anything wrong with that! But while the first book had everyone pretty much acting in believable ways, there are a number of times in this book where someone either acts wildly out of character or in a completely ridiculous manner and this seems to increase as the end nears. The main thrust of the plot and the ecology of Avalon detailed in this book is fascinating, but it wasn't enough to overcome my issues with characteriza ...more
Ed Vaughn
This is the sequel to "The Legacy of Heorot." LOH was a rip snorting adventure novel not unlike "Star Wars" or "Avatar" and by the way, I'm not sure why it hasn't been made into a great movie. None the less, "Beowulf's Children introduces us to the next generation of star born colonists on a planet orbiting Tau Ceti. It contains more great adventures as they battle the planet's unknown ecology but is significantly more thought provoking then the first novel. A very good read!
Hien
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the sequel to The Legacy of Heorot. It's nowhere near as good as the original. The Grendels in the original had personality and were scary. The species that humans go up against in this one is some insect-like creatures. Even though they're just as deadly as the Grendels, they just don't evoke the same level of visceral fear like the Grendels.
Erinn
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I found this to be an interesting read, so much so that I started trying to find the book that comes before it. However it didn't take me long to realize that the first book is out of print.

What I think is the most interesting thing about this book is that years later I still find myself thinking about some of the things that happened in this book and the color blue.
Holly Ollivander
Like its companion The Legacy of Heorot, you don’t read these for elevated literary pyrotechnics, you read them for one of the most thrilling adventures ever put to paper. Why these have not been made into Hollywood blockbusters is beyond me—the suspense is unbearable, the action is edge-of-your-seat… don’t read these before bed, guaranteed you won’t sleep easily.
Nick
The premier, the best of the many collaborations between Niven and Pournelle with Barnes. A followup to _The Legacy of Herot_, this charts the aftermath of the first interstellar colonization as they expand. The rugged individualist, the types of protagonists that Heinlein created so well, are expanded by these authors. Strongly recommended.
Ben
A novel about the process of colonization of another planet rather than the Aliens-like sci-fi horror story the first book was. Natural threats to the colony form a background, but most of the words deal with politics, the division between the first and second generation and soap opera-type teenage sexual drama. Readable and interesting, but not the frightening thrill-ride the first book was.
Pat Beard
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read but I just can't be enthusiastic because I didn't like the way it ended. Don't let this keep you from reading the book. The ending would likely be fine with others because it isn't a let down, or just a tie up of loose ends abruptly without logic, or any other tragic flaws that plague books. It is strictly an idiosyncratic dislike of my own. Sigh.
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Heorot (2 books)
  • The Legacy of Heorot (Heorot #1)

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