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The Gap Into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises

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A master storyteller, Stephen R. Donaldson established a worldwide reputation with his unforgettable, critically acclaimed fantasy series The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant.  Then, with The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge, he launched a thrilling new science fiction series.  Now the galactic epic continues as humanity struggles against the forces of ultimate evil--and i A master storyteller, Stephen R. Donaldson established a worldwide reputation with his unforgettable, critically acclaimed fantasy series The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant.  Then, with The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge, he launched a thrilling new science fiction series.  Now the galactic epic continues as humanity struggles against the forces of ultimate evil--and its own dark nature. The stage is set of confrontation at Billingate--illegal shipyard, haven for pirates and brigands, where every vice flourishes and every appetite can be sated.  Gateway to the alien realm of the Amnion, the shipyard is a clearinghouse for all they require to fulfill their mutagenic plans against humanity. It is here that the fate of Morn Hyland is to be decided amid a kaleidoscopic whirl of plot and counterplot, treachery and betrayal. As schemes unravel to reveal yet deeper designs, Morn, Nick, Angus' lives may all be forfeit as pawns in the titanic game played our between Warden Dios, dedicated director of the UMC Police, and the Dragon, greed-driven ruler of the UMC.  Here, the future of humankind hangs on the uncertain fortune of Morn Hyland in a daring novel of epic power and suspense, relentlessly gripping from first page to last.


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A master storyteller, Stephen R. Donaldson established a worldwide reputation with his unforgettable, critically acclaimed fantasy series The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant.  Then, with The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge, he launched a thrilling new science fiction series.  Now the galactic epic continues as humanity struggles against the forces of ultimate evil--and i A master storyteller, Stephen R. Donaldson established a worldwide reputation with his unforgettable, critically acclaimed fantasy series The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant.  Then, with The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge, he launched a thrilling new science fiction series.  Now the galactic epic continues as humanity struggles against the forces of ultimate evil--and its own dark nature. The stage is set of confrontation at Billingate--illegal shipyard, haven for pirates and brigands, where every vice flourishes and every appetite can be sated.  Gateway to the alien realm of the Amnion, the shipyard is a clearinghouse for all they require to fulfill their mutagenic plans against humanity. It is here that the fate of Morn Hyland is to be decided amid a kaleidoscopic whirl of plot and counterplot, treachery and betrayal. As schemes unravel to reveal yet deeper designs, Morn, Nick, Angus' lives may all be forfeit as pawns in the titanic game played our between Warden Dios, dedicated director of the UMC Police, and the Dragon, greed-driven ruler of the UMC.  Here, the future of humankind hangs on the uncertain fortune of Morn Hyland in a daring novel of epic power and suspense, relentlessly gripping from first page to last.

30 review for The Gap Into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sumant

    The third book in the Gap series i.e. A Dark and Hungry God Arises shows us the real manipulators in the game, all the previous characters which we have met so such as Morn,Nick and Angus are pawns in the hands of these corporate bigwigs.Donaldson keeps a tight leash on the story in this book, and he switches between the different pov characters effortlessly, the outcome is an superb convergence which leaves you wanting more. Some of the strong points of the book are 1.New set of pov characters. 2. The third book in the Gap series i.e. A Dark and Hungry God Arises shows us the real manipulators in the game, all the previous characters which we have met so such as Morn,Nick and Angus are pawns in the hands of these corporate bigwigs.Donaldson keeps a tight leash on the story in this book, and he switches between the different pov characters effortlessly, the outcome is an superb convergence which leaves you wanting more. Some of the strong points of the book are 1.New set of pov characters. 2.Plot thickens more. 3.Top notch world building. Some of the weak points of book are 1.Donaldson fails to do a Jamie Lannister on Angus. Let me elaborate on the above points now 1.New set of pov characters. Donaldson gives us a varying pov characters in this book, so we get to understand the story from both the ends, this partly the reason which makes this book such an enjoyable read. Although we get lot of pov characters in this book the most noticeable among them are Holt Fasner, the CEO of the UMC. He is the king on the board of this chess, and is aptly called the The Dragon, he controls human space through the UMCP as people think he is the last shield protecting them from the Aminion. With mergers and acquisitions of some key corporations he has managed to become one of the most powerful man in human space. With such tripe masses of human beings were tranquilized—until those rare occasions when they woke up, saw what was really happening around them, misunderstood it, and did their best to impose the stupidest possible solution on the men who normally led them He wants to become a god like character, and has almost reached that level because not only he has kept his friends closer but he has managed even to keep his enemies like Warden Dios closer. Warden Dios He is an honest man who is trying to the right thing, but other people have to face the repercussions of his actions. He wants to sever the ties with UMC and wants to cut tto size the power wielded by Holt Fastener but there only a few choices left with which he can do that. He believes in It is the nature of power to resist restrictions, to seek an unfettered expansion and expression of itself. And it is the function of ethics to impose restrictions on power, to weld and wield the potentialities of power so that they serve but do not control the people in whose name they exist. Milos Taverner After been betrayed by the UMCP he is travelling with Angus to the Billingate station. He is one the biggest rats i.e. he has been playing both the sides for so long that betrayal has been etched in his DNA. He also gives Angus some taste of his own medicine when he makes him do some of the despicable things. 2.Plot thickens more. There are so many betrayals going on the book, that your head starts spinning after reading it. You start to distrust anything and everything because the truth becomes so much convoluted in this book, this is due to the fact that everyone is playing its own game. As we are exposed to the pawns of the game and the players of the game, but the pawns do not move with a specific set of rules in this game they have a mind of their own in this story. It just is remarkable reading it all and digesting it. 3.Top notch world building. Donaldson can not only describe the gutter to you but also can make you breath it until you can choke on it. He describes Billingate in the same way to us. there is only one law on the Billingate i.e. I am the bill you owe, if you don't pay you don't live. And that law has been put in place by the Bill who runs this station. There are all sort of illegal things going on over here because this is the last station which separate human space with forbidden space or amnion space. The only issue I had with the book was 1.Donaldson fails to do a Jamie Lannister on Angus. We met Angus in the last two books and we know what kind of sadistic psychopath he is, he just hates everything. Also the way he broke Morn in the first book is too much fresh for me, so when Donaldson tries to make a Jami Lannister out of him in this book I could not digest it. That was the only flaw which I had with this book. I am really amazed that how such remarkable series has gone under the radar for sci-fi and grim dark readers, but this series is just keeps getting better with each new book. Highly recommended 4/5 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    3.5 stars I have made no secret of the fact that I struggle with Stephen Donaldson’s writing. This is the only series of his that I have made any connection with, and my relationship to it is turbulent. I’m not one of those people who needs to like the characters in order to like the book, but it helps if I care what happens to them. I reluctantly care about what happens to the main characters in the Gap series. Its like Donaldson took the Star Trek universe and turned it inside out. There is no P 3.5 stars I have made no secret of the fact that I struggle with Stephen Donaldson’s writing. This is the only series of his that I have made any connection with, and my relationship to it is turbulent. I’m not one of those people who needs to like the characters in order to like the book, but it helps if I care what happens to them. I reluctantly care about what happens to the main characters in the Gap series. Its like Donaldson took the Star Trek universe and turned it inside out. There is no Prime Directive, no Starfleet, no honourable oversight by basically good-intentioned people. Like in C.J. Cherryh’s Company Wars series, it is the giant corporation that controls space and with the United Mining Companies comes the shadowy director, also known as the Dragon, who seeks to control everything. In many ways, this is a bleaker, darker version of Cherryh’s idea of the megacorporation running outer space, like Glen Cook’s The Black Company running the universe. I had to order this volume through interlibrary loan, but I’ve got the remaining books from the local used book store, so finishing the series is a very likely proposition. Book number 316 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Czilla

    The last 100 pages of this book had me completely engrossed. I was stuck to my chair with my eyeballs glued to the pages, delightfully turning one after another with not a care in the world. It's been a while since I had my attention drawn quite that thoroughly to a novel. Donaldson really did an exceptional job here, with the second half of this novel weaving multiple plots and characters together intelligently. Angus in particular is the unexpected star of this story; I finally get to see the The last 100 pages of this book had me completely engrossed. I was stuck to my chair with my eyeballs glued to the pages, delightfully turning one after another with not a care in the world. It's been a while since I had my attention drawn quite that thoroughly to a novel. Donaldson really did an exceptional job here, with the second half of this novel weaving multiple plots and characters together intelligently. Angus in particular is the unexpected star of this story; I finally get to see the beginnings(?) of the infamous 'role reversals' that I was told this series offers. I have a funny feeling Morn will be next... With that being said, where the second half of the book shines, the first half drags. It's a slow start. Combine that with the fact that the middle(ish) section of the novel leaves you with a departure from Morn's perspective on a bit of an important scenario only to be re-visited several slower (boring) chapters later...it stings. Another thing to point out here is Donaldson's strange way of jumping between characters and changes in writing style. For instance, in the first novel of this series we basically had three distinct character perspectives revolving around the three main characters with relatively equal exposure. In the second book we see more restriction, with Morn's character perspective being 75% of the novel and Nick getting most of the leftovers. Now in this third installment Donaldson takes the complete opposite approach; nearly every chapter being from a different character's perspective, including secondary and supporting characters. I found this very jarring and very strange, albeit it does show off a lot of Donaldson's talent in bringing his own dialogue and plots together. Speaking of plot, the revelations and scenarios that come up in this novel blew me away. The storyline here is very strong, grimly gritty and incredibly believable. The closing scenario in particular, which brings many of our favorite characters out into a pirate shipyard on a daring EVA rescue mission that evoked insane vivid imagery and imagination, was nothing short of mesmerizing. My favorite in this series from Stephen Donaldson thus far, which is rare for a middle installment in a long series in my reading experience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    The story tangles further. The betrayal is deeper. The stakes are higher than you thought. Donaldson's sci-fi version of Wagner's Ring Cycle begins to truly blossom here. Here we see the Gap Series begin its true, slow, inexorable motion. Like drowning, the reader is caught in a euphoria of despair. This book, like the ones before it, offers little hope, but a creature emerges from it that can be neither countenanced nor resisted. I do not know whether to laugh or cry, but it appears the final The story tangles further. The betrayal is deeper. The stakes are higher than you thought. Donaldson's sci-fi version of Wagner's Ring Cycle begins to truly blossom here. Here we see the Gap Series begin its true, slow, inexorable motion. Like drowning, the reader is caught in a euphoria of despair. This book, like the ones before it, offers little hope, but a creature emerges from it that can be neither countenanced nor resisted. I do not know whether to laugh or cry, but it appears the final hope of humanity is at least in capable hands. And many who have earned a comeuppance shall doubtless receive one. This book seems to me the "middle portion," The Empire Strikes Back if you will. Nothing happens, and yet everything does. This book explains much of what came before, and sets the stage for what follows. Again, and as always, I will remind the reader of this review, that the stakes cannot be higher, the heroes less heroic, nor the villains less remorseful than you will find here. The joy and the terror of Donaldson lies in witnessing the frightening and unpredictable efficacy of humanity all around. And again, I give you my Dream Cast: Captain Angus Thermopyle ... Ron Perlman Morn Hyland ... Olivia Wilde Davies Hyland ... Liam Hemsworth Captain Nick Succorso ... Brad Pitt Mikka Vasaczk ... Zoe Saldana Vector Shaheed ... J.K. Simmons Milos Taverner ... Steve Buscemi The Bill ... Christoph Waltz Warden Dios ... Tom Selleck Min Donner ... Sigourney Weaver Hashi Lebwohl ... Ben Kingsley Holt Fasner ... Kevin Spacey Captain Sorus Chatelaine ... Sharon Stone Captain Dolph Ubikwe ... Idris Elba If courage be thus, I fear for humanity's sake.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gilda Felt

    I’m happy to say that the series has finally hit its stride, this being the best book so far. The reader is given a deeper look into what is going on that even those who thought they knew, didn’t. Betrayals abound, as nothing seems to be what it is, so the reader is left wanting more. Luckily, there are still two more books. I’m still not totally happy with the main characters of Morn, Nick, and Angus. Their flaws still rule their lives, and they have plenty. I could perhaps feel more sympathy fo I’m happy to say that the series has finally hit its stride, this being the best book so far. The reader is given a deeper look into what is going on that even those who thought they knew, didn’t. Betrayals abound, as nothing seems to be what it is, so the reader is left wanting more. Luckily, there are still two more books. I’m still not totally happy with the main characters of Morn, Nick, and Angus. Their flaws still rule their lives, and they have plenty. I could perhaps feel more sympathy for the three if they weren’t giving so much to themselves. It seems that the fault always lies with the stars. Who are the victims, who the villains? I’m hoping there’s more character growth in the next two books, because at this point, while I’ve become more invested in the plot, in the characters not so much.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirt

    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 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 race (the Amnion) and humanity, the dangers of human greed, and one man's attempt to make the universe safe for humans. It's based very loosely on -- or perhaps sort of inspired by -- Wagner's Ring Cycle. (What's up with SF based on the Ring Cycle? I know of one video game that's a SF take on it, and there's a Captain Harlock anime series based on it...) Anyhoo, I was told once regarding the Covenant the Unbeliever series that that if you can get past the rape scene in the first book, you're good. I think this is more literally more true of this series. If you can tolerate the (much nastier) rape scenes (that's multiple rape scenes, by the way) in the first book, you should be fine. I dunno what's up with Donaldson and rape, but the important thing is you'll know you'll be able to handle the series overall if you can take the first book, in particular if you can have a certain amount of sympathy, no matter how small and how overwhelmed by hatred and disgust, for a mass-murderer and rapist, as he transforms from villain to victim. If you're capable of viewing a very, very bad person as a human being worthy of a tiny drop of sympathy, even if you can't forgive him for what he did (and the text makes it clear you shouldn't), then you'll enjoy the first book, and what follows it. The first book is probably the best; while making it clear you should hate Angus Thermopile (the aforementioned rapist and mass murderer) for the things he's done, Donaldson deftly manages to make him seem human, which is vital as things totally fall apart for him, because otherwise you won't care when things go pear-shaped for him. The book starts with a listing of events as people understood them on a particular space station, followed by what REALLY happened. The second book is also very personal, following what happens to the various characters after the first book, and completing various transformations: While Thermopile went from villain to victim in the first book, in the second book someone who seemed a hero becomes a villain, and the victim transforms into a heroine of sorts. After that, the style of the books change, becoming less personal, even giving the occasional encyclopedia-like "supplemental data" entries on the universe, sort of like a reverse RPG sourcebook -- mostly fiction, with a little source material. However, this drawing back makes everything more epic, giving even more room for people to show themselves at heroes and villains. The last three books are a little overlong, but they keep you hooked. What makes the series work is that while it is highly nasty and gritty, despite the cynicism of all the characters and the compromises they make, by the end of the series humanity is better off than it was at the start of the series, and there's been redemption -- or damnation -- for all the major characters. This including several characters that don't even get introduced until the second or third book, but turn out to be very important, especially in terms of how they intersect with the three main characters of the first book. (Of those "later" characters, I particularly like Hashi. Watch for him.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Stacey

    Well... that was awesome! When I asked Fantasy Faction for dark, character driven sci-fi, this series was recommended. It's taken a couple of books to hit its stride, but it's finally there - the world has opened up considerably and many characters introduced in the previous books are given their time of day. After such a climatic ending, I simply cannot wait to explore this series further. Highly recommended. Well... that was awesome! When I asked Fantasy Faction for dark, character driven sci-fi, this series was recommended. It's taken a couple of books to hit its stride, but it's finally there - the world has opened up considerably and many characters introduced in the previous books are given their time of day. After such a climatic ending, I simply cannot wait to explore this series further. Highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Boostamonte Halvorsen

    What a book! What a ride! Man, I just don't know how Donaldson juggles all of this...he's a master storyteller. The twists and turns are so unpredictable. The constant rotation of the Hero>Villian>Victim thin this absolutely astounding, and now it's stretched to a secondary batch of characters..or two batches...it's hard to tell if they are going to rotate or are just fun...I can't wait for the next book! What a book! What a ride! Man, I just don't know how Donaldson juggles all of this...he's a master storyteller. The twists and turns are so unpredictable. The constant rotation of the Hero>Villian>Victim thin this absolutely astounding, and now it's stretched to a secondary batch of characters..or two batches...it's hard to tell if they are going to rotate or are just fun...I can't wait for the next book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    Man, this series is killing it. Had to force myself to put it down (reading three other novels as well) but I failed time and time again. Donaldson has long been one of my favourite fantasy authors. Now he is my favourite Sci-fi author (granted, I don't read much in the genre). On to book four ... in a bit. Man, this series is killing it. Had to force myself to put it down (reading three other novels as well) but I failed time and time again. Donaldson has long been one of my favourite fantasy authors. Now he is my favourite Sci-fi author (granted, I don't read much in the genre). On to book four ... in a bit.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Lord ... that was painful. I still have two more installments in this series. A saner man would have stopped already. But I’m a glutton for punishment. I’ll let it sit for a while before I read another one... in the meantime I’ll read some GOOD books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben Goldberg

    This series just gets better and better. All forces converge at Billingate shipyard while overarching political machinations loom between the United Mining Company and their police force. The lies, double crossing, triple crossing, kidnappings, assassinations, dread aliens pumping mutagen into humans to make them their own... this series just doesn’t let up. Next up, THE GAP INTO MADNESS: CHAOS AND ORDER.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zade

    The third book in the Gap Cycle is where Donaldson's story really begins to take shape. Although he uses our interest in the characters to carry us along, the story really is about the political schemes and wheels within wheels that arise from the commercial development of faster than light travel and contact with a semi-hostile alien species. Although the series is based on Wagner's Ring Cycle, the historical bits of the story show a very plausible development of this society from our own, espe The third book in the Gap Cycle is where Donaldson's story really begins to take shape. Although he uses our interest in the characters to carry us along, the story really is about the political schemes and wheels within wheels that arise from the commercial development of faster than light travel and contact with a semi-hostile alien species. Although the series is based on Wagner's Ring Cycle, the historical bits of the story show a very plausible development of this society from our own, especially in terms of corporate usurpation of governmental power. Besides the absorbing complexity of his plot and his ability to keep the reader guessing about what is really going on, Donaldson also demonstrates the rare ability to get his readers to sympathize with (or at least understand) truly despicable characters. He explodes any black and white vision of right and wrong by creating situations in which characters must commit evil acts in order to serve a greater good and making the worst of bad guys play the role of hero. Other reviewers have described the ethos of this series as "depressing" and "hopeless," but I think they are wrong. While there certainly is an air of doom about the story, and more than enough evidence of the evil man can do to man, the fact remains that the whole point of what's going on is to preserve hope for human survival, on both the individual and species levels. If readers have gotten through the first two books of the Gap series, they will be well rewarded with this third volume. In another review, I compared the Gap series to Herbert's Dune. The worlds they create are vastly different and the atmosphere of their stories appear on the surface to be at odds, but Donaldson has some of Herbert's knack for amazing world building and convoluted, but ultimately logical, plotting. I'd put Herbert in the top 20 authors of the 20th century, so it's no small compliment that I put Donaldson in his company.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Wow, this book took me awhile to get through. Its a great book, but its not light reading. This is an emotionally heavy book from start to finish. Its a noir story loosely based on the Ring cycle, that is set in the far future in space. This is the 3rd book in the series, and it slows the series down a little bit, mainly because its transitioning us from the beginning of the story into the roller coaster ride toward the ending. I can't remember as of writing this review if there are two more boo Wow, this book took me awhile to get through. Its a great book, but its not light reading. This is an emotionally heavy book from start to finish. Its a noir story loosely based on the Ring cycle, that is set in the far future in space. This is the 3rd book in the series, and it slows the series down a little bit, mainly because its transitioning us from the beginning of the story into the roller coaster ride toward the ending. I can't remember as of writing this review if there are two more books to go or just one. I highly recommend this series as its not quite like anything else I've ever read in the Sci-fi genre. That having been said, don't read it unless you have a strong stomach for man's inhumanity to other man(or more precisely, woman). The series, this book as well, is full of themes of betrayal, redemption, brutality, fear of loss of self, and a whole multitude of other very series human drama. All of which is set against a backdrop of mankind's future expanding into the universe, and all the technological and cultural developments that spurred that on as well as those that evolved because of it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I thought that I had lucked out when I found all five of these books in a used book store. I really liked the Covenant books. After reading the short (didn't feel short...) first book in this series, my first thought was, Did an editor get near this thing? The writing itself is atrocious. Not wanting to admit that I wasted my money, I soldiered on. I managed to get about a third into this book (the third) before I gave up. There were several instances where I was pretty sure that Donaldson used t I thought that I had lucked out when I found all five of these books in a used book store. I really liked the Covenant books. After reading the short (didn't feel short...) first book in this series, my first thought was, Did an editor get near this thing? The writing itself is atrocious. Not wanting to admit that I wasted my money, I soldiered on. I managed to get about a third into this book (the third) before I gave up. There were several instances where I was pretty sure that Donaldson used the wrong word. Other problems: ---He has no idea what a semicolon is and how it functions. ---It is not okay for the omniscient narrator to use cliches and hackneyed phrases. ---He uses the construction, e.g. (made up), "He went into the storage, not to get something, but to return something" about 20 times. (1) The commas are wrong. (2) Stop using this construction! As others have pointed out, the main problem is that every character is disgusting and not worth caring about. Add to that a layer of inept writing, and you have yourself a "winner."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bingo

    This volume brings on the full force of the terrific and memorable storyline. By this time you're ready for it. Book 2 moves right along, but remains focused on the behavoir of the crew aboard ship, and only the crew (only a couple of chapters reveal a larger plot). The limited, confined scope of Forbidden Knowledge (Gap #2) feels like an expanding bubble in contrast to the burst of this 3rd volume which fires the kitchen sink right at you. The first three volumes are distinctly different pieces This volume brings on the full force of the terrific and memorable storyline. By this time you're ready for it. Book 2 moves right along, but remains focused on the behavoir of the crew aboard ship, and only the crew (only a couple of chapters reveal a larger plot). The limited, confined scope of Forbidden Knowledge (Gap #2) feels like an expanding bubble in contrast to the burst of this 3rd volume which fires the kitchen sink right at you. The first three volumes are distinctly different pieces, and it works like great composition. Gap Series is an interesting set of books (interesting like a really good double-album used to be), a pretty gripping tale, writing that is so readable it just soaks right in, makes everything clear in the head, and you can feel Donaldson's intellect burning to write it. Take the super-satisfying experience, and read it at a good pace. Better that way.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Best book in the series imo. Certainly best subtitle" A Dark and Hungry God Arises." Badass. As badass as my fave character in ALL the books: Angus. Villain or victim, he's the man. Liked him as a villain because he was...badass. Then as victim because he was even MORE badass, plus he's got revenge on his harddrive but you feel sorry for him because he's controlled, so the author is really playing puppetmaster with your emotions (feeling pity for a rapist and murderer? wonderful!). And anyway, S Best book in the series imo. Certainly best subtitle" A Dark and Hungry God Arises." Badass. As badass as my fave character in ALL the books: Angus. Villain or victim, he's the man. Liked him as a villain because he was...badass. Then as victim because he was even MORE badass, plus he's got revenge on his harddrive but you feel sorry for him because he's controlled, so the author is really playing puppetmaster with your emotions (feeling pity for a rapist and murderer? wonderful!). And anyway, Succorso is a jerk. At least with Angus you know what you're getting. Buyer beware and all that. This is the book that really got me into the series. Before this book I was reading out of respect for the author and his previous works. With this book I read for the series itself. Go read this NOW. I must read it again sometime myself, for the 4th time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Couzens

    The Gap series is gradually getting easier to read. It's gotten past the typical horrific opening that Donaldson often front-loads his narratives with to drive the conflict throughout the rest of the series, so it's now possible to hate some of the more despicable characters without hating oneself for reading about them. This book is also where some of the political machinations become more salient, which dilutes the more unpleasant psychological profiling that filled the first two books. There The Gap series is gradually getting easier to read. It's gotten past the typical horrific opening that Donaldson often front-loads his narratives with to drive the conflict throughout the rest of the series, so it's now possible to hate some of the more despicable characters without hating oneself for reading about them. This book is also where some of the political machinations become more salient, which dilutes the more unpleasant psychological profiling that filled the first two books. There are even some likeable characters now! This book's main weakness is the fact that it sidelines Morn, who is the character that most deserves some serious redemption. I guess this is necessary in the grand scheme of the series' narrative, but it's hard to accept Nick and Angus as the principle protagonists after all they did in the first two books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bigby Wolfman

    Listen, folks. When it comes to science fiction that does NOT hold back on the cruelty of the human nature, The Gap Cycle IS the sole piece of literature you MUST read. It's gritty, it's violent, and there is absolutely no horror in existence you won't encounter, in some form or manifestation, along this journey. A journey that is as mesmerizing in its scope and substance as is it unforgiving and sanguinery. I found this particular book of the series to be the one that hooked me, that really rev Listen, folks. When it comes to science fiction that does NOT hold back on the cruelty of the human nature, The Gap Cycle IS the sole piece of literature you MUST read. It's gritty, it's violent, and there is absolutely no horror in existence you won't encounter, in some form or manifestation, along this journey. A journey that is as mesmerizing in its scope and substance as is it unforgiving and sanguinery. I found this particular book of the series to be the one that hooked me, that really revealed the scope of the EPIC struggle unfolding with increasing speed in front of us, and it was BEAUTIFUL. Read The Gap Cycle. It's not about glorification of violence, as some complain, but simply a study of human nature in the vastness of a cold, dangerous and deadly universe.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve R

    The Amnion are in conflict with the Bill for the possession of the forcegrown child Davies Hyland. His mother, Morn, is also a desired quarry since she should not have survived an advanced procedure performed on her and her child, and is worth studying to see how this came about Angus, now a cyborg and Nick, still a pirate at heart, seek to do their best in the situation. That their motives are both at times controlled by others while at other times, totally selfish, helped make this an enjoyabl The Amnion are in conflict with the Bill for the possession of the forcegrown child Davies Hyland. His mother, Morn, is also a desired quarry since she should not have survived an advanced procedure performed on her and her child, and is worth studying to see how this came about Angus, now a cyborg and Nick, still a pirate at heart, seek to do their best in the situation. That their motives are both at times controlled by others while at other times, totally selfish, helped make this an enjoyable read: there doesn't really seem to be any out-and-out hero, and trust between individuals seems to be in acute scarcity in this imagined world. Well-done, engaging, recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Baal Of

    I read this a long time ago. All I remember was that by this third volume, I absolutely hated this series, I hated every character, and I thought Donaldson was a fucking asshole.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Moo Guy

    4/5 With every chapter in this book and especially the 2nd half, Modern "grimdark" authors seem more like children who played to much Mortal Kombat compared to Donaldson's work here. Hes incredible at making his characters walk the line of sanity and constantly moving that line farther into the abyss. I strongly prefer to say this is a Sci-Fi Tragedy more then space opera or grimdark, but the type of tragedy that is a very deep character study and not just endless depression or something, and lot 4/5 With every chapter in this book and especially the 2nd half, Modern "grimdark" authors seem more like children who played to much Mortal Kombat compared to Donaldson's work here. Hes incredible at making his characters walk the line of sanity and constantly moving that line farther into the abyss. I strongly prefer to say this is a Sci-Fi Tragedy more then space opera or grimdark, but the type of tragedy that is a very deep character study and not just endless depression or something, and lots of drama and action. Donaldson is bringing the characters to life and then chewing them down to the bone, exposing their every emotion, hope and fear well also setting up an extremely interesting world with very realistic, yet understandable sci-fi elements with very detailed political factions. I felt the first two books struggled a little bit jumping between PoVs but in this book it was amazing. There are quite a few unexpected PoVs at really critical times to the point where I was getting excited every time I knew I was at the end of a chapter, and wondering who we're going to switch to next. The way the characters process events and information differently and scheme amongst themselves is just incredible. I also don't remember the last time I hated or rooted for certain characters so deeply, the end of the First Law Trilogy maybe? I don't think anyone has ever given the void of space such nightmareish teeth that just ripped through my nerves. A reminder that the only way you can truly get people invested in your character conflicts is truly test their morals as a reader, how much sheer violence, debauchery and emotional stress can you put into a series without just doing it for shock value? Gap Cycle is certainly testing all those limits and with every chapter Donaldson manages to raise those limits higher and higher and never once did I feel like it was ever for shock value. Already 100 pages into the next book can't read anything else have to finish this series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Celine

    That took a really long time, but it was really worth it. If you happen to read this series, try and get the covers that have the triangles on it cuz those pages are much nicer. This edition had flimsy thin pages, not a fan. Anyway, the third in a series, usually a book where the characters move to a spot to be relevant later in the next book, however, so much happened in this book. (view spoiler)[Nick's crew died, Nick got unseated as power player, Angus is back and amazing, Davies comes into ex That took a really long time, but it was really worth it. If you happen to read this series, try and get the covers that have the triangles on it cuz those pages are much nicer. This edition had flimsy thin pages, not a fan. Anyway, the third in a series, usually a book where the characters move to a spot to be relevant later in the next book, however, so much happened in this book. (view spoiler)[Nick's crew died, Nick got unseated as power player, Angus is back and amazing, Davies comes into existence, Morn evolves into a mother and that becomes her driving force, (hide spoiler)] and we have additional character perspectives. I did enjoy learning a bit more about the perspective of the police force, however there were actually a few moments I felt like we didn't need a view into the characters - (view spoiler)[all of Liete's perspectives, the first Morn perspective, and the one from Godsen into Min was quite jarring as Godsen was dead in Min's perspective - then into Warden's perspective at the end (hide spoiler)] was also a bit unnecessary, but did serve as quite a big infodump on the UMCP's side. I am really enjoying the writing style but have noticed there are many many dashes and I can't really unsee them. Everyone in the book is very emotional, at the end of their rope, and they really go through with their threats, so the story is very tense. Things are continuing to build up and I can't wait to see what book 4 and 5 bring when I get around to reading them. I've read that every one of the main 3 protagonists are deplorable but in the context of the book, I really like Angus and Morn. I hope more thrilling events happen in book 4, concerning Milos, the UMCP, Davies - I would like more of him in the book - and the trumping of the Amnion, whose voices I swear I can hear so clearly in my head. So glad I was recommended this series and found it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kaila

    Now that we're three books into the series a few things are undoubtedly clear to anyone reading A Dark and Hungry God Arises. For the majority of those people those things are not an issue, but for those pushing through with the series here are a few things that may or may not lift your spirits. First of all, we have a lot less Morn to put up with. In fact, we're treated to far more POVs than in the previous installations and it seems possible that at least one chapter doesn't mention Morn in it. Now that we're three books into the series a few things are undoubtedly clear to anyone reading A Dark and Hungry God Arises. For the majority of those people those things are not an issue, but for those pushing through with the series here are a few things that may or may not lift your spirits. First of all, we have a lot less Morn to put up with. In fact, we're treated to far more POVs than in the previous installations and it seems possible that at least one chapter doesn't mention Morn in it. I'd like to say this is a certainty but Morn is mentioned rather a lot, and often by her full name. But this is rather an improvement over having to follow her around all the time. Second, there's rather less rape going on. Even those of us who don't mind it were probably getting bored. For bonus points, the violence and unpleasant happenings that do occur aren't restricted to Morn, and indeed do happen to male characters. Of course, we're reminded fairly frequently that Morn was raped, and some of those times would be rather heart-breaking if we actually cared about any of the characters. Third, some characters realise they've been utter shits and go about taking steps to be less so. Some characters also get their just desserts. Fourth, this book is like a very long setup for the next two books, and yet it could easily be summed up in a couple of paragraphs. I won't do that but I will sum it up in one sentence: numerous factions are plotting against each other and we get to see into each of their heads (in far too much detail), probably needlessly. It isn't particularly confusing although not all of it really seems like it can be adequetly explained. And lastly, if you've read the Mordant's Need series you'll find a sentence very reminesent of that near the end of this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David

    Aaaaand, I'm done. I got about a third of the way through this one before tossing it into the corner. There are several problems with this series for me: * I don't like/can't identify with ANY of the characters or their motivations. That being the case, I don't know who to root for. And that leaves me without any motivation to keep reading. I just don't care what the future holds for these characters. * The world-building is very weak. Basically, you could sum this civilization up as "Everyone's t Aaaaand, I'm done. I got about a third of the way through this one before tossing it into the corner. There are several problems with this series for me: * I don't like/can't identify with ANY of the characters or their motivations. That being the case, I don't know who to root for. And that leaves me without any motivation to keep reading. I just don't care what the future holds for these characters. * The world-building is very weak. Basically, you could sum this civilization up as "Everyone's trying to screw everyone else". There's no history. There's no future. The background is almost completely 2D. The tech is boring and unimaginative. The entire civilization could be painted on a kid's lunchbox. * If you took Donaldson's question mark key off his keyboard, he couldn't write. You spend almost all your time inside the characters' heads, listening to them asking themselves the same boring questions over and over and OVER. * In my brain, I've visualized the characters in this series using the characters in the movie Heavy Metal's "Captain Sternn" vignette. Which is just too silly. I've had to force myself to read almost every single page of these books (to date) and I'm just not interested in going further. I picked up a John Scalzi book after throwing this one on the floor and was IMMEDIATELY hooked into the characters and storytelling. In the first chapter. What a breath of fresh air!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gregs3071

    This, the third book in the series, is slightly less gripping than its predecessors. The frenetic pace of the previous novel slows down as the story behind the story takes a greater proportion of the center stage. Similarly more stories within the story are explored as events are experienced through the perspectives of a wider range of characters. There is still horror and depravity aplenty, but as the story moves along and the situations change those aspects fade into the background. I found the This, the third book in the series, is slightly less gripping than its predecessors. The frenetic pace of the previous novel slows down as the story behind the story takes a greater proportion of the center stage. Similarly more stories within the story are explored as events are experienced through the perspectives of a wider range of characters. There is still horror and depravity aplenty, but as the story moves along and the situations change those aspects fade into the background. I found the over-use of italicisation-for-emphasis annoying. Given the amount of italicisation-for-reflection, I would have preferred it to not be used at all for emphasis. It is a cracking yarn, and a must read for anyone who has read the preceding novels in the series. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denis

    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 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 - and the books develop into action-packed, plot-driven page-turners. Books 4 and 5 make for some of the most exhilarating, and satisfying, reading I can recall. Overall, the series is well-written and the characters thoroughly explored. (Even book 1, for all its brutality, is a really interesting exercise in how to present the same event through several different lenses.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Micah Scelsi

    Summary: The Plot Thickens This book is in the middle of the series, so there isn't a ton of resolution, but the storyline and characters continue to develop and face new challenges. This book is the convergence of many things that were set into motion during the second volume. Besides fleshing-out the various characters a bit better, Donaldson does a good job of telling the story from different character points of view throughout the book. There is still quite a bit of crude language, but physica Summary: The Plot Thickens This book is in the middle of the series, so there isn't a ton of resolution, but the storyline and characters continue to develop and face new challenges. This book is the convergence of many things that were set into motion during the second volume. Besides fleshing-out the various characters a bit better, Donaldson does a good job of telling the story from different character points of view throughout the book. There is still quite a bit of crude language, but physical and psychological torture scenes have mostly abated in this third installment. Donaldson has already used its power to shape his characters, and relies on flashback to help demonstrate their various motivations.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Virdomarus

    Dark brutal series. Donaldson likes to have bad things happen to his characters, and alot of bad things happen here Thought Morns character arc was very good. Most authors would have had her klling everyone who wronged her (Every other character nearly), instead her ability to rise above whats been done to her and find better answers to her problems showed the true strength of her character. The complexity of Angus was also well done, thought his redemption was believable Liked the fact that it all Dark brutal series. Donaldson likes to have bad things happen to his characters, and alot of bad things happen here Thought Morns character arc was very good. Most authors would have had her klling everyone who wronged her (Every other character nearly), instead her ability to rise above whats been done to her and find better answers to her problems showed the true strength of her character. The complexity of Angus was also well done, thought his redemption was believable Liked the fact that it all took place in space, or on a station. No other planets. Also the Amnion were suitably intimidating, made all the better by us not being given too much information about them Could have had a little less internal angst and a bit more action though..

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tmison89

    I think this is where I bow out of the Gap Cycle. After finishing the third book I've realised all of the characters are awful people, with no redeeming qualities. In particular, Nick and Angus have done unspeakable things, I can't in any good faith continue to follow their story. I don't care. The writing style. I'm just not connected anymore. Book 1 was ddcent and I was OK in book 2 but now it's gone. I had similar issues with the first Thomas book Donaldson wrote, which meant I got no where near I think this is where I bow out of the Gap Cycle. After finishing the third book I've realised all of the characters are awful people, with no redeeming qualities. In particular, Nick and Angus have done unspeakable things, I can't in any good faith continue to follow their story. I don't care. The writing style. I'm just not connected anymore. Book 1 was ddcent and I was OK in book 2 but now it's gone. I had similar issues with the first Thomas book Donaldson wrote, which meant I got no where near finishing it. Sci fi isn't my fave genre anyway, but I think it's more than that here. The story seems to have moved, but only slightly. The characters have developed, but they're just horrific. Life's too short and there's too many good books. 4/10

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Kerr

    I struggled somewhat with this one, reflected in the length of time it took to read and the fact that I kept turning to other books during that time. I never felt that I got to grips with the political and corporate machinations that seem to be key to driving the story and I couldn’t say for sure whether that’s down to me missing stuff or Donaldson’s writing. I’ll no doubt read the next in the series though, if only to see what happens to the transformed Angus when, as I’m sure he will, he cuts I struggled somewhat with this one, reflected in the length of time it took to read and the fact that I kept turning to other books during that time. I never felt that I got to grips with the political and corporate machinations that seem to be key to driving the story and I couldn’t say for sure whether that’s down to me missing stuff or Donaldson’s writing. I’ll no doubt read the next in the series though, if only to see what happens to the transformed Angus when, as I’m sure he will, he cuts his puppet strings.

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