Book Review: Holding Their Own

Holding Their Own – A Story of Survival, by Joe Nobody, Prepper Press, 2011 ($14.95)

Joe Nobody is the nom de plume for a survival and preparedness author who has written “Holding Your Ground," (reviewed by me here) "Without Rule of Law,”and “The TEOTWAWKI Tuxedo” non-fiction books. "Holding Their Own" is his first fiction effort.

Here is his bio from his Amazon author’s page:

Joe Nobody (pen name for the author who wishes to keep his identity confidential) has provided systems, consulting and training for the U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Naval Research, United States Border Patrol as well as several private firms and government agencies which cannot be disclosed.

He is currently active in this area and for the security of his family and ongoing business, wishes to remain anonymous.

He has over 30 years of competitive shooting experience, including IPSC, NRA, and other related organizations. He has been a firearms instructor and consultant for over 30 years and holds the rights to a United States Patent for a firearms modification.

Joe initially became involved in helping private citizens "prepare" at the request of his students and clients. A conscientious instructor, he would always inquire as to why they wanted to learn certain skills or techniques and often the response was to prepare for more than just simple home invasion or self-defense. If you ask Joe what his greatest attribute is, he will tell you he is a "problem solver" and uses his formal education in Systems Engineering to this end.

"Holding Their Own" is a in the same line as the classic, "Alas, Babylon;" "One Second After;" and "Patriots". There is a pretty regular guy, a deteriorating world, and the hero becomes more than a regular guy as he leads his family and community through the troubles.

In this story, Bishop is a civilian contractor doing security work for an oil company after a stint in the Army. A crumbling economy is exacerbated by a series of coordinated terrorist attacks on a massive scale that leads the nation into despair and partial anarchy. Bishop and his wife, Terri, first try hunkering down in their Houston neighborhood, but a declaration of martial law leads them to want to bug out to a retreat they have established in the West Texas desert mountains.

Most of the book deals with how they bug out, logistical problems, and good and bad guys that they encounter along the way. In one gunfight, Bishop is seriously wounded and the author does it realistically. In many survival novels, someone gets shot, but as the Black Knight in Monty Python might say, “it’s just a flesh wound.” Bishop actually becomes severely injured and his life is on the line. Fortunately, Terri uses some field medical books and improvised instruments to stabilize him and get him on the road to recovery. In a number of scenes, the author uses real-world information from other resources, as well as things I read about in his “Holding Your Ground” to educate the reader while entertaining.

After a long and arduous journey, Bishop and Terri make it to a small town not too far from their isolated retreat. There, they encounter a group of bandits that has taken up residency in the town and are keeping the citizens on edge. This leads to the end of the novel and sets the stage for "Holding Their Own II – The Independents." I’ll be reviewing that in the coming week for you.

Joe Nobody hit a home run with "Holding Their Own." It is well written, fairly plausible, and keeps the reader turning the pages to see what happens next. On top of that, if you are not careful, you’ll also learn a thing or two that will help you in your own preparedness efforts.

This book was given to me by the publisher to review.

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