Can I read book number three, Abaddon's Gate, from the series The Expanse by James S.A. Corey, without having read any of the previous books in the series?

  • 3
    Can you? Yes. Should you? That's a different question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 12:14
  • 2
    The third one is the least good of the first three books. Take away the context for why anything is happening by skipping one and two would probably make it even more boring, when I thought it was already a bit of a slog at points. Of course, that's just my opinion.
    – Kai
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 23:25
  • Related: literature.stackexchange.com/questions/1731/… Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 6:59

2 Answers 2


You should read the novels in order. You'll have a MUCH better sense of what's going on and enjoy the books more, plus later books definitely contain spoilers re earlier ones.

There are a few very short novellas and short stories that don't need to be read to enjoy the novels.

  • 1
    "... in order" - but which order? If you provide an in-universe chronological suggested order here, you can most probably expect a 100 pt. bounty from me. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:34
  • 3
    Umm. Publication order. Just look on wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Expanse_(novel_series)#Novels
    – CNB3
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 15:37


You'll lose the background history/politics, but the base storyline of each book is fairly self contained. You'll also lose the introduction of the Protomolecule and Miller's backstory.

If you want an overview of the other books without having to read them, just take a look on the Wikipedia pages for a brief synopsis.

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