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Beowulf's Children

(Heorot #2)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,543 ratings  ·  96 reviews
A new generation is growing up on the island paradise of Camelot, ignorant of the Great Grendel Wars fought when their parents and grandparents first arrived from Earth. Setting out for the mainland, this group of young rebels feels ready to fight any grendels that get in their way. On Avalon, however, there are monsters which dwarf the ones their parents fought, and as th ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published November 15th 1996 by Tor Science Fiction (first published November 1st 1995)
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 ·  3,543 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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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
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The main thing wrong with this book is that it's not nearly as good as the first volume, The Legacy of Heorot. The exploration and colonization themes take second place to ideas about sociology and politics that the authors want to espouse. There was a rather long period between the two, so it's fitting that this book takes up with the next generation. Their story is well told and the world is shown to have developed in a logical and interesting fashion. Niven & Co., as always, present their sci ...more
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.
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sean Smart
Feb 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a slow boring and disappointing read.
Nathan Russell
Sep 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, novel
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
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: SF fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Beowulf's Children is the Sequel to The Legacy of Heorot, the settlers think they have figured out the planet and the next generation is ready to take over, they think, and the planet has some deadly surprises for them..... ...more
A.R. Davis
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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
I think this might be one of those books I will continue to enjoy no matter how many times I read it. It still moves at a decent pace; I still find myself wishing some events had turned out differently; the planet is still a crazy, exciting place for the colonists, and the authors have managed to instill some ‘real’ horror into the mix as well. I thought it had good character development, too, for that matter. It held my interesting until the very last page. I do wish the authors had written a t ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Tim Meechan
Somehow the first group of settlers forgot to tell the next group that they were all going to die horribly....okay that’s not completely accurate, but I am using a little sarcasm here as I felt that a second expedition would have been better prepared for the dangers than they seemed to be in this follow up to “The Legacy of Heorot”, where all hell broke loose when the colonists discovered the true nature of their local habitat.

Great concept and a fun read. The worlds, beings, and ideas of Niven
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Tera Marie
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Aside from some editing errors that I found distracting (misspelled words, improper word usage), this book was fantastic. A continuatiion of the story of a group who have come from Earth to settle a new planet. We now here the story of the Star Borns and how they cope with being the first generation of children in this new world and the new challenges and dangers they face.
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Not a terrible story by any means, but the gratuitous sex was a bit overdone. Also it is hard to believe that such educated and intelligent folk as the First would allow such actions as committed by the Second. If the Second were older the story would make more sense, but I do have a hard time seeing teenagers being able to plan such complex actions.
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
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. ...more
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Not nearly as solid as the first book in the series, reads rather as a contractual obligations book. Main flaws I found were in paired description sets timelining between, "What we arrived to see," And, "What we saw happening later," With minor inconsistencies. ...more
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
A peaceful offworld colony is attacked by beasts. Very exciting stuff. The second book is not quite as good, but still a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed these.

Note: Beowulf’s Children was published in the UK as “The Dragons of Heorot”.
Brett Anningson
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This book started slow for me; and by that I mean about 2/3 of the way in it started to get interesting... then it seemed that the ending was rushed and not satisfactory... but it was still worth a read.
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes hard SF and characters with an agenda
It's just so hard to keep on trucking (read: establishing a foothold on an alien planet) when everything keeps on throwing rocks at you (read: most events foil even the best well laid plans).

And as always:
Tom Weiner performs sublimely.
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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

Other books in the series

Heorot (3 books)
  • The Legacy of Heorot (Heorot #1)
  • Starborn and Godsons (Heorot)

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