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

(The Gap Cycle #4)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,309 ratings  ·  94 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 H
Hardcover, 617 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Spectra
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3.5 stars

The best book so far in this series and the best book by Donaldson that I’ve read. A very high stakes penultimate book. Donaldson plunges the reader right back into the plot without any recaps or explanations. Thankfully, I read The Gap Into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises just back in May and was able to dredge the details from my memory fairly quickly.

The CEO of the United Mining Company (The Dragon) doesn’t appear very often in this installment, but he lurks in the background.
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gap-cycle, sci-fi
Another solid entry into the Gap Series this book starts the end game, and the way book has ended I am really on the edge of my seat to find out what happens in the series next and how does Donaldson ties everything up. I am so impressed by Donaldson in this series that I am going to try reading his Thomas Covenant series again. Regarding the book the plot gets even darker, and Donaldson again shows his mastery in playing with your mind.

The only issue I have with the book is the conversion of d

'Chaos and Order' gets even darker than the previous books with Donaldson continuing, through his magnificent talent, to bring and a much stronger story, as we get deeper and deeper; with less politics, more action and some great twists!

The story continues with the protagonists trying to escape from their enemies, but the Amnioni have reached the limit of their patience - as the only thing that want is to get back what was stolen from them and without, really, caring if they have to bring ev
Thomas Stacey
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best one yet. When did this series get so damn good?

The stakes rise on both a personal and interstellar level, as Morn and the rest of the crew aboard Trumpet struggle to survive amidst chaos and treachery. Meanwhile war with the technologically superior Amnion looks imminent...

Fair warning: this series is dark; and seems to get darker with each instalment. It's like Donaldson sits back and thinks: "what else can I do to really fuck with the characters? Really drive them insane?" Well, it's
Suzana Vuksanovic
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 28, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Gilda Felt
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This series seems to get better with each book. It’s dark, following in the steps of its predecessors, yet there are small rays of hope that keeps the reader engaged with characters who aren’t exactly the best of humanity. Their flaws are huge, but they struggle on against some almost impossible odds. While you may not like them, you can still find yourself rooting for them. And I never thought I’d be saying that!

The space battle is fantastic, which is something I rarely can say, since so many s
Oct 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.....
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great fourth book! This is where the excitement really picks up, and this becomes a very action packed book. We follow along Morn's journey with Angus and Nick, and her new son Davies. There is plenty of despair, as it's a bleak series, but don't let that dissuade you. It fleshes out the warped series that Donaldson is telling. Think Game of Thrones, but told in a sci-fi series twenty years earlier, when evil deeds, killing, raping, and despair, and these things were frowned upon at the time. ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It being too long since reading the previous book in the series, I had a bit of trouble in the beginning not knowing who the characters were and what the hell was going on. This being my fault and not the book's, some Wikipedia caught me up to what was going on, and from that point on, I very much more enjoyed the book.

When I mentioned on Facebook that I was reading this book, William Schaefer of SubPress commented on how "bleak" the series was. This book was much less so than previous installme
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who have read the previous books in the series
Recommended to Gregs3071 by: a long, long time ago in a relationship far, far away my then girlfriend gave me the first book in the series
This book is quite a change of pace from the previous iterations in the series. The frenetic pace and relentless action takes a back seat while the wheeling and dealing, politicking, double crossing and manipulation take their turn in the drivers seat. But fear not (that's the characters job, not the readers), the time is well spent moving the pieces around the board to set up an action packed ending.

I like the way the story is revealed from so many different aspects, but I was quickly reacquain
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a difficult series to get into, because the first two (or so) books are endlessly traumatizing - to the female protagonist, and to you, the reader, if you have any decency. It was only the fact that the series was recommended so highly by a friend (a female ethics professor, at that) that kept me trudging through the first two books. After that, though, the brutality diminishes - at least, the brutality against vulnerable characters, though the initial scenes still motivate the story arc ...more
Sherrill Watson
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
See Michael Buchanen's review.

Several space ships are about to rescue Morn and her son Davies. Or are they? Maybe some of them are trying to kill her. Maybe I don't care. Chaos and more Chaos. If you can make it through the first three chapters, you can read this book. Otherwise, you're out of your depth. Mr. Donaldson is somewhat knowledgeable about space science and yet he reaches beyond what can be done into unreachable and unknowable fantasy. I might could buy into that, but to have the char
Boostamonte Halvorsen
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't praise this series, this book, and Donaldson enough! He's masterful, this book is the best one yet (how is it possible to get better than the masterpieces before it?!?!), and this series is right up there with Thomas Covenant in my opinion.

Donaldson is the Stephen King of Fantasy and Sci-fi. He is literally the best in those genres, in my opinion. He handles super complex plot lines as if they are no big deal, like a walk in the park. He handles the raw emotions of the human condition a
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-sci-fi
Most of this book is filled with tedious political maneuvering and melodrama. Toward the end of this volume we finally get some action, but I found the repetitious writing style to be distracting from the story line. The author apparently discovered cut-and-paste because we're repeatedly given a scene and dialogue, and then we go back in time to read it from another character's point of view - or we're subjected to reading it again as a character remembers it for us.
Frank Sawyer
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
OK - getting a bit bored now with all the extremis emotion describing. Skipping bits to get to the plot. Maybe I shouldn't have binge-read the series...
Dean Marquis
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought that the ending to the series was a disappointment. the characters and story that the ending
couldn't deliver. on an average different note Donaldson opinion of Dark Matter and Dark Energy is interesting
I've read a different book called Order in Chaos by Hermann von Black. Von Mellenthin was a German General on Rommels Staff and on Von Balck's, he described von Balck as superior.
John Morris
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most outstanding series of novels I have ever read. Brilliant!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Can't ... Stop....reeeeaaaadiiiinnnng....
Barry Brown
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This has gotten me reading every second of the day I can find to pick it up.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Seth Burleson
This is where the series begins to come together, I'll admit parts of the third book were pretty dull, but this one makes up for it! things are really coming together, and I can't wait for the final part!
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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

Other books in the series

The Gap Cycle (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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