Suggested Reading Order For The Colin McCool Series, The Junkyard Druid Novellas, And My THEM Post-Apocalyptic Series
Readers often ask, “What do I read first?” or “Did I miss something? These characters are referencing an event that wasn’t in the main series!”
In the latter case, they’re usually referring to something that happened in one of the short stories or novellas. I know some readers feel those additional books and stories are unnecessary, and I get that. However, the short story collections and novellas are intended to provide back story on supporting characters, and to flesh out details that I might have glossed over in the main novels.
Usually I write a short story about an event that is mentioned in the main books because the scene or sub-plot didn’t fit neatly in the original narrative. Plus, it gives me a change of pace in my writing schedule. Since I started writing full-time, I’ve found that if I’m always writing the same characters and point of view, I get burned out really fast.
I know this is confusing for people who are new to the series and world of Colin McCool, so I put together a suggested reading order, based on the chronology of the events in the Junkyard Druid books, novellas, short story collections, and THEM post-apocalyptic series, which is in the same shared universe.
Suggested Reading Order:
(optional) Invasion: Zombie Apocalypse
(optional) Incursion: Vampire Apocalypse
Counteraction: Werewolf Apocalypse (first THEM book in which Colin shows up)
(optional) Gabby’s Run: Paranormal Apocalypse
The CERBERUS Paranormal Detective Series
To clear up any confusion on the chronology of the various series, below I’ve added the timeline I use to help me keep events straight from novel to novel and series to series. Also, the Trickster novels are the “main” story, continued in another series. Some readers seem to have adopted the misguided notion that there’s a divergence from the “main” storyline in The Trickster Cycle. There is no divergence in Colin’s story, other than the fact that I decided to continue Colin’s novels in separate series so readers would have more opportunities to stumble across my books when shopping online.
A TIMELINE OF EVENTS FOR MY DRUIDVERSE NOVELS
- The CERBERUS SERIES – The first three books occur approximately five years before Blood Scent and Junkyard Druid.
- Prequel: Druid Blood – Three-ish years before Junkyard Druid
- Prequel: Blood Scent – Spring, Year One
- Junkyard Druid – September, Year One
- Graveyard Druid – October, Year One
- Moonlight Druid – Winter, Year One
- Underground Druid – Spring, Year Two
- Druid Justice – Summer, Year Two
- Druid Enforcer – Early Fall, Year Two
- Druid Vengeance – Early Fall, Year Two
- Druid’s Due – Early Fall, Year Two
- Shade Cursed
- Druid Apprentice – October, Year Two
- Shade Hunted
- Druid Mystic – Late October/Early November, Year Two
- Druid Arcane – April, Year Three
- Druid Master – May, Year Three
- Shade War (tentative chronological placement as of 5/2021)
- Druid’s Folly – June, Year Three
- Druid’s Curse – July, Year Three
- Colin McCool Saves Christmas – December, Year Three
- Druid’s Bane – January, Year Four
- Blood Moon – January, Year Four
- Druid’s Gamble – February, Year Four
- THEM Series – 7.5 years after Druid’s Curse (in the Hellpocalypse timeline)
(Post updated on 3/09/2023)
Questions? Suggestions? Post them in the comments!
Is there a novellas book 3?
Yup, but in the novella/short story series itself, the books are chronologically out of order.
So, Blood Circus is #3 in that series. (That’s the YA novel I wrote when I first came up with the character, then later retconned and edited to match the adult series timelines.)
Here’s the series page on Amazon if you want to check it out:
Are there any plans for more books beyond Druids Due?
Yes… four more books, at least.
So, only one more? ?
Two more in the current series, then Colin will be back for more adventures after that in a connected series. I also have at least three spinoff series planned.
I would love to see a book about finigus and kuhulin and fieon as a prequel to everything
Out of curiosity.. How far away are we from seeing the next book of the series?
Mid- to late-June.
SMALL SPOILERDONR READ IF YOUR R STILL AT BOOK 7!!!!! Okay Iam confused please help … i finshed the werewolf apocalypse and Colin was there until the end (whoever read it know what was the protagonist going to do after they finish the job)and when i started with druid venge and druid due they didnt connect ,,,, could u please explain as the start of druid vengeance removed the possibility of the werewolf apocalypse happeningg!!
Sorry Ashraf, just saw this comment as it was in the spam comments section. Colin’s world and Scratch’s world exist in two different timelines. I hope this clears the confusion up.
Thank you for the reply, and I must say this …. this is one of the best series I have ever read and I have done ALOT of reading ..
Really appreciate you taking the time to write for us 🙂
Thanks Ashraf! I needed to hear that today, because earlier I happened to glance at the reviews Amazon is featuring on the Junkyard Druid sales page, and apparently my work is not universally loved and admired. ?
Hey, where does Aberation fit into the book series please ?
It’s a sort of prequel to Incursion, but it falls between Invasion and Incursion in that series.
Between Invasion and Incursion, in that eight-year mystery period in which I had intended to write a crap-load of Scratch Sullivan short stories. That never happened, but there’s always the chance you might find out more about that period in the future from another character’s point of view…
Hi! I’m new to your Junkyard Druid universe. I’ve read “Druid Blood” and now I’m reading “Blood Scent” and I feel like I’m missing a whole bit on Colin working with Jesse and how Jesse dies. I can even see said book ending with Jesse’s death and we catch up with Colin an indeterminate period later in “Blood Scent”. I just feel like I lost a book or two in between. Thanks.
It’ll fill you in on the details. Druid Blood and Blood Scent are both prequels to the Colin McCool Paranormal Suspense series–you’ll get a more complete story progression in that novel series starting with Junkyard Druid.
Just read the entire Druid series in 3 days and I’m hooked. Cannot wait to see more of these books. You’re an amazing writer!
Thank you, David!
Is Blood Ties coming to Audible?
At some point, yes. Maybe before Book 10.
01/15/2020 update: The audiobook for Blood Ties has been released on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
Love, love, love the series. Have reread them at least 7 times. Will they come out as a bundle as I read them on kindle unlimited but would love to purchase them.
Thanks for the kind words, Debra! I’ll definitely consider publishing them in bundles, likely by tetralogy (Books 1-4, Books 5-8, etc.)
Will I miss anything important to the story if I skip the cross over?
Not really. Some readers enjoy the side jaunt, but it’s not crucial to Colin’s story. However, he will be making a return to the Hellpocalypse at a later date… just FYI.
Any idea when I can hold of Druid Arcane on Amazon Kindle ? I’m completely out of Druid books now
No ETA yet, but I put out a novel roughly every three months. That should give you an idea of when Druid Arcane will release.
When will Druid Arcane be teleased? Really enjoyed the series.
I was wondering the same thing.
I was shooting for late June. Looks like it’ll be early July at this point.
Is the Junkyard Druid series available in an actual book or are they digital/e-books only?
Paperback versions are available on Amazon.
Have I missed something? In them series, seems to suggest colin was there since the bombs fell, so 8 years. However, in next book, said he was in that alternative reality for 6 months.
Have I missed something or is it going to be explained in future books?
Yup, he definitely shows up in that alternate timeline. I’ll delve deeper into those shenanigans after Book 12, which will wrap up Colin’s first series. After that, I’m writing a new series featuring Colin in all new settings and with some new characters as well. I’ll announce it when those books are closer to publication, sometime in mid-2021.
Great stories! I’ve been following the suggested reading order and am currently at Druids Due. Love the first Crowley spinoff too! One thing that’s eating at me, will we ever see Ghost again from the THEM series? I was hoping he made it through all that trouble.
Thank you, Sasha!
[…] Currently, I’m hip-deep in the first draft of Druid Master, Book 12 in the Colin McCool series. […]
For the life of me I cannot think of where else to comment this and think you may ever see it.
Compilation book 9-12 on Amazon prime/kindle, chapter 2 of “Druid Mystic” is for some reason a copy-paste of chapter 1. So it reads:
Chap 1: book starts, exposition, a villainous attack, Colin prepares to counter attack
Chap 2: word for word identical to chap 1
Chap 3: safe at last and recovering from the attack that was never resolved.
I’m not sure if this is somehow just me, or something you can gripe to a publisher or Amazon about if im right, but after I decided it wasn’t some bizarre time-loop ploy by yourself, I went and bought the stand alone book to see what I was missing.
Maybe a QA oversight? Either way, slightly ruins the point of buying the “box set” so to speak.
I love the world you’ve built, excited to reach the finale!
Fixed! Someone else told me about it earlier this week as well. Thanks for letting me know!
Is there a list of cast and characters?
In which Druid book is the Hellpocalypse mentioned or discussed? I would like to go back and read that for reference.
Seeing your chronology above I was surprised to note that THEM falls in between the books. After reading THEM and being surprised to find Colin I had assumed that this was quite a bit into the future of Colin’s world, years after an apocalypse which did not happen by the end of the Druid series where you reference The Trickster Cycle.
And also, it seems a wee bit surprising that the Colin who is in the Apocalypse series is the same Colin between Enforcer and Vengeance. I had assumed that due to his longevity of life as a Druid he had gained a vast amount of experience (and muscle it seems because everyone describes him as really big which he does not come across as in the Druid series), temperance, and grew up. In the Druid series Colin is a smartass through and through but in THEM he is a very different, much more mature and thoughtful person; quite different. I was able to tie those two Colins together by assuming (incorrectly it seems) that THEM was quite a bit into Colin’s future. It did not occur to me that it was an alternate timeline he may have stepped into. And this is why I led this commentary with the question of where the Hellpocalypse is referenced in the Druid books? I would like to connect the dots.
I just pre-ordered Druid’s Folly so I look forward to seeing how you tie these timelines together and how you bring the “Colin of Two Personalities” into one character. Maybe it is as “simple” as the humans in THEM being “normals” and have no idea or inkling of the world of magic from which Colin comes. But then again nothing about Colin is ever simple, is it, Mr. Massey?
Hoping this will get moderated and a reply. I started the Druid’s Folly and it already surpasses all the other books together. Cant stop reading!
Thanks, Cameron! Oh, and the Hellpocalypse is first mentioned in the Colin McCool series in Book 7, Druid Vengeance.
That’s a suggested reading order, and not necessarily a chronology. Colin meets Scratch eight years into the apocalypse, a full 7.5 years after the events of Druid’s Folly. Hope that clears it up for you.
I know the novella books have been included in the timeline above, but is there a list that breaks it down by story? I feel like the short stories don’t all fit in between the two main novels on either side of it. (Example: do ALL 3 stories in Blood Circus occur between the events in Underground Druid and Druid Justice?)
Honestly Kelly, I haven’t gone that deep into the chronology. I’ll put it on the to-do list for the next time I set aside a few days for admin work.
I just bought the audiobooks, 1-4, 5-8, etc.. after book four dude hatched the acorn, and was about to go to conclave, but now it’s a completely different story with some kids? Is that right?
At the end of Book 5, Colin does indeed plant the acorn that a certain Celtic god gifted him. Book 6 picks up a short time later, and fills the reader in on what happened in the interim throughout the first few chapters. Each Book is a story unto itself, so don’t expect perfect chronological continuations between volumes.
However, if you want to find out exactly what happened immediately after Colin planted the acorn, you can do so by picking up the Blood Ties short story collection and reading the first story, Old Ghosts.
Love the series, still working on them got to book 9 and got lost in another author works desided to go back to yours and start over in order.
Is there a planned release for Trickster Cycle book 2 as an audiobook? I’ve never been a big reader but Colin’s journey has been keeping me company for a while now. Love the story and The voice acting is exceptional. Can’t wait!!
Yes, it’s in production now.
I love this series – will there be a book after Druid Master?
Yes, the series continues in The Trickster Cycle. You can find the next book after Druid Master at this link: https://geni.us/druidsfolly
I have been an avid sci-fi and fantasy reader since I learned to read. These books rate as my favorites. I can’t express how much I enjoy these reads and the voice acting in the audio books is awesome.
Thanks Randy! Yeah, Steven does a great job.
Hi! I always appreciate a reading order with such large series!
I saw you being compared to Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs somewhere and didn’t know how fast to spend my grocery money… well, not on groceries. Seeing as they’re among my all time favourite UF authors I really hope I agree with those comparisons!! I decided to splurge & got the two box sets. If I really like them I’ll get the rest and knowing me, will then buy all your books.
I’m currently finishing some (ARC) book series for reviews, will then read the rest of another UF series (by a British duo from the United Kingdom) and the latest from another favourite female author. Then it’s your turn. End of March most likely. I really can’t wait. I’ve been reading some pretty decent stuff lately, but The Dresden Files stand quite lonely at the top when it comes to male authors writing male UF heroes. If Colin McCool joins Harry I’ll be sure to give add a few reviews in the plus column for you ;). (And even when he comes ‘just’ close). Good books deserve good publicity.
Well, that’s what the reviewer said, anyway. I won the Readers’ Favorite gold medal in my category that year for the book she referred to in the review quote. However, that was Book 7 in the main series so I had several books under my belt at that point. I don’t think the earlier books in the series are quite as good as Butcher’s (that’s a pretty high standard for a UF novel, IMO), but hopefully they’re entertaining enough to maintain your interest. At the very least they’re solid UF novels. Thanks for taking a chance on my books!
I am trying to read everything in order and see a title missing from the list. Where does Collin McCool Saves Christmas fall?
After Druid’s Curse. I just added it. 🙂
Where do shade war and shade hunter land in the reading timeline?
I just updated the post to include those books. Refresh your browser, and clear your cache if you don’t see them listed.
Absolutely love this series. I tell everyone I know that has an interest in any of the many topics you cover in this series to give it a read. Just finished Druids Bane and cant wait for the next one! You tie so many pantheons and lore together in a way that makes so much sense its exceptional.
As Blood Circus falls between Junkyard Druid and Graveyard Druid should the list above be adjusted or is this still the recommended reading order?
Nah, I think I placed it after the fourth book due to potential spoilers.
I started listening to Druid Blood on audible. The FIRST THING is a note from the author that spoils later books in the series. There is an obvious assumption that the listener has read the main series.
It’s messed up that the author’s suggested reading order includes a note by him spoiling things in the series.
I’ll check it out and see if it can be changed. Thanks!
EDIT: That’s not a huge spoiler. It’s more like a teaser for the first act of the first novel. And if you read far enough into the series… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Happy reading!
Where does Blood Moon fall in the reading order?
After Druid’s Bane.
Fantastic, thank you!
Hey, I’m just wondering (or perhaps begging) if there is any plans for more Colin McCool books after Druid’s Gamble? I just love the series so much.
Yep. I’m currently writing an alternate-universe superhero fantasy series in which Colin will play a role, and I’ll soon be writing Colin’s next set of primary timeline adventures as well. Next up for him (after his side trip to an alternate dimension) will be… well, you’ll just have to wait to find out. 🙂
Where does Weaponized Magic fall in the reading order?
Before Druid Blood, about five years before the events in Junkyard Druid.