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The Legacy of Heorot

New or Used: $24.85
New or Used: $24.85

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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

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. (July 1)

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