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The Legacy of Heorot Paperback – 7 Apr 1988


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere Books; New edition edition (7 April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722164076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722164075
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Essef - Things go mysteriously wrong for human colonists on the island of Avalon on the fourth planet of Tau Ceti.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Buchanan on 19 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
I first picked this up after going on a bit of a binge through Larry Niven books whilst I was at University, and now after having purge by bookshelf recently after moving house, it's one of the few which remain.
The story is a tale of a group of colonists, hand-picked for their skills and abilities and sent on a one-way trip to a far off world.
They settle down on an isolated island whose only inhabitants seem to be pterodactyl like creatures and salmon-like fish. But as they forge ahead and work to make their new life comfortable things start to go wrong. Only one man - Cadmann Weyland, the colony's Security expert senses that something is wrong, yet is he right, or is his paranoia more to blame than anything else.
The pacing and plotting is excellent, the suspense and the frights build up and you get to feel an empathy for many of the characters, despite their obvious faults. In the end the book reaches a pitch, where you genuinely start to wonder whether there will be any survivors. I won't ruin it by telling you, that's something you'll have to find out for yourself.
This one is HIGHLY recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert J. Dickson on 26 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
In the indeterminate future, a new planet has just been colonised by humans just starting to reach out to the stars. The colonists included Colonel Cadmann Weyland as the "security expert" intended to keep everyone safe. Everything seems perfectly safe and predictable and the colonists begin to relax their security measures, prompting Weyland to become even more paranoid in response. Then cattle start showing up mutilated, and it seems that the colonists are not as alone as they thought...
With this story, its very simplicity is what wins over, is basically a re-run of "Jaws" with a twist as everyone blames Weyland for the problems which the reader knows full well are caused by something much nastier. Even so, the plot of this book can be summed up in a few words - which is why I wish oh wish it could be made into a movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Human kind has finally reached out for the stars, establishing its first colony on the distant world of Avalon. The brightest and best are sent, the most carefully made plans laid - and all seems well, an idyllic paradise, ready for whatever we desire. Only one man has a nagging sense of doubt about their foothold on this new world; everything is too perfect, too easy. Soon enough, the true face of their new home becomes apparent - or does it? A strong action story from start to finish, full of trust, betrayal, guilt, love and suspense - and a reminder not to take nature at face value: there is always something new to learn! Once this book gets going you will find it hard to put down, as it twists and turns, building the tension all the way. One of my favourites!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Carlin on 23 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book about 10 years ago at a time when I decided to try out some of the novels by Larry Niven. I seem to remember some remark being made about this book being the novel equivalent of Alien. Never was a truer word spoken. Imagine Alien and Aliens combined into one, set on a planet and you have this book. Perhaps that is a bit too simplistic and some might even find it insulting.
A roller-coaster ride of a book, it was hard to put down and remains one of the few books that I have read more than once, in fact I have read it at least three times. It never fails to grip me such is the intensity of the characters and the story.
I hope it is never made into a film as I doubt that justice could be done to it. One of the few books I would highly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sampfler@aol.com on 7 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
The way this book is written makes it very easy to picture the scenes, from the rolling valleys to the almost "Taz" like alien creature. The unexpected twist, aswell as the emotions which come across make this one of the best books I have ever read, and I am no real S.F. fan. This should deffinately be made into a film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. R. White on 26 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
Brilliant book, couldn't put it down. Even though the synopsis sounds like a poor man's "Aliens", it's well written and keeps you guessing right to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bearfax on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read this story twice before so I knew what to expect. There are few really good realistic space colonist stories about, that rely on good science and a sufficiently different world to make you feel its real. The people are real characters struggling to survive the unknowns of a new world and the authors are not squeamish about the potential savagery of an alien planet's ecosystem. I have the sequel Beowulf's Children (Dragons of Heorot) and what is a kind of further sequel called Destiny's Road and am working my way through those stories. Despite Niven's brilliance with ideas in such books as Ring World, I find his best stories are those he writes with Jerry Pournelle and in the Heorot series Steven Barnes. These include The Mote in God's Eye, Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer, all excellent stories well told. But Legacy of Heorot was my favourite
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By T. G. Fish on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was given this book by a friend and slowly got more and more engrossed in the story.

First, the negatives. Like a lot of SF the characterisation is shallow; a little ahead of Arthur Clarke but still pretty dodgy. Thomas Hardy they ain't. A couple of characters make two dimensions, the rest stay in one. There isn't a whole lot of morality or sense of community around. Some of the things the pioneers say and do to one another in the early days are breathtaking - I suspect in reality they would have killed each other off before the grendels even came along [where were their psychologists? - did they not pick team players from their billion volunteers?] - all of this made it kind of hard to imagine being on Avalon, just not believable.

However, the positives outweigh these. The alien world is beautifully worked out. The ecology and zoology is fascinating and the twists in the plot, as more and more is learned about the grendels, kept me grabbing the book in every spare moment I had. I love the knowledge which the authors used to explain how a colony from earth would set itself up; what it would take on the ship and how it would be used, how they would prioritise their efforts on security, farming, science etc. etc. and their use of indiginous resources. I'd never thought about half of these things! It was also clever the way that some (most?) of the colonists were damaged by their time in suspended animation, some of them severely. This introduced a new parameter, because the colonists weren't as bright as they and earth had expected them to be. A psychologist would have been really useful.

Most of all, the grendels are terrific monsters.
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