The fourth instalment in the GAP sequence: Stephen Donaldson's fascinating universe peopled with characters of a passion and intensity only he could create.
As the planetoid Thanatos Minor explodes into atoms, the Trumpet hurtles into space, just one step ahead of hostile pursures. On board the Trumpet are Nick Succorso, Morn Hyland, her force-grown son Davies and the cyborg Angus Thermopyle, old enemies now thrown together in a desperate bid for survival. The only hope for the exhausted crew is an illegal lab in a distant binary solar system and that means a journey of unpredictable dangers from which they may not return ...
This fourth installment of Donaldson's Gap series may at first confuse even those who have read the previous volumes, since there's no summary of what has gone before and the plot is extremely convoluted. Once it gets going, though, the action moves forward like a juggernaut. Pursued by a police battle cruiser, by a bounty hunter and by a ship commanded by human agents of the dreaded Amnion, an alien race, Angus Thermopyle heads his ship, Trumpet , for an illegal lab hidden in a chaotic asteroid belt. There, Thermopyle, once a fearsome pirate, now a cyborg partially controlled by police programming, plans to have the secret ``antimutagen,'' which protects humans against the forced mutation practiced by the Amnion, replicated for mass distribution. Aboard Trumpet are the survivors from the pirate ship Captain's Fancy , including Morn Hyland (the series' long-suffering heroine) and her erstwhile tormentor, Nick Succorso. The larger conflict between Warden Dios, head of the United Mining Companies police, and Holt Fasner, CEO of the powerful megacorporation, moves closer to its climax; but the real excitement comes with the extended chase and battle in the asteroid swarm. Series readers will be glad to see that this installment, which at last begins to resolve the overall plot, offers plenty of thrills and an exciting finish that will leave them eager for the fifth and final volume.