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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 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  3,648 ratings  ·  58 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
Hardcover, 617 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Spectra
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Community Reviews

(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
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Dirk Gently
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Still gripping and tense, with some great action and interesting, though mostly telegraphed (semaphored?), twists.
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
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
I love this visceral series.
My favorite series
Hunchback Jack
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.
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!
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.
Jakub Nowak
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.
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.
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.
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.
My review from the previous book pretty much still applies.
Scribble Orca
Murder, mystery, metaphysics, psychology. A sci-fi re-take on Wagner's Ring Cycle. This series is long, dark, absorbing read. Better read together and in order than as individual books, as the many-threaded plot winds through the whole series.
Larry Kenney
Fortunately, this series keeps getting better and better. A lot more tension and better character development makes this a much better book. I'm really enjoying the political struggles, and the escalation of all the conflicts.
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.....
Thomas E. Schweizer
Enjoyable read

Not as fun as the first 3 but still well worth the time. The characters sometimes do uncharacteristic things which makes it a little less enjoyable.
The continuing adventures of Angus Thermopyle the rapist and Morn Hyland his traumatised victim makes for a fascinating, if rather twisted take on the traditional space-opera format.
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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)
Lord Foul's Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #1) The Illearth War (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #2) The Power That Preserves (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #3) White Gold Wielder (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #3) The Wounded Land (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #1)

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