In the fourth book in his darkly thrilling world of space adventure, the bestselling author of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant takes readers to new levels of suspense, as he continues the penultimate chapter on the ongoing battle between human and alien . . . and the darkness hidden in us all.In the fourth book in his darkly thrilling world of space adventure, the bestselling author of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant takes readers to new levels of suspense, as he continues the penultimate chapter on the ongoing battle between human and alien . . . and the darkness hidden in us all.Read Less
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A little background before an actual review (this is going to be an action packed review!): I've read lots of Stephen R. Donaldson books. All of the Thomas Covenant books (well, the 8th, most recent one, is on my list to read soon), the Mirror of Her Dreams ones, and one or two others. I guess I like his writing style! Long ago I did try to read the Real Story, the first of what I thought was a trilogy. I found it somewhat confusing, you keep on meeting new characters, and the story keeps on changing (I think that was supposed to be the novelty of that book). And so I ended up with three unread books on my shelves, for maybe ten years. Recently I was looking for the next book to read, and I had heard one time that the Gap series, as it perhaps is correctly called, was actually good. So I gave it another try. Sure enough, I did get past the confusion I had the first time around, and raced my way through the first three books. Before finishing the trilogy I found out that really it was a five book series. I went to one book store, as well as checking online with them and other big book sellers. No hope online, but a guy at that store did check into it for me, enough for me to find out that the fourth and fifth books were out of print. Good man that he was, he told me about Alibris.com, and so I ordered the last two books from there. There was (is) a delay on one of the two, but fortunately for me it was the fifth book that was delayed, and so I've being reading the fourth book for the last few weeks (I'm a slow reader!). I'll get around to talking about that any moment now.... In the first three Convent books, Donaldson hit an interesting problem, he had entirely written it from Thomas Convent's point of view, so that you, the reader, were never fully sure if the story was real, or all in Covenant's mind. He (Donaldson) did later write a shorter book to cover some of the story of the Giants, because he wasn't able to write that part of the story in the main book, as it was from the viewpoint of the giants, and that would have ruined his approach of having everything from Covenant's point of view. With the Gap series he takes a completely different approach (not counting the first book), he constantly switches between the viewpoint of the different characters. He even titles the chapter after the name of the character whose viewpoint is being followed. It's an interesting approach, and you end up liking some characters that you wouldn't think should be liked, or disliking some that might, from another character's point of view, be likable. There are still a lot of characters to follow, and jumping between them keeps you on your toes, but then you do get five books worth of time to grow to know them. At their worst, the books keep you reading to find out what happens next, and at their best they are thrilling, you don't want to stop reading. The third book was a roller-coaster ride towards the end, and this fourth book is full of action packed sequences. I do have a few more chapters to read, hopefully the fifth book will arrive before I'm done! Four star rating to allow for some headroom. It's five stars worth of entertainment.
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