Expeditionary Force Reading Order by Craig Alanson

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks!

Written by self-published author Craig Alanson, the Expeditionary Force is a military science-fiction series that will be composed of 14 novels. Humanity realizes suddenly that space is full of more advanced species when the conflict between the Ruhar and the Kristang affects Earth. The humans are recruited in an intergalactic war.

That’s how Army Specialist Joe Bishop got shipped to another solar system for training before realizing that, maybe, he was fighting on the wrong side… The story of the Expeditionary Force series was first inspired by the 2011 movie Battle: Los Angeles.

Expeditionary Force Books in Order:

Here is a full listing of all the stories set in the Expeditionary Force series in order:

  1. Columbus Day.
  2. SpecOps
  3. Paradise .
  4. Trouble on Paradise (novella)
  5. Black Ops
  6. Zero Hour
  7. Mavericks
  8. Renegades
  9. Homefront (short story)
  10. Armageddon
  11. Valkyrie
  12. Critical Mass
  13. Brushfire
  14. Breakaway
  15. Fallout
  16. Match Game
  17. Failure Mode
  18. Aftermath

For more information about the books in the Expeditionary Force series, you’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:

Columbus Day – An alien civilization named the Ruhar attacked Earth on Columbus Day. When the morning sky twinkled again, another alien species, The Kristang, arrived to fight off the Ruhar, then enlisted the humans in an on-going intergalactic war against the Ruhar and other species. And it was just the beginning….

SpecOps – Colonel Joe Bishop made a promise and he’s going to keep it; taking the captured alien starship Flying Dutchman back out. He doesn’t agree when the UN decides to send almost 70 elite Special Operations troops, hotshot pilots and scientists with him; the mission is a fool’s errand he doesn’t expect to ever return. At least, this time, the Earth is safe, right? Not so much.

Paradise – While the crew of the starship Flying Dutchman have been trying to assure that hostile aliens do not have access to Earth, the UN Expeditionary Force has been stranded on the planet they nicknamed ‘Paradise’. The Flying Dutchman is headed back out on another mission, and the UN wants the ship to find out the status of the humans on Paradise. But Colonel Joe Bishop warns that they might not like what they find, and they can’t do anything about it without endangering Earth.

Trouble on Paradise (novella) – While the crew of the UN Expeditionary Force’s pirate starship Flying Dutchman are enjoying a luxury vacation cruise (not!), UNEF troops are still stranded on an alien-controlled planet. Major Emily Perkins and her team are busy picking up the pieces, and it’s not easy, because there is trouble on Paradise…

Black Ops – The elite crew of the pirate ship UNS Flying Dutchman had a simple mission: determining whether the Thuranin are sending another starship to Earth. Along the way, they became sidetracked by securing a future for the UNEF troops on the planet Paradise. When asked whether Earth was now safe, their ancient alien AI responded ‘Not so much’… now they have to deal with the consequences.

Zero Hour – United Nations Special Operations Command sent an elite Expeditionary Force of soldiers and pilots out on a simple recon mission, and somehow along the way they sparked an alien civil war. Now the not-at-all-Merry Band of Pirates is in desperate trouble, again. Their stolen alien starship is falling apart, thousands of lightyears from home. The ancient alien AI they nicknamed ‘Skippy’ is apparently dead, and even if they can by some miracle revive him, he might never be the same.

Mavericks – The remnants of the Expeditionary Force stranded on the alien-controlled planet ‘Paradise’ get a chance to prove themselves, in a simple off-world training mission with a ship full of teenage alien cadets. When the mission goes horribly wrong and the survival of everyone on Paradise is at risk, the Merry Band of Pirates may have to come to the rescue. Unless they get killed first…

Renegades – The battle-scarred star carrier Flying Dutchman is finally on her way back to Earth, after an exceptionally successful series of missions that have once again Saved The World. The ship needs a serious refit, and her exhausted crew just wants a break from constant clandestine warfare against a vicious and superior enemy. Wishes come true, right? Not for the Merry Band of Pirates.

Homefront (short story) – After the latest mission of the starship Flying Dutchman, Earth is safe not just for a year, but for hundreds of years. The ship’s weary crew wonders what they will do with their lives in peacetime, but the enemy has other plans, and there is danger on the Homefront.

Armageddon – After the Renegade mission by the crew of the starship Flying Dutchman, the UN Expeditionary Force thought Earth was safe for hundreds of years, at least. After there was trouble on the Homefront, and the President had to authorize a nuclear strike on an American city. UNEF decided they did need the Merry Band of Pirates again. So, the Flying Dutchman is sent out on a simple recon mission. But for the Pirates, nothing is ever simple, and their mission will become Armageddon.

Valkyrie – After saving the world many times, the Merry Band of Pirates have accepted the inevitable: Earth is doomed. All they can do is try to bring a few thousand people to safety, before vicious aliens arrive to destroy humanity’s homeworld. No. There is one other thing they can do: hit the enemy so hard that the aliens will regret they ever heard of humans.

Critical Mass – The Merry Band of Pirates are in desperate trouble after the end of their last mission, and the real danger to humanity is just getting started. Hostile aliens have discovered there is something odd going on with wormholes in the galaxy, and their investigations could lead to finding a shortcut to Earth….

Brushfire – Peacetime can be a rough adjustment for the battle-hardened Merry Band of Pirates.Especially when aliens don’t get the memo that the shooting is over.

Breakaway – The Merry Band of Pirates offered the bad guys a ceasefire. We won’t mess with them if they don’t mess with us. Easy, right? NO. The aliens chose to do things the hard way. So, the Pirates are racing around the galaxy to clean up the threat to Earth. The infant UN Navy has its own mission with the Alien Legion: get humanity some allies in the fight. And the Ethics & Compliance Office might have to do something…ethical. Unless they can find a way around it.

Fallout – The problem with lying about having a super weapon, is that the bad guys might believe they have nothing to lose by doing something stupid that both sides will regret. Or, they might just call your bluff. Either way, the Merry Band of Pirates needs a plan to deal with the Fallout.

Match Game – For years, the ancient alien AI known as Skippy (the Magnificent, don’t forget that part) has been able to do one impossible thing after another. What is his secret? It’s simple: 100 percent Grade-A Extreme Awesomeness. And, also because he had never been faced with an opponent of equal power. Until now.

Failure Mode – When a mission ends in disaster and there is no way to achieve the objective, no way to regroup and try again, no plan B, no hope, all you can do is fall back into FAILURE MODE: try to salvage what you can. If it is even possible to save anything. Or anyone. The galaxy is doomed. Monkeys may be clever and too stubborn to give up, but Skippy The Idiot Who Got PLAYED knows the harsh truth: this is a fight he can’t win. The odds are not only stacked against him, he was designed not to win this fight. Maybe he can salvage some faint memory of the civilizations that inhabit the galaxy, but those beings are doomed. Doomed. Including the Merry Band of Pirates

If you like our article about reading the Expeditionary Force books in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in the Lost Fleet series, The Odyssey One series, or the Old Man’s War series.

Similar Posts


    I’ve listened to audible books in order expeditionary force…9 books and I have to say the end of Valkyrie broke my heart….is this the end of bishop and skippy? I sure hope not…I loved every one of them.

    1. No this isn’t the end.
      Critical Mass picks up right where Valkyrie left off and there are three more books in the series after Valkyrie.

  2. i would like to order the whole series on physical unabridged cd discs but cannot find anywhere to order them. the only audio i can find is “audible”. are they not available in regular cd discs? if they are available, can you please provide me where i can order them as i have searched everywhere and everyhow i possibly know! i appreciate any help.

  3. Alright you filthy monkeys, listen up. Brushfire is the title of book 11. To be released Dec 15 on audible. Great ready for more awesomeness.

  4. Excellent series. I just completed listening to Criticle Mass today. Tomorrow I start on Brushfire. Funny this about this, i thought criticle mass was book 11. But when I started listening to the opening credits it said book 11 Expeditionary Force: Brushfire. Is this a typo? I believe it to be new as I did not see it listed.

  5. trouble on paridise and maverricks are not part of the skippy and joe series they are side a series latest book to be release brushfire is book 11 in the series.

  6. Yeah this order isn’t right.

    Breakaway – 12
    Brushfire – 11
    Critical Mass – 10
    Valkyrie – 9
    Armageddon – 8
    Homefront – 7.5
    Renegades – 7
    Mavericks – 6
    Zero Hour – 5
    Black Ops – 4
    Trouble On Paradise – 3.5
    Paradise – 3
    Spec Ops – 2
    Columbus Day – 1

  7. This is close,go 1-4 you stop at chapter 12 on book 4 and then listen to 3.5 full book then restart book 4 where you stopped this makes it flow better, I found this listening order online somewhere and tried it on my second time thru these books which I fully LOVE! It worked better for me doing this, can’t wait to listen to 12! Homefront was a disappointment i.m.o.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *