Customer Reviews

3 Reviews
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing story, 26 Jun. 2007
R. Williams (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Harm's Way (Paperback)
This story is set in a peculiar alternate reality where the pre-WW1 age of European Empires has not faltered, and Victorian life has spread over the solar system. Spread with all its grime, poverty, aristocracy and hypocrisy. Little Sophie Darling is thrown into this world, ill prepared by her 'father', and tries to find her origin, real parents and place in a system designed to keep the poor where they are put.

The scope of this story extends from Venus and out as far as IO, Jupiter's fiery moon, encompassing man-made space stations and wonderful space sailing ships. The width of Colin Greenland's vision is superb. The implications are worth mulling over and taking time to savour.

Truly a book to come back to time after time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sailpunk adventures on the high spaceways, 14 April 2010
This review is from: Harm's Way (Mass Market Paperback)
There are a lot of otherwise excellent SF/fantasy novels which spawn chains of sequels when maybe they would have been better left as singletons. 'Harm's Way' though is that rarest of things: an SF novel that deserves a sequel but which doesn't have one. Herein, Greenland tells the story of how orphan Sophie Farthing grows up in a skew 19th century where space travel has been a fact of life of centuries. Spaceships sail (more literally than is normally the case - they have rigging and crow's-nests for a start) between distant stars pursuing trade, exploration and intrigue.
Sophie's world has something in common with the high-tech Victorian worlds of Steampunk but the world of 'Harm's Way' has a history whose interesting differences from ours stretch back centuries. Columbus discovered Neptune, Mars is French, much of the Milky Way is British and aliens from Jupiter beg in the London streets. The wealth of detail is just splendid and everything builds to a gripping denouement in a country house on Io.
I just wish this book was the start of a series, since I would happily revisit the world of 'Harm's Way' again and again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space Opera Meets Steam Punk, 25 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Harm's Way (Paperback)
Set in an alternate Victorian era where England's sea power has grown into space exploration with giant spaceships navigating the Aether, the novel follows Sophie Farthing who lives with her watchman father in High Haven, a space docks located high above the Earth. Told that her mother died in a space disaster, Sophie's world is rocked when she meets an iron-jawed ship captain who hints that her mother suffered an altogether different fate and who seems fascinated by the ring that Sophie wears around her neck.

Determined to discover the truth, she stows away on a yacht belonging to singer Evadne Halshaw and finds herself on an adventure that takes her to the gardens of the Moon, the slums of Lambeth Walk, the caves and canyons of Mars and an isolated manor house on Io. Along the way, she finds her life placed in jeopardy from someone who will do anything to stop her from finding the truth about her past and only Bruno, an artist with a mysterious past of his own, can protect her.

This is a sumptuous novel that displays incredible imagination and whose style is evocative of 19th century literature. Sophie is a determined heroine, drawn to find out the truth about herself, no matter how painful and the way Greenland ties her story in to a brutal murder that begins the novel is very clever. However, at times she seems a little too naive, particularly towards the end of the book where her adventures would surely have taught her to be more cautious.

The range of side characters are fascinating and it's a shame that they're not on the page for very long. Particularly good are the good-hearted singer Miss Halshaw and her faun captain, Captain Estranguaro who has a tendency towards lewd behaviour. The Angels of Mars are also interesting, with their possessive attitude towards Sophie, while the cold-blooded Bruno's transformation to lover is well handled.

There are some wonderful scenes - particularly the funeral of the Emperor of Mars, which has shades of Lovecraft, and Sophie's return to see her father carries just the right amount of sorrow and melancholy. However some scenes drag on for too long - notably Sophie's sojourn on Mars, while her romance with Bruno comes on too suddenly to quite be credible.

Nevertheless, the quality of writing makes this a book worth reading and I'd like to read more of Greenland's work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Harm's Way
Harm's Way by Colin Greenland (Paperback - 20 May 1993)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews