There is an old adage that reading gives you a place to go when you have to stay where you are, and James Rollins certainly achieves this in his books. Regardless of which James Rollins book got you hooked first, keep reading to learn more about all of the James Rollins books in order.
Many of his books, including the popular sigma force series, are riveting international adventures that defy a single genre. Before we dive into our list, let’s learn a little more about James Rollins himself.
You are reading: James rollins books in order of release
who is james rollins?
James Rollins is one of two pseudonyms used by American veterinarian-turned-author James Czajkowski. the other nickname is james clemens. but for the sake of simplicity, he will be referred to as rollins in most of this guide.
rollins was born in chicago and grew up in the midwest and canada as part of a large family with three brothers and three sisters. She says that she honed her storytelling skills at a young age, largely through tales that were pranks for her siblings.
As a kid, Rollins devoured pulps like The Shadow, The Spider, and The Avenger, as well as Doc Savage, Jules Verne, and H.G. Well it was these cumulative jobs that made Rollins decide he wanted to be a writer.
but of course rollins first took a different path. Before becoming a bestselling author, he was a successful veterinarian with his own practice in Sacramento, California for over a decade. even now, he still devotes his time and expertise to local shelters.
rollins credits his knowledge of medicine and science for shaping his approach to scientific inquiry and speculation in his books. he also admits that he loves the research phase of writing. As you might expect given the international nature of his books, Rollins also loves to travel and explore new places.
Collectively, his books have sold more than 20 million copies and have been translated into more than 40 languages.
james rollins books in order
To start the list of james rollins books in order, we’ll start by going through all the books published under this pseudonym of his. these books tend to fall more into the action, adventure, and thriller genres and make up the bulk of his bibliography. however, there is one notable exception with your latest post.
sigma force books
first of all james rollins most popular series is arguably sigma force. Commander Gray Pierce’s character and his mundane adventures is what Rollins has become best known for.
rollins says on his website that you don’t need to read this series in any specific order to enjoy the adventure. he writes each book so that a reader can pick it up and still follow the characters and the story. however, it is preferable to read these james rollins books in order, as you will be able to follow the character development and backstory later.
- sandstorm (2004)
- map of bones (2005)
- black order (2006)
- the tension of judas (2007 )
- the last oracle (2008)
- the key to the end of the world (2009)
- the devil’s colony (2010)
- bloodline (2012)
- the eye of god (2013)
- the sixth extinction (2014)
- the labyrinth of bones (2015)
- the seventh plague (2016) )
- the devil’s crown (2017)
- crucible (2018)
- the last odyssey (2020)
- the kingdom of bones (2022) )
Sigma force short stories
Also, if you want a little more of this world and you’re a fan of stories, then you’re in luck. There are a handful of tales available that take place in the world of Sigma Force. Devil’s Bones, marked below with an asterisk, were written with Steve Berry and feature Cotton Malone.
- kowalski is in love (2006)
- the skeleton key (2011)
- tracker (2012)
- the devil’s bones (2014) *
- Midnight Watch (2015)
- Crash and Burn (2016)
- Ghost Ship (2017)
jake rescue books
The next series on this list is middle grade fiction. The Jake Ransom Series is a fantasy adventure series that follows the titular character Jake Ransom and his sister Kady. These books have much of the adventure that James Rollins is known for, but with subtle adjustments to make them appropriate for a younger audience.
- jake ransom and the shadow of the skull king (2009)
- jake ransom and the howling sphinx (2010)
the order of the bloody books
In addition, James Rollins is the co-author of this series along with Rebecca Cantrell. The Order of the Sanguines series combines Rollins’ classic international adventure tales with elements of fantasy, horror, and paranormal phenomena as events are traced through time. this series is a trilogy with two complementary stories; therefore, it is complete.
- city of screams (2012) (story)
- the gospel of blood (2013)
- blood brothers (2013) (story)
- innocent blood (2013)
- infernal blood (2015)
tucker wayne books
This is a complementary series derived from sigma force. Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog Kane were first introduced in the Sigma series Tale Tracker and later appeared again in the eighth book Lineage. In this series, written with Grant Blackwood, Tucker and Kane embark on more exploits.
- the kill switch (2014)
- warhawk (2016)
next james rollins new series is moon fall. This, like some of his earlier work under the James Clemens moniker, falls within the fantasy and science fiction genres.
It begins when a gifted student predicts the arrival of an imminent apocalypse. she manages to escape her death sentence and later joins a team of fellow outcasts. together they must uncover the secrets of a distant past and save their world.
- the starless crown (2022)
- the ice cradle (planned: February 7, 2023)
james rollins books in order – independent
james rollins has also written a handful of independent novels, although most of them are from an earlier stage in his career. These earlier titles, however, contain many similar themes to his Sigma Force series with exploration, discovery, and international adventure. This list also contains Rollins’ novelization of the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- underground (1999)
- excavation (2000)
- deep fathom (2001)
- amazonia (2002)
- ice hunt (2003)
- indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull (2008)
- altar of eden (2009)
james rollins books in order – anthologies
james rollins also appears in the following anthologies. These are compilations from some of today’s best suspense and mystery writers.
- killer year: stories to die for… (2008)
- warriors (2010)
- showdown (2014)
james rollins books in order – short story collections
james rollins has also published his own collection of short stories. This volume includes nine previously published short stories and a new short story by Tucker Wayne, Sun Dog. each story features an introduction by rollins.
- unrestricted access (2020)
james rollins writing like james clemens
this next section of james rollins books presents in order his works published under the pseudonym james clemens. As mentioned above, these books belong to the fantasy genre.
forbidden and banished books
this was the first james rollins series, although of course it is credited to james clemens. Per the series description, the Banned and the Outcasts feature a band of heroes, a world in peril, and an unforgettable heroine whose unexpected gift of magic awakens an ancient sleeping evil.
- witch fire (1998)
- witch storm (1999)
- witch war (2000)
- wit ch gate (2001 )
- star witch (2002)
godslayer chronicles books
Finally, there is the godslayer chronicle series. Although this series began almost two decades ago, James Rollins says on his website that he has future plans for the series.
The working title of the third installment is Sword of God. the publication of a third book will complete the first trilogy set in this word of gods and darkness. however, rollins hints that there could be a second trilogy with many of the same characters.
- the fall of shadows (2005)
- the interior (2006)
summary of james rollins books in order
So now that you know all the books James Rollins has written, under his two pseudonyms, let’s take a closer look at his Sigma Force series. This list will include summaries of the first ten of these James Rollins books in order.
1. sand storm
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an unexplained explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a london museum. proceeds to set off alarm bells in clandestine organizations around the world.
and now the search for answers is led by the protagonist kara kensington; her friend safia al-maaz, the gallery’s brilliant and beautiful curator; and her guide, international adventurer Omaha Dunn, into a world they never dreamed existed. a lost city buried under the Arabian desert.
but others are also being drawn there, some for dark and sinister purposes. and the many dangers of a death-defying journey into the wild heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare that waits to be unearthed at journey’s end. it is a timeless and awesome power that could create a utopia… or destroy everything humanity has built for countless millennia.
2. bone map
bones lead to ancient mysteries and modern terror…following them means death.
During a crowded service in a German cathedral, armed intruders in monks’ robes unleash a nightmare of blood and destruction. But the assassins haven’t come for the gold.
they look for a more valuable prize. the bones of wizards who once paid homage to a newborn savior. it’s a treasure that could reshape the world.
With the Vatican in crisis, Sigma Force springs into action under the command of Grayson Pierce, pursuing a deadly mystery that weaves through the sites of the Seven Wonders of the World and ends at the threshold of an ancient, mystical secret. and terrifying to order. because there are those who have dark plans for the stolen sacred remains that will alter the future of humanity… when science and religion unite to unleash a horror not seen since the beginning of time.
3. black order
A sinister fire in a Copenhagen bookstore sparks a relentless search across four continents. An arson and murder reveal an insidious plot to steal a bible that once belonged to Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution. and Major Gray Pierce is plunged headlong into a mystery that dates back to Nazi Germany…and the horrific experiments conducted in a now-abandoned laboratory buried in a dug-out mountain in Poland.
Meanwhile, a continent away, madness strikes a remote monastery high in Nepal, as Buddhist monks resort to cannibalism and torture. Lisa Cummings is a young American doctor investigating the atrocity. she is suddenly the target of a brutal assassin working for underground forces who want to bury the matter at all costs.
Lisa’s only ally is a hidden pilgrim, the painter Crowe. He is the director of the Sigma Force, an elite commando of American scientists and special forces agents. but he, too, already shows signs of the baffling disease that destroyed the minds of the monks.
Now it’s up to Gray Pierce to save both the painter and Lisa, as well as a world in peril. The sigma force must race to expose a centuries-old plot that threatens to destroy the current world order…and alter the fate of humanity forever.
4. the judas strain
From the depths of the Indian Ocean, a terrible plague has risen to devastate mankind. a disease that is unknown, unstoppable… and deadly. but it is merely a harbinger of doom to come.
Aboard a cruise ship converted into a makeshift hospital, Dr. Sigma Force Agents Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis search for answers to the strange affliction. but there are others with much less altruistic intentions. In a sudden and savage coup, terrorists hijack the ship, turning a ship of mercy into a floating bioweapons lab.
A world away, sigma commander gray pierce thwarts the murderous plans of a beautiful would-be assassin who holds the first clue to a possible cure. Later, he Pierce joins forces with the woman who wanted him dead. Together they embark on an amazing quest on the trail of history’s most legendary explorer: Marco Polo.
but time is an enemy as a global pandemic rapidly grows out of control. As a relentless madman follows his every move, Gray and his unlikely ally are drawn into an astonishing mystery buried deep in antiquity and in humanity’s genetic code. And as the seconds tick down to doomsday, Gray Pierce will realize that he really can’t trust anyone, as any one of them could be… a Judas.
5. the last oracle
in washington, d.c., a homeless man dies in the arms of major gray pierce, struck by an assassin’s bullet. but death leaves behind a greater mystery. a bloody coin is found clutched in the dead man’s hand; an ancient relic dating back to the greek oracle at delphi.
As ruthless hunters search for the stolen artifact, Gray Pierce discovers that the coin holds the key to unlocking a plot that dates back to the Cold War and threatens the very foundations of humanity.
Meanwhile, an international think tank of scientists known as the Jasons have discovered a way of bioengineering autistic children who display scholarly talents (mathematical geniuses, statistical masterminds, brilliant conceptual artists) into something much larger and more “scary”. all in the hope of creating a world prophet for the new millennium, one to be manipulated into creating a new era of global peace…a peace on their own terms.
then, on the other side of the world, a man wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of who he is. all he knows is that he is a prisoner in an underground research facility.
With the help of three unusual children, he manages to escape through a mountainous and radioactive countryside, pursued by savage hunters raised in the same laboratory. but his goal is not to escape, not even to survive. To foil a plot to wipe out a quarter of the world’s population, he must sacrifice everyone, including the children who rescued him.
From ancient Greek temples to resplendent mausoleums, from the slums of India to the toxic ruins of Russia, two men must race against time to solve a mystery that dates back to history’s first famous oracle: the greek oracle of delphi
But one question remains: “Will the past be enough to save the future?”
6. the key to the end of the world
At Princeton University, a famous geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. later, in rome, a vatican archaeologist is found dead in st. peter’s basilica finally, in africa, a u.s. the senator’s son is killed outside a red cross camp.
The three murders on three continents have a horrible connection. all victims are marked with a druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh.
Strange murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and the Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle that stretches back centuries, to a gruesome crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. the first clue is discovered inside a mummified corpse buried in an English peat bog. It’s a hideous secret that threatens America and the world.
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Assisted by two women from his past, one his ex-lover and the other his new partner, Gray must piece together the horrible truth. But revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifice one of the women by his side. that alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.
Sigma Force takes on humanity’s greatest threat in an adventure from the Roman coliseum to the frozen peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. the last nightmare is locked inside a talisman buried by a dead saint. an ancient artifact known as the key to the end of the world.
7. the devil’s colony
Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery (hundreds of mummified bodies) sparks international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts about the origin of the bodies, the local Native American heritage commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the cavern itself: gold plates inscribed with unfathomable script.
then, during a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly. they are burned to ashes in a fiery explosion in full view of television cameras.
All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans. including a troublemaker, a teenage troublemaker who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls the only person he could help. his uncle, crow painter, director of sigma force.
To protect his niece and discover the truth, the painter will start a war between the most powerful intelligence agencies in the country. however, an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a terrifying chain reaction. a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the us.
From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the scorching deserts of the American Southwest, from the gilded vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with Commander Gray Pierce to enter the shadowy heart of a cabal. dark, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding of the thirteen colonies.
But can he uncover the truth, one that could topple governments, before it destroys everything he loves?
The year is 1025 in Galilee. a cunning templar knight discovers a sacred treasure. It is the Bachal Isu, the staff of Jesus Christ, a priceless icon possessing a mysterious and terrifying power that, if unleashed, will change humanity forever.
A millennium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast of the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a pregnant American girl and brutally murdering her husband. So, Painter Crowe and his Sigma Team get ready for the top-secret rescue mission.
that’s because the kidnapped woman is amanda gant-bennett, our daughter. president james gant Crowe suspects more than a little that the kidnapping is masking a much more nefarious plot.
However, in the field, Commander Gray Pierce leads his small team of operatives into the treacherous African jungle to find the missing woman. but what should be a simple rescue turns into a vicious ambush and a deadly act of betrayal.
That’s because, as Commander Pierce and his team discover, the hostage is a pawn in a devastating act of terrorism with dark and shocking repercussions. and the danger is just beginning…
9. the eye of god
the accident of a u.s. A military research satellite in the remote wilderness of Mongolia sets off an explosive search for the valuable cargo it contains. a black code physics project connected to the study of dark energy. the energy connected to the birth of our universe.
But the last blurry image of the falling satellite captures a chilling sight. It’s a terrifying glimpse into the future, a view of an eastern seaboard of the united states smoldering into utter ruin.
Then, at the Vatican, a mysterious package arrives for the pontifical head of ancient studies, sent by a colleague who had disappeared a decade earlier. It contains two strange artifacts: a skull scrawled in ancient Aramaic, and a tome bound in human skin.
DNA tests reveal both to be from Genghis Khan, the long-dead Mongol king whose undiscovered tomb is rumored to contain the vast treasures and knowledge of an ancient lost empire.
commander gray pierce and sigma will be joined by a couple of vatican historians. Together they must race to discover a truth linked to the fall of the Roman Empire, a mystery linked to the roots of the origins of Christianity, and a weapon hidden for centuries that guards the destiny of humanity.
10. the sixth extinction
A remote military research station issues a frantic distress call that ends with a chilling message: kill us all. when the soldiers arrive to investigate, they discover that everyone in the lab is dead…
Not only scientists, but all living things within fifty square miles are wiped out: all animals, plants and insects, even bacteria. the land is completely barren and the plague is spreading.
To avoid the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must unravel a threat from the distant past. from a time when Antarctica was green and life on earth balanced on a razor’s edge. Following clues from an ancient map salvaged from the lost Library of Alexandria, Sigma will make a shocking discovery involving a prehistoric continent and a new form of death buried under miles of ice.
From ancient secrets from the icy past to mysteries buried deep within today’s darkest jungles, sigma will face its greatest challenge yet. they must stop the next extinction of humanity.
but is it already too late?
final thoughts on james rollins books in order
With over 50 works to his name, Rollins has written numerous series and stand-alone alike. most of his books contain some thread of international adventure, whether the setting is our world or a fantastic one. Therefore, reading the James Rollins books in order will be a stimulating exploration.
Looking for more books in order?
look at this list of steve berry’s books in order.
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