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by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle & Steven Barnes

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85522-2
Publisher: Tor

 Sequel to The Legacy of Heorot (1987), in which heroic colonists from Earth battled supercharged alien dinosaurs known as ``grendels.'' On planet Avalon, the children of the original colonists are growing up fast. Now masters of the small island Camelot, they're eager to test their mettle against the unknown mainland, where grendels are still plentiful and other dangers undoubtedly lurk. Some of the youngsters, like loyal Justin, are content to be advised by their elders; but a powerful faction, led by the charismatic Aaron, demands to occupy the mainland right now. Indeed, Aaron's schemes and manipulations do produce an expedition to the mainlandbut things quickly come unraveled. New types of grendelsmart, gregarious, cooperative grendelsshow up. The expedition is stalked by a very old, huge, cunning, and intelligent mama grendel. A swing in the ecological cycle brings an invasion of voracious insect-like creatures powered by ``speed,'' the grendels' metabolic supercharger. And, despite several deaths, so fanatical does Aaron become that he will murder the colonists' revered old security chief, Cadmann Weyland, rather than abandon his dream. More thoughtful and less frantic than its predecessor. But the whole enterpriseintriguing ecology, indistinguishable characters, improbable metabolisms and allis hobbled by committee-style prose and unlikely dialogue.