A powerhouse trio of science fiction greats has united to further explore the planet Avalon, first introduced in their classic novel The Legacy of Heorot.
"Once upon a long, long time ago, our parents and grandparents left a place called Earth. They traveled across the stars in a ship called Geographic to find paradise."
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 on Earth. Setting out to explore the mainland, this group of young rebels feels ready to fight any grendels that get in their way. On Avalon, however, there are monsters that dwarf the ones their parents fought, and as the group will soon learn, monsters also dwell in the human heart.
Avalon does not give up her secrets easily, and some of those mysteries are wicked as sin and blacker than the grave.
©1995 Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Few writers have a finer pedigree than those here…As one might suspect, Beowulf’s Children is seamless.… An absorbing, substantial, and finally rather masterful novel." (Los Angeles Times)
"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." (Publishers Weekly)
"This fast-paced, complex sequel to The Legacy of Heorot blends the talents of three top-notch science fiction 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." (Library Journal)
Actions have consequences and too many sci-fi stories ignore the aftermath of changing the ecology of a world, even if it seems like a good idea.
Beowulf's Children deals with the arrogance of man attempting to change a
world, instead of doing what humans do best "adapt"!
From across the stars, they arrived at paradise.But paradise has a horrifying secret.
Beowulf's Children suffers from an identity crisis—unsure if it's erotica, or science fiction. Confused by that indecision, it doesn't do a very good job of being either one.
Lacking in actual sci-fi content, or even action, the authors have decided to fill-in with seemingly endless musings on sex. Larry Niven is well-known for his predilection for having his characters light up a cigarette whenever HE does, or reaching for a drink whenever HE feels the need, which frequently breaks the fourth wall altogether. In this book, however, one has to wonder what's going on in the writers' minds with all the preoccupation about sex. I'm not being prudish—the book falls well short of being seriously erotic—but it just gets BORING! Every time the action seems like it's going to build up to something interesting, the story drifts back into some more shallow banter about sex—really, really, BORING!
Another thing, the "mysterious" death of two of the settlers remains unsolved for WAY too long. It must take a reader with profound lack of imagination not to deduce the cause immediately, yet the settlers have no clue. Buying into this puzzlement requires considerable suspension of disbelief.
In spite of these annoyances, the book has many good points. It's generally well written, and the characters are distinct and enjoyable. Although not nearly as good as its predecessor, The Legacy of Heorot, it may still be of interest for those wanting to follow the series.
Not surprisingly, Tom Weiner does a top-notch job of narration, bringing the players to life with well-done and consistent vocal characterizations.
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