Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Helix” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Helix (Helix #1)

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  781 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
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, an ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Solaris (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Helix, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Helix

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,458)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Richard Radgoski
Oct 17, 2012 Richard Radgoski rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera
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 E
Jason Reeser
Apr 26, 2010 Jason Reeser rated it liked it
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.
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
Kaus Wei
Jun 04, 2012 Kaus Wei rated it did not like it
Shelves: regret-reading
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
Aug 10, 2009 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
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.
Björn Bengtsson
Apr 07, 2014 Björn Bengtsson rated it it was ok
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
Jul 29, 2012 Patrick rated it did not like it
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 wi ...more
Chris Anderson
Jun 06, 2015 Chris Anderson rated it liked it
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 l
Nov 11, 2014 Kammera rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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 ho ...more
Willy Eckerslike
May 26, 2014 Willy Eckerslike rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Nov 22, 2014 Justin rated it liked it
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 fo ...more
Tim Hyland
Oct 21, 2012 Tim Hyland rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
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.
Apr 23, 2014 Ruth rated it did not like it
Shelves: spec-fic
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 ...more
Michael Harry
Oct 04, 2011 Michael Harry rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
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 hande
Don Viecelli
Oct 23, 2012 Don Viecelli rated it it was amazing
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 o
Sep 17, 2013 Karla rated it it was ok
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 struct
Joseph Anonymous
Oct 27, 2012 Joseph Anonymous rated it did not like it
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 n ...more
May 14, 2015 Kim rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: a gift for astronomers you don't like
Recommended to Kim by: Goodreads (thanks a lot...)
Shelves: gave-up-on

Where 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 a
Eric Johannson
Apr 27, 2016 Eric Johannson rated it it was ok
The difference between a good author and a great author is: a good author sometimes has his characters do something (or many somethings) really stupid or foolish in order to move the story-line along. This is the case with this book. All the more hard to swallow is that these characters were >supposed< to have been hand-picked as 'best and brightest' of humanity. If that is the case, I despair for the species.
Feb 03, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it
This book could be the plot of an old-timey Star Trek episode - all the aliens are analogs of earth creatures with recognizable anatomy and means of communication, the humans can conveniently communicate with them, and all our plucky heroes have to do is solve the aliens' darn cultural problems, which luckily are exactly the same as human cultural problems! There's slightly more character complexity, but otherwise this is just kind of lazy scifi.
Sander Bollen
Aug 24, 2015 Sander Bollen rated it really liked it
I picked up this book for just 5 at a second hand shop, expecting not too much. Boy, I was wrong! This is a truly great book. Sure, it some parts where the suspension of disbelief doesn't work that good, but overall, it's great. The worldbuilding is simply amazing, and it really becomes a page turner in the last few hundred of pages. Worth much more than 5! ;-) ...more
Mark Palmer
Feb 12, 2015 Mark Palmer rated it really liked it
Within the first 50 pages I had concerns about this one, but once they arrived at the Helix the story became very interesting. My only disappointment was that things wrapped up very quickly at the end - a big build up to a resolution that took less than 5 pages. Felt like there was a lot more to be done to call the story finished.
Steve Rippington
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, Ringworl ...more
John Duggan
Jun 10, 2014 John Duggan rated it it was amazing
Stunningly beautiful twist on dyson sphere or dyson ring.. Eric Browns novels always leave me wanting more (even a short story letting me know the amazing characters are living mundane lives would be awesome!)
Dec 02, 2012 Hellions rated it really liked it
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 alie ...more
Mar 13, 2008 Sab rated it liked it
Shelves: space
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 ...more
Chad Parker
Aug 15, 2014 Chad Parker rated it it was ok
Starts out sounding like a good colonization story then devolves into a predictable and dull story.
Ana Lind
Sep 05, 2013 Ana Lind rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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 th
Marty Sampson
Sep 22, 2014 Marty Sampson rated it liked it
Started out great, but dragged on after the start.
Oct 30, 2014 Terry rated it liked it
The premise is a little far fetched for me, but the story line was pretty good.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 48 49 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Debatable Space
  • The Orphaned Worlds (Humanity's Fire, #2)
  • Star Risk Ltd. (Star Risk, #1)
  • Coyote (Coyote Trilogy, #1)
  • The Sunborn (Adventures of Viktor & Julia, #2)
  • Cusp
  • Coalescent (Destiny's Children, #1)
  • The Praxis (Dread Empire's Fall, #1)
  • The Silver Ship and the Sea (The Silver Ship, #1)
  • Lost on Mars
  • Through A Glass, Clearly
  • Final Days
  • Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait
  • The Dragon's Nine Sons
  • The Accord
  • The Sky's the Limit (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  • The Touch of Your Shadow, The Whisper of Your Name
Eric Brown's first short story was published in _Interzone_ in 1987, and he sold his first novel, _Meridian Days_, in 1992. He has won the British Science Fiction Award twice for his short stories and has published forty books: SF novels, collections, books for teenagers and younger children, and he writes a monthly SF review column for the _Guardian_.

He is married to the writer and medievalist Fi
More about Eric Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Helix (2 books)
  • Helix Wars

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »