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The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order (Gap, #4)
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The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order (Gap #4)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,046 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
As the planetoid Thanatos Minor explodes into atoms, a specially-fitted cruiser escapes the mass destruction and hurtles into space only a step ahead of hostile pursuit. On board Trumpet are a handful of bedraggled fugitives from an outlaw world - old enemies suddenly and violently thrown together in a desperate bid for survival. Among this unlikely crew of allies are Morn ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 688 pages
Published October 21st 2009 by Spectra (first published June 1st 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Suzana Vuksanovic
This series is every bit as good as Stephen Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and (for me) the even better Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
Stephen Donaldson's writing style is most suited to the epic novel (or novels). As he progresses through intricately woven plots he builds empathy and antipathy for characters whose roles relative to eachother he gradually reverses over time - almost leaving the reader unawares - until we find that we are rooting for the ones we started off hat
Philip Fracassi
Oct 29, 2010 Philip Fracassi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre
I'm only going to say this once for all 5 books: they are a stellar sci-fi series that any genre addict should read. They are not as great as the first trio of Covenant books, but they are a lot better than some of the recent sci-fi books churned out. That said, they are also more than a little disturbing, and, by the end, more than a little hard to believe. Even sci-fi character can't bend so far until they break, and the main villain of this "franchise" does such a personality 180 that as a re ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci fi fans
Shelves: novels
Stephen Donaldson's "Gap" series is one my favorite series.

My father handed me the first one, saying, "This first one is full of violence and rape and you'll probably hate all the characters in this first book, but the story just keeps getting better."

He was right. The story begins with a space pirate attack on a police ship and the "rescue" of the last survivor on the police ship and concludes with the human race fighting the Amnion, an alien species capable of extreme genetic manipulation. De
Jun 01, 2013 Bingo rated it it was amazing
When a book, or anything else, is as exceptional as the Gap Series has been so far, it means that there are waaaayy more reasons to appreciate the finished product than just those we've discovered. In other words, the presentation is hitting us from every angle, and with more than enough of the subtle things that make us smile.

Chaos and Order continues the adventure with all the advantages that a luxurious 5 volume set can bring to bear on character development and storyline. It brings a deeper
Nov 12, 2015 Mars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been pretty much exactly a year since my last Gap book, but despite a goodly number of different characters and locations and things going on, getting back into the swing of things was smooth and painless, like putting on an old, familiar jacket.

The action is swinging, although admittedly some of the motivations and actions of people don't necessarily make a whole lot of sense.

There is occasional repetition of the same scenes from other points of view - which is ok, but in this case there
Dirk Gently
Mar 25, 2011 Dirk Gently rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book makes me burn with intensity. I crave the raw emotion and intelligence Donaldson wields here. I read that it was based on Wagner's Ring Cycle and the combination of Donaldson and Wagner is perfect. Both works build tension and just add more and more, reaching impossible levels of dissonance and complexity and refuse to provide resolution. Best sci-fi I've read in years. Gritty, passionate and larger than life.
Dec 12, 2013 Natz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
Dark, disturbing, brilliant and unforgettable! Each and every character has left an indelible impression on me. 5* for the entire series due to its originality, creativity, story telling, character development and momentum... A masterpiece of science fiction. Warning: This is NOT for the faint hearted
Jun 23, 2015 DaveA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the Thomas Covenant series, Donaldson's imagination really captures me and makes me want to read all his work. Also like the Thomas Covenant series, the extremely deficient character of the main protagonist (I don't know if I should even call him a protagonist in this book), Angus Thermopyle, is so repellent and abhorrent (he rapes another main characters - just like the Thomas Covenant protagonist) that it disgusts me. I would like this *SO* much better if this were absent - again like the ...more
Jan 11, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy frijole Space batman! The lid is firing off some of the most explosive secrets in the known universe and Morn, Angus, Nick, Davies and Dios stand at the precipice to save or damn all mankind.....
Jul 08, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It's becoming increasingly difficult to effectively review this series without being either deliberately simple or spoiler-heavy. But I'll try.
So far, I think this has been my favorite of the lot. This one is insane. The narrative and the stakes are immensely high, and I've rarely seen a group of characters who despise one another so immensely, or so justifiably. Perhaps "A Game of Thrones," but I've only read the first book and it didn't exactly blow me away. Although, interestingly, I've thoug
May 16, 2014 Madeline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Even listening to the audio version of this book will leave you feeling like your life is being wasted on its poorly executed content. It's pages and pages of one-dimensional characters having dry conversations with each other, which barely further the plot. No quips, no funny one-liners, no philosophical ponderings; just paragraph after paragraph of, at this point, completely unrealistic characters talking about what they might do in the future or what they may have done in the past rather than ...more
Jan 17, 2008 Kirt rated it liked it
I read "The Gap" series, a five-novel saga from Stephen R. Donaldson.

I think Donaldson does better with SF than fantasy. The series is set in a future as created by something called the Gap Drive, an FTL travel method that sometimes drives people mad. It starts out with a complicated little minuet of a story involving the lives of three people who live on the fringes of space (the first novel), but over time the series becomes a complicated tale involving a terrible cold war between an alien rac
Julie Sherva
Like other Donaldson books this a book about the inhumanity of man to man. The story is very dark and foreboding. The intricacies of the plot are deep and have many layers. I have enjoyed this series so far and am on the last book. Everything is starting to come to a giant climax and I am not sure who will be left when it is finished. With Donaldson you really don't know if the good guys will win.

This is a convoluted story with just about everyone being evil and horrid to others. I found myself
Jan 01, 2016 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was listening to this series, but couldn't bear to be separated from it when I was separated from my computer. Well, it makes a fabulous read - again.

Eight people flee from the destruction of a shipyard for pirates, in the small spaceship Trumpet crisscrossed full of grudges and conflicting needs. Trumpet's people are pawns in a struggle among the leaders of Earth, while human civilization is faced with the inexorable opposition of the alien Amnion.

Among the silent, violent seethe of an astero
DeAnna Knippling

The gap between different characters' perspective now occupies more of the book than it really should, and the writing feels both laborious and sparse, as more and more of the freaking amazing plot is consumed by different characters repeating themselves.
Nov 20, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap series is a five book set which just gets more exciting and more tense with each passing book. This is the fourth book of the series and the tension mounted until I've been on the edge of my seat for the last week and a half. Whew! The master of character, environment, and language, is also very much a master of science and therefore science fiction and tension.
Apr 03, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still gripping and tense, with some great action and interesting, though mostly telegraphed (semaphored?), twists.
Sep 05, 2013 Kenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Just as good as the others - except for the increasing time taken by characters trying to explain to each other what they think is going on - or explaining what has gone on...

But other than that - excellent. Our trio have just destroyed Billingate, and are on the run. Min Donner (Police enforcement chief) is hunting them down - wanting to rescue Morn (captured police) but under orders to kill them all!

Mutating alien virus, immunity drugs, human forces working at odds to each other, Alien warship
Jul 30, 2015 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. The book is not stand alone, the series is fantastic.
Jul 13, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to dislike the series. The beginning was rough to the point where it disturbed me more than the first books of the series"Bio of a Space Tyrant". I even went as far as to give fairly bad ratings to the individual books. I was horrified wondering what bad things would happen to the characters as I continued to read. I did notice that I wouldn't stop reading the series. Four better or worse, I got hooked by the story. This really is a good series and an enjoyable read. I have updat ...more
Sal Coraccio
Jul 01, 2014 Sal Coraccio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this visceral series.
Apr 14, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite series
Hunchback Jack
Dec 31, 2013 Hunchback Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly concerning the characters' internal struggles, Chaos and Order is the hardest Gap book to get through. There's action: space battles, assassination attempts and treacherous plots. And the characters' turmoil drives the story forward as much as events do. But I wished the characters weren't quite so introspective.

Nevertheless, a cut well above the average SF fare.
Oh, plots within plots within plots!! This series is really ramping up now and I can't see how it is all going to be resolved in just one more volume. I really enjoyed reading this. There are some deaths here that are soooo overdue, while others made me wince, however they all fitted in with the story. The Amnion just get scarier, but this novel sees the tide turning against them. I'm rooting for the crew of the Trumpet so hard that I might have to start the next book straight away.
Aug 29, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2009
This is where this series starts to become the sort of gripping science fiction that you absolutely *have* to read until 3 in the morning on a work night. Tense, well plotted and wonderful, the political machinations between the heads of the UMC and UMCP become overwhelming driving poor Morn, Davies and Angus to greater danger and intense emotions.

This is WHY it is worth reading the first in the series, despite its grimness, it all just gets so good!
Jul 21, 2014 Craig rated it really liked it
A pretty darn thrilling, unpredictable, and ridiculously addictive story. However I must admit I'm starting to get a little tired of the constant repetition of "what has gone before" - each character spends at least as much time thinking about what's already happened as what they're doing at that exact moment. And when you're reading along, on the edge of your seat to find out what happens next, it becomes actively annoying.
Jan 23, 2013 Jakub rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Still great. Still ravaging. This time Donaldson slows down with the personal horrors and persecution. There is still a lot of drama but it's rather due to the events set in motion earlier and not the actions of the characters. We meet some new characters and learn about even more tragic predicaments one can get into in space. And it all spirals toward an truly epic ending - with quite a space battle involved.
Dec 25, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Another piece of the contiguous story of many spacefaring individuals brought together in a struggle they hardly know about. Stephen puts together some interesting Science Fiction with his distinct anti-hero characterization and mature multiple perspective story progression. No character feels to be the primary protagonist and even the antagonists are given enough development to make you care for them.
Jul 21, 2007 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series was amazing constructed using archetypes of the hero, villain, slave, to define main characters roles in each book and then having them switch roles after each one. Built as a tetrahedron the first three books formed a trilogy of character development which was then capped by the fourth. In true Adamsesk fashion he then added a fifth to make it a five book quadrology.

Worth reading.
Aug 26, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It took a while for this series to get going but this has definitely been the best so far. Intergalactic space kick offs with aliens, cyborgs, humans and other stuff.

However, the author still likes to repeat himself over and over again which can be fairly monotonous and I found myself skimming through quite a bit of the prose just to get to the next part of the story.
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Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novelist; in the United Kingdom he is usually called "Stephen Donaldson" (without the "R"). He has also written non-fiction under the pen name Reed Stephens.


Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prostheti
More about Stephen R. Donaldson...

Other Books in the Series

Gap (5 books)
  • The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story (Gap, #1)
  • The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge (Gap, #2)
  • The Gap Into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises (Gap, #3)
  • The Gap Into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die (Gap, #5)

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