Kelley asked:

I've been reading the review for this book, and it looks as if I would enjoy the characters, especially the women. My question is this: could I read, enjoy, and understand this book without having read "Leviathan Wakes" first?

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Brian Williams You definitely need to read Leviathan Wakes first. It's a good read, and an easy one, but there is a lot of major plot points that spill out of the first one that you'd be completely lost on without starting from the beginning.
Hwo Thumb God, why would you want to? I just finished reading Abaddon's Gate, and I can honestly say that I have loved each and every one of these books. I went into the series with cautious optimism, but they were just so damn good.

That aside, each book builds on the previous one in a way that makes it impossible to leave one out, especially the first one. I found that these books have been getting exponentially better with each installment. (I hope this holds true for Cibola Burn) but they would not be nearly as good as if I read them out of order.

Start with Leviathan Wakes. If you enjoy it, even if it's only a little bit, read Caliban's War anyway. Abaddon's Gate was freaking amazing. Don't skip the first book. You'll be confused.

I will say this: The book has plenty of strong female characters, but that's not a reason to read it. It's simply a reason why it's good.
Jasper Lin I agree with the answers here, but I'll add one thing. Corey did a good job of recapping parts of Leviathan Wakes right before the context is needed, all within the same reading experience of Caliban's War.

It was to the point that I almost rolled my eyes thinking "Did Corey think I wouldn't remember that?"

So you won't be completely lost, and if you really want to experience Bobbie's badassness or Chrisjen's sharp tongue and cunning insight, then don't let the whole Leviathan read delay you.

However, be aware that Naomi is an awesome character, too, so you would be missing that from Leviathan.

In conclusion, you won't be lost, but you'll have missed out on a richer experience if you skip Leviathan. You'll never be able to read Caliban in its intended glory.
Penelope No, you really can't. Unlike other series you can't just jump in in the middle, otherwise you will be completely lost. I started out watching the SYFY series The Expanse and liked it so much that I ripped through every audiobook available. With the 7th book published this winter I was left wanting more. On the advice of my dad I decided to purchase all 7 books and begin reading the series.
Gav451 You could understand it but you really should read the Leviathan first just for the visceral impact at the end of this one.
Pete Benway Nope... while Leviathan Wakes may read in and of itself as a fully contained story - it is not. And this picks up with new characters and is definitely a continuation of the storyline of Book 1. Start at the beginning. You won't be disappointed.
Alan This is now being made into a TV series. Check out a few episodes, then decide if you want to read the first book.
Michael R. Piscetelli I would start at the begining.
Ren Yes! I loved it, gave it 5 stars, and haven't read Leviathan Wakes yet.
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by James S.A. Corey (Goodreads Author)
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