When it comes to the Mitch Rapp series order, as I’ve read all 16 books so far (those written by the Vince Flynn before his death and ghostwritten by other authors), I say reading them in order should be required, but more on that a bit further down.
Here is Mitch Rapp series in order (chronological order). The publication order is a bit different in that 2 books were written much later in the series, however, they are actually prequels to the series as they depict a young Mitch Rapp just getting his job and starting his first assignments. The last book in the series, completed by Kyle Mills after the author’s death is called Enemy of the State, published in 2017.
Mitch Rapp Series In Order
- American Assassin, 2010
- Kill Shot, 2012
- Transfer of Power, 1999
- The Third Option, 2000
- Separation Of Power , 2001
- Executive Power , 2002
- Memorial Day, 2004
- Consent to Kill, 2005
- Act of Treason, 2006
- Protect and Defend, 2007
- Extreme Measures, 2008
- Pursuit of Honor, 2009
- The Last Man, 2012
- The Survivor, 2014 (written by Kyle Mills)
- Order to Kill, 2016 (written by Kyle Mills)
- Enemy of the State, 2017 (written by Kyle Mills)
American Assassin, the 1st book in chronological order is actually the 11th book in the publication order, being published right after Pursuit of Honor.
Kill Shot is the 12th in publication order, being published after American Assassin and before Vince Flynn’s The Last Man.
Should we read the Mitch Rapp series in order?
Do you have that feeling of starting to read a book only to discover that it’s the 5th one in a popular series and now you don’t understand what is going on, what have you missed in terms of plot and who the heck are these characters anyway?
Well, I honestly hate it, especially when I get references with stuff that happened in previous books and now I need to go back and read the series in order from the start to get those references in the first place. This is why I love to read the Mitch Rapp series in order (even though that don’t necessarily need to be read in chronological order. If you do start the series, start with American Assassin before anything else.
I’ve read all the books in order (well except the two published out of order mentioned above), so I say yes, we should read them in order. It is not only about character development in the books, but also about the fact that many of the plotlines actually build up one on top of the other one. Thus it is easier to follow the thread, so to speak if one reads the books in order.
The Mitch Rapp series is one of my favorites in the modern spy thriller genre. Vince Flynn really knew how to write his books (sadly he passed away in 2013 of prostate cancer at the young age of 47).
I’ve also read his stand-alone novel, Term Limits, another spy thriller which is worth checking out.
I first came across this series years ago after reading books by Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy and John Le Carre (actually the John Le Carre was my first introduction to spy novels in the first place). I got hooked.
Reading about the cold war, about one country’s fight against the other with other means than pure war, about puzzles to be solved, heroes to be made and countries to be saved, about CIA and other international “fun” agencies…I was hooked right from the start.
Vince Flynn came out with a great series about Mitch Rapp, a prolific undercover CIA counter-terrorism operative who is literally terrorism’s worst nightmare. He always solves the cases which makes him both equally loved, feared and hated by politicians on Capitol Hill.
Did you know that American Assassin, the first book written in the Mitch Rapp series, is now a movie made in 2017 with Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, and Sanaa Lathan? While both the Mitch Rapp book and the movie are great, they both have some major differences, which is something that many book readers don’t find pleasing.
For example, in the American Assassin movie, there is a bomb, which is not present in the book. Also, Ghost, who appears in the movie, doesn’t exist in the book at all. In fact, there is a lot in the movie that the books don’t include at all. Also, the main motivation for counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp is the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, is replaced in the movie with a terrorist attack on the beach where his girlfriend to whom he just proposed is killed. Last but not least, the CIA assistant director in the book is a tough, bad-ass woman who really helps the books shine. In the movie, while the actress playing it was good, there was still something missing to her character. Maybe because they had to squeeze a whole lot of paper in a two-hour movie.
Personally I enjoyed both the Mitch Rapp book and the American Assassin movie for what they are, so I didn’t feel all that bad for the many differences from book to movie. Granted, it has been a good while (translate that too many years) since I’ve read the book, so I was anyway a bit fuzzy on the details. Thus, there was not all that much for me to complain in the first place.
Should you read the American Assassin by Vince Flynn before watching the movie? I don’t think you need to, but if you enjoy the Mitch Rapp book series, you might as well do it.