The Legacy of Heorot - Larry Niven

Genre: Sci-Fi 
Synopsis: 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 Weyland until 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.


Review: I don't want to write a review for this one. I don't feel I can give it a fair review as it's not a genre I am too familiar with or like easily. I suppose I will preface my review by saying this is a highly subjective review, and not in any way an attempt at evaluating the book objectively.

I decided to give it a read because I had heard about the 'creature' around which the plot revolves, and I wanted to find out what it was for myself. The book is well-written enough that even though the story was largely not my thing, I was fairly content to read through the whole thing. I will admit to skimming a little for time (mostly action scenes). I thought it started out pretty well, but given that I wound up with a rather comical mental image of the creature based on a pre-story note from the author, I couldn't take it seriously. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to find the creature scary or just biologically fascinating. It was neither. I felt telling parts of the story from the view of the creature really demystified it and took a lot of intrigue from the novel.

There is a twist, and it is a very good twist. I kicked myself for not figuring it out, but it was quite an awesome 'oh balls' kind of moment. From there on, I really found it difficult to care precisely how they came to the inevitable conclusion, and I didn't really like the reason why the team biologists didn't figure it out themselves.

The characters were okay. I preferred some to others but largely didn't care who lived or who died. Honestly the most fascinating part of this whole novel was the brontosaur-sized animals living on the mainland. I want to read about those. All in all... yeah. Not even remotely my thing, but if you're a fan of sci-fi action survival stories, you might enjoy this. I guess. I feel like even if you're into that, this should still be a fairly mindless bit of entertainment, not a seriously worthwhile read.

Rating: 2/5

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