Read Helix by Eric Brown Online


Helix is a fast-paced action adventure novel following the plight of four humans when they crashland on what they think is a desolate, ice-bound planet. Daylight brings the discovery that the planet is one of thousands arranged in a vast spiral wound about a central sun. They set off to discover a more habitable, Earth-like world and come across strange races of aliens, anHelix is a fast-paced action adventure novel following the plight of four humans when they crashland on what they think is a desolate, ice-bound planet. Daylight brings the discovery that the planet is one of thousands arranged in a vast spiral wound about a central sun. They set off to discover a more habitable, Earth-like world and come across strange races of aliens, and life-threatening perils, on their way....

Title : Helix
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781844164721
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 528 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Helix Reviews

  • Richard Radgoski
    2019-05-05 02:23

    Helix starts off with the story I want to read. Colonists going to a new place and establishing a colony. I don't know why I'm drawn to this story - maybe its a lasting impression from my Robinson Crusoe/Swiss Family Robinson days... And then, like so may before it, it turned left. And it wasn't quite that story. Ultimately, its the story of 4 Humans who crash on a Helix shaped cluster of worlds and must try to find a suitable spot to awaken the sleeping colonists. But instead of Humans vs the Environment, it's Humans vs all of the other races they encounter. And ultimately, they are drawn toward meeting the builders of the Helix on a faraway planet on the top tier. The story is about their interaction with the various aliens, some benign and helpful, some not so benign. Despite the left turn, I was engaged in the story. Joe Hendry is an accidental protagonist to this story, ashe was a late add to the expedition from earth. His character is likeable and believable. The other four Human characters are a bit less fleshed out, but solid in support roles. There are a few POV Alien characters who are done well, although the great antagonist in the story is the 'Church' of one of the aliens. This seems less odd when you are reading it than when I include it in a review. (I know others have slighted the book because of it). The story ends a bit suddenly, with a promising ending, but in the end I didn't get what I was looking for...a story about the colony. Still, I enjoyed the book.

  • Björn Bengtsson
    2019-05-23 01:13

    This book is probably for a younger audience because of its simplistic and shallow story.But first off, this is barely a sci-fi book. This is mostly a book about oppressive religion. Not at all what I expected! Nor what I wanted.Although some of the ideas in this book could have been great, they are not actually important for the story. That is unfortunate because the story has no real depth, characters are trying too hard to be persons you can feel for and certain major sci-fi-elements suddenly are just there without any motivation. I think the author was focusing on the entirely wrong things in this book. If the sci-fi parts of this book (namely the helix and its background) had gotten the authors focus, this would have been an entirely different book, and it could have been so great!For a pre-teen reader, I guess this book might have some thought-provoking ideas, but for an adult reader, it's mostly a waste of time.

  • Kaus Wei
    2019-05-12 21:37

    When I picked this book up, I did so on the promissing appearance of the cover and the blurb on the back. Overall, the story looked, and sounded interesting. Having suffered through this clichéd mess, I realise I should have taken a minute or two to read a few passawges from between the covers as well.I found this to be a fine example of bottom-of-the-barrel science-fiction. The characters wavered between painfully dull, and painfully stereotypical. And the dialogue was just about unbareable. It was largely forced and unnatural, and more often than not, reading it was like being bludgeoned with words.There was little (possibly no) subtlety in the story. For most of the book, it felt as though I was either being talked down to, or lectured, depending on whether I was supposed to understand some particular point, or have some suitable emotional response to a revelation, or situation. All I ended up feeling was annoyed and irritated.

  • Jason Reeser
    2019-05-20 19:23

    This was yet another book that was both full of wonder and frustrating at the same time. Brown writes a fun old-fashioned space fantasy with wildly varied aliens and the adventure of colonizing a new world. The characters were a bit flat, but it was all good fun.However...a big however...yet another sci-fi author who obviously is really bitter about religion and attacks the idea of relgion and faith as if his sole goal is to mock anybody who believes in God as a silly child. And yet again, here is an author who is only allowed to sit around and write such vitriol because of the stable society and tolerant laws that our very religious foundation has created.Don't get me started. Eric Brown, please try to write with a bit more maturity than a teenager who is mad at God and wants to discredit him.

  • Patrick
    2019-04-26 19:19

    Awful, just completely awful. This book ranges from the laughably implausible (a mega structure of planet-sized DNA strands? A spaceship that crashes into said structure at interstellar speeds and people walk away?) to the badly written (includes one of the most unintentionally hilarious lines ever AND it is a scene where one of the characters is assaulted). The alien species are boring, their cultures paper-thin, their psychologies so obviously human they might as well be Star Trek humanoids with a single facial prostheses. On the plus side (and this is the ONLY plus), the United Colors of Benneton-like cast includes an Alaskan Native character in a completely non-stereotypical (though badly written) role.

  • Tim
    2019-05-11 01:26

    Kinda like Ringworld, but with less interspecies nookie and more ragging on big organized religion. Not bad. But I still can't figure out the orbital mechanics of the helix.

  • Wayne Simmons
    2019-05-14 03:25

    I always meant to pick up something by Eric Brown after he said some very nice things about my sci-fi thriller, Plastic Jesus, in his review for The Guardian. He’s something of a veteran author within sci-fi, having released a wealth of material, both short and long form, since the late 80s so there’s quite the list to choose from. But for some reason, his 2007 release, Helix, always stood out to me.Helix follows a ragtag team of engineers caretaking a one-way mission seeking out a habitable new homeland for the last of the human race. The ship crashlands, awakening Joe Hendry and the other engineers from their 1000 year cryosleep. Hendry and his team, consisting of the young inuit, Sissy Kaluchek, African Friday Olembe and the mysterious Italian, Gina Carrelli, must explore this new alien landscape to see if it will make a suitable homeland.In terms of reference, I’d pitch Helix as somewhere between Planet Of the Apes and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. It has the former’s old school sense of adventure teamed with the latter’s imagination and sense of awe. Brown’s writing is engaging and uncomplicated, drawing me in immediately to the colourful world of the Helix and its vibrant inhabitants. We’re talking soft sci-fi for the most part, but there are some wonderful ideas in terms of the architecture of the Helix world and how it came into being. And its history and politics make for some wonderful social commentary.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and burned through it within a few days. If you’re after an old-school space opera with a bit of steampunk thrown in for kicks, Helix is just the ticket.

  • Chris Anderson
    2019-04-27 00:34

    This is definitely a page-turner and I liked some of the theme, which dealt with some of the problems with organized religion that can crop up, especially when confronted with certain realities dealing with space exploration. Other than that, a lot of the dialogue and progression of events was a bit juvenile for my tastes. Admittedly, though, the book held my interests enough.If you really enjoy science fiction and can be enthralled enough by the concept of the "great unknown universe" and the like, then this is for you. However, if you're picky about the sophistication of the story and dialogue, then I'd say stay away.

  • Tim Hyland
    2019-04-23 00:35

    Reads like it was written by a 12 year-old with a thesaurus. Almost unreadable. Didn't get past page 75. Will donate it to the local junior high school. Maybe the 12 year-olds will like it.

  • Helen
    2019-04-30 02:32

    This is one of them Earth is soon going to succumb to flooding and it's time to send a bunch of highly skilled people off to another world type books. This one does it a little different than other's I have read of late. It's worth reading. The main characters are likeable, there is a lot that happens to said main characters, including an increase and sadly a decrease. The book does diverse into the fantasy gene, but that can't really be helped because we have no clue what is out there do we? There is also a lot of religion, pious moments, fanatical/devout/enlightened religious characters cropping up. There are also a fair view twists and turns. As I mentioned it differs from other books of this type, to me it works, but then I do like reading fantasy books as well as Sci-fi. There we're a few um.. moments for me, and the odd raised eyebrow moment. The name of the last race they came across like was oookay... right. I wasn't sure if it was intentional them being called that or part of the language translation type thing. Then there was the differing height descriptions for the same group of aliens of the various races that the humans of the book came across. Overall, overlooking the minor things that personally bugged me.. and might not bug you, Helix is an enjoyable read. With a nice fuzzy enlightenment moment in the last 100 pages... don't skip to that part though, cause it wont mean a thing unless you have read the first 400 odd pages ;).

  • Scott
    2019-05-02 00:36

    A little slow to start but I liked how it ended.

  • Dale MIllard
    2019-05-11 22:33

    Not a badly written book but overall disappointing. It felt like reading a story about the secondary characters while the interesting ones were doing something cool nearby.

  • Erin Good
    2019-05-15 01:37

    Not sure what I thought of this book. I liked the premise and story, but something about the flow or pacing of the plot wasn't quite right. Worth a read if you're a fast reader though.

  • Hugh Mullan
    2019-05-23 03:29

    I haven't read much Sci-Fi but I'm glad I read this and I'll be reading a lot more in the future. Although it could be classified as sci-fi, there are elements of mystery and fantasy and the combination is a winner.In the future, Earth is finished. It's so wrecked by global warming, plague, war and famine that the only chance humanity has of surviving is to cryogenically freeze thousands of humans and send a ship into space to find a new home. Our main protagonists are the humans who are charged with piloting the ship.What I loved about this book was the depth of imagination from the author. The ship crash lands on a planet that is one of many planets that form an artificial helix around a sun. Who created this? why? and who inhabits each planet? is there room for humans? All these questions are answered throughout.What's great here is that we see the situation not only from the human's viewpoint but an alien lifeforms' viewpoint as well. For example the humans find a certain race ugly and smelly and the aliens also find the humans ugly and smelly! There's a multitude of alien races (some really original ideas here) on the different planets as well as varied worlds and it's all vividly described.Eric Brown has fascinating things to say about holding onto anger, repressing knowledge and enlightenment and second chances. It was a fast but worthwhile read thanks in part to these interesting ideas.The humans are a hodgepodge of ages, nationalities and personalities and they're all well rounded. We mainly see the events through a middle aged everyman named Hendry but there's no cliches with any of the characters and it was nice to see this.As well as great ideas, there's a stellar plot to go with it and everything is nicely resolved at the end giving you a payoff for sticking around.It's not prefect. The language is repetitive (people continuously hold hands for example) and it becomes a little dry in places but I would recommend this.8/10.

  • Don Viecelli
    2019-05-13 01:13

    From My Newsletter Number 30:My second review is on a new writer I discovered named Eric Brown and his book called Helix. I came across the recent sequel to this book in the book store and decided to read the original first because it seemed very original and interesting. I found the story to be well written with realistic characters and a good storyline. The story begins in the near future with the Earth dying from environmental abuse, global warming, rising seas and people wars. To save some of the population, the European Space Organization (ESO) built a spaceship called Lovelock to hold four thousand colonists. They will be sent five hundred light-years to the star system called Zeta Ophiuchi. The journey will last one thousand years with everyone in cryo-sleep chambers until they reach the new star system. The journey does not go without incidence. Included on an equal footing in the book is the story of alien inhabitants of the star system worlds the humans are headed for. After landing on the planet, the humans are unprepared for what awaits them and the type of star system they find. This story is very entertaining and thought provoking. It took a chapter to realize I was reading about an alien population before I realized the story twist.I rate this book with five stars because it is so original and a good read. I bought the sequel and look forward to continuing the story to see what happens to the human colonists and the alien worlds found in the Helix construct.

  • Kammera
    2019-05-14 19:24

    Of course the premise was exciting for me. Earth survivors flee the wrecked planet Earth in attempts to find a new world. Survivors are in cryo units and are frozen for 1,000 years. Fast forward 1,000 year and suddenly the ship has crash-landed on a Helix,wound around a sun with thousands of habitable "levels". However,their luck is bad as the 4 main characters,Joe,Sissy, Carelli, and Friday, who have been awakened, crawl out on this frozen world,and must somehow figure out where they are and how to find a suitable location for the still frozen survivors to build a new life. Daunting to say the least! Joe is very likable but the author dwells on his tragedy WAY to much for my tastes. The characters are a little sketchy and need more depth. Some old-fashioned phrases seem to creep in from time to time. The secondary plot line involves the locals on this frozen world(or level) These creatures are interesting in that their technology has dirigibles as the major mode of transportation and 19th century technology. These inhabitants are lemar-like and have a narrow world view dominated by a totalitarian Church. I felt these characters wern't terribly interesting as opposed to the humans and I really didnt care what happened to them as they ultimately took a back seat to the human's situation. The author has the lemars helping out the humans in finding out the TRUTH of the Helix. I felt this part of the book wasn't strongly written. The ending seemed rushed. I gave it a three and hope that the sequel has stronger and better characterizations.

  • Karla
    2019-05-14 02:08

    Helix, Eric Brown (2.5)At first I thought this book was pretty good – given I found it in the free book section of a cruise ship’s library – and wondered why I had not heard of it before. By the time I completed it, I realized why some Science Fiction is not well known. While the premise was interesting – humans in the future had trashed earth to the point that they were sending a large contingent into deep space to colonize a habitable planet to save the human race and find a very unique structure of planets (oddly all habitable in one form or another) – the implementation was quite faulty. A few of the obvious issues peeled a warning bell loud enough to interrupt the interesting bits. The best part was the parallel story of another species already on the helix and the confluence of them with the humans was interesting. The techniques Mr. Brown used to overcome big issues (communication between aliens and breathability of atmosphere to name two) stretched believability, in my opinion. He also added a couple of story lines that clattered distractingly against the main theme. Why would two main characters, during a very stressful trip outside their ship to a new part of the helix decide it was a good time to have sex? I got the feeling someone told him to spice up the story and this got added. There was also a back-story to one character that was completely out of character and unbelievable. I always like new ideas in Sci-Fi, but the distractions of this book make it hard to recommend.

  • Harold
    2019-05-23 01:23

    The nice thing about anything science fiction is that you, as an author, are only somewhat constrained by the science portion. In reality a person can make it as full as their imagination. This is what Brown did with Helix.Brown's take on the imminent destruction of Earth is global warming (climate change) and the only hope for humanity is for a chosen few (thousand) to be sent to a distant star in order to find a habitable planet. The chosen people are mostly scientists except those that are piloting the space ship.While in route the ship fails and crashes on a frozen planet which is inhabited by a race that thinks its the only sentient beings in the universe and is controlled by an all powerful church.Brown's politics doesn't just show through in his writing, he is deliberate with it, which is distracting. I found myself more and more wanting to argue with his constructs and his all out hatred for religion.Another thing that I found off putting was his thoughts that the people that were saved were our (or humanities) betters. That they would settle a new "Earth" and do it correctly presumably without the nasty construct of religion.I will say that his description of the worlds that were colonized was great. How they survived and the types of beings that lived on them were creative and fun to imagine.I doubt I will read the next in the series (I say this now). It really wouldn't be the first sci fi book that I would recommend to people.

  • Joseph Anonymous
    2019-04-22 02:16

    It was a great story. Then it sort of... just fell. First, my issues with the characters. The book just kept flipping around them, and the focus never stayed on one character long enough for them to develop. Also, the physics are not realistic. At all. An object of any size, going at near light speed, would be disintegrated. Reentry would be like hitting a really thick brick wall. And a ship like the one described would be big enough to destroy the entire planet. (Well, not really. Planets are notoriously hard to destroy. But with this much gravity crap floating around, the bits and pieces would be dragged apart before they could regroup so... just ignore this part.) the dinosaur killer was a few hundred meters wide. A meteor the size of the ship would kill everything and the ship would be vaporized. Also, how the hell do you overlook something as big as the helix? It would take a new law of physics or a major gravitational anomaly for something like that to come close to happening! In real life, (yes I know its sci-fi) it would end up as a big blob of dirt and mud. I could suspend disbelief for the first third of the book, but then the other shortcomings caught up to me and I gave up on it. And yes, I know it is science fiction. But my personal limit is one improbable deus ex machina per book. Sometimes more than one, but only if the author can pull it off.

  • Justin
    2019-05-20 21:29

    This book was pretty good. I felt like it was a book that could have been written by someone my age, with lots of effort. There was a lot of "luck", where the main characters were saved just before dying to let the story go on. For example, there just happened to be a magical elevator to get them somewhere which should have taken a year in about 1 hour, or one human could speak to all of the alien races they encountered and could eat any food, even if it was toxic. There were a lot of excuses for things like this, like 'Oh, it's alien so it doesn't behave like on Earth." These coincidences sort of ruined the book, but it was still good. It was told from the point of view of multiple different alien species, and it was fun to try to predict when the two races would meet, and what would happen. The book did not do a very good job of painting a picture, so I had to imagine things. For example, the author would write that there is a city on a snow planet, but not say that the city is made of ice until later in the book. Also, the book is called Helix because in the book, a bunch of planets are wound about a sun on a sort of string in the shape of a helix(spiral). This is not explained well in the book, so I had to look it up. Even though it was difficult to picture and it was unrealistic, I still enjoyed the book, and recommend it if you enjoy science fiction.

  • Michael Harry
    2019-04-25 03:29

    I'm not quite sure what the point of it was. It wasn't exciting enough to be an adventure, it felt more like a travel guide. It wasn't hard scifi since there were little to no explainations of how anything was supposed to work or why it was important to the story. It didn't feel like a space opera. I thought it was trying to be a character study of a small group. It did okay at this, with Hendry at least but Sissy's change is too swift and convenient and didn't really have a purpose. Olembe and Italian girl (see I can't even remember her name) were not very developed at all and felt two dimensional.I'm never happy reading Aliens who seem to be exactly like people, there seems little point in making them alien in a story if they will respond and behave just like people. Dressing characters up as meerkats in itself doesn't advance the story.The anti religious thing was not very subtle and felt like being bashed over the head with the message of how thick and ignorant religions are and the whole clouds parting to reveal the truth thing... not very impressed.I didn't think much of this book.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-12 00:37

    I enjoyed the book very much. It was very much like Ringworld in idea but with characters I liked better. I never liked the Protector characters much in the Ringworld series of books. I loved the concept of the ringworld. The Helix is the same basic idea and I loved it, the idea lets my imagination run wild. I liked that we got perspective from some of the characters who were not human and the author did a credible job of creating their characters. I did think that the book was a bit heavy handed in its dislike of church hierarchies. The author also was strongly opinionated as far as current politics go and had a blanket misrepresentation of both political parties in america today. Assuredly not an uncommon misconception but it was annoying nonetheless. I also was a bit annoyed at the heavy handed anti-religious bias the author if one could not be both a modern thinking being and a believer in a God and any representation of this "fake God" must be inherently corrupt.

  • Willy Eckerslike
    2019-04-22 23:30

    Helix is my first Eric Brown novel although I have had Kings of Eternity on my wish list for some time. I really rather enjoyed its naïve charm and simple narrative; if I had attempted to write a science fiction novel when I was sixteen after having been immersed, as I was, in the works of the old masters of the genre then this is the type of story I would have produced, albeit without Brown’s evident penmanship. A classic tale of space colonisation and alien contact, it is delightfully full of clichés, implausibly contrived plot developments and borrowed themes (the bigoted hegemony of Agstarn owes more than a passing nod to Lawhead’s superb and much re-read ‘Empyrion’). Don’t read this book expecting a multi-threaded or convoluted plot, atmosphere or any ‘hard sf’ techno and you won’t be disappointed. I enjoyed it enormously, linear, simple, derivative and un-challenging though it is and I look forward to equally enjoying Kings of Eternity.

  • Kim
    2019-05-13 01:14

    ONE STARWhere do I start? "Helix is a fast-paced action adventure". No, it's not. It really isn't. Over one third in, and nothing like it other than two very brief sequences that needn't have even been in the novel. That probably describes the whole first third, but I can't speak for whether it also describes the remainder of the book (yes, it's that bad).Regarding the planet that they're sent to, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm not sure it exists. The star, Zeta Ophiuchi does, but there are so many problems with that - remaining life, speed, stability, that I'm just not going to go into. NASA's got a page on Zeta Ophiuchi. Look it up before reading the book. I looked it up after seeing the star mentioned once or twice, and as a result my mind kept wandering any time anything to do with the planet/helical body they land on or its' star was mentioned.It's slow paced, dull, and the science sucks.NOT RECOMMENDED

  • Steve Rippington
    2019-04-25 02:14

    This reminds me a little of the sci-fi of A.C.Clarke and Asimov, and comparisons are bound to made with Niven's Ringworld. Unfortunately, that's all this does; it comes across as a lesser echo of greater songs, with the characterisation, plot and science tropes all falling into the all too familiar cliches. Perhaps it's a credit to Brown's skill that despite these pitfalls, Helix isn't a bad book, and I suspect that for someone who isn't familiar with the old classics (Rama, Foundation, Ringworld), it would deserve a much higher rating. However, to me it came across as unoriginal and sadly unsurprising. On a positive note, I think Brown shows incredible promise as a science fiction writer so I'll definitely be trying more of his work.

  • Sab
    2019-05-10 22:26

    In the vein of the Ringworld books, here's the story of a deep-space mission that comes across a helictical (I just made that word up) set of worlds -- basically a big spring with the sun dropped down the column like a marble, and the world corkscrewing around it. Where world is a series of banded-off civilizations, each separate and unaware of the other, except for vague references to the Builders who may or may not have constructed the helix. All in all some satisfying hard SF, especially for folks who like Ringworld and things like Dyson spheres, or that one Orson Scott Card one with the furry people.

  • Hellions
    2019-05-15 01:17

    Helix depicts the trials of a dying Earth's "last chance" colonists who crash on a strange alien interstellar body composed of multiple worlds. I really enjoyed this one, the author showing a real talent to instill the thrill of discovery as our heroes set foot in new territories. The characters, human and aliens alike, speak with their own voice and lend a solid foundation to the story. On the (small) downside, there were some inconsistencies, a few cringeworthy moments and most of all the aliens were far, far too human. Nothing serious however, this was a fun book and Mister Brown is now on my watch list.

  • Ruth
    2019-05-09 19:08

    c2007: FWFTB: colony, conflict, habitable, lightspeed, expedition. This is the sort of sci-fi that I dislike. Unfortunately, I was trying to branch out a bit and the experiment just did not work. This book was way too preachy for my tastes and it seemed that the plot was developed to get the 'green' issues across to the mass public. Unable to recommend not due to the writing style but the content. "He stepped out into the wind, watched the drilling for five minutes, then looked around - a great three-sixty sweep of the plain - at the desolate and forbidding landscape."

  • Ana
    2019-05-08 22:37

    Very interesting and visually captivating ideas about aliens and our interactions with them. Unfortunately nothing really shocking ever took place, the multiple species' of aliens all resembled animals on earth (with 2 exceptions) and the humans were lacking character depth.I must mention though, my favorite part was when the story began to be told from an alien's perspective and I didn't realize it until at least 10 pages into his narrative. This alien is actually the most human character in the whole book, and I related the most to him. He made this book worth it for me to finish.

  • Matthew
    2019-05-09 20:33

    Like a helix, goes round and round without getting anywhereLoved the concept of this novel, crashed spaceship, re-colonisation etc, but it's been done better, you don't connect with the characters strongly enough, the worlds are not interesting enough, the species and stories of some of the aliens are better written than the main storyline though which saves this somewhat, not bad but better is out there.