Book Review – Joe Nobody’s Holding Their Own II: The Independents

Remember the last guest blog post from Joe Nobody, author of Holding Your Ground,Without Rule of LawHolding Their Own and TEOTWAWKI Tuxedo? It was the Survival Ideas for Visiting a Foreign Country post. In that post I suggested that if any readers were interested in reading his latest book, Holding Their Own II: The Independents, that you buy it then as “book club” time would be coming and we could discuss it. Well … it’s book club time!

The trick here becomes how to discuss the book, in traditional book club fashion, without ruining the story for anyone that wants to read it, but hasn’t. I’d like to give people a taste for what the story line is about, so they can gauge their likely level of interest in it, but not so much that it spoils the story as I do think it’s a good one.

I suppose the first thing to any of you that haven’t read Joe Nobody’s works, or fiction works in particular, is to take a gander at my review of the first book in what seems to be a three part series – Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival. The next step would be taking a look at Holding Their Own II‘s actual book description as stated on Amazon:

The second in the series, Holding Their Own II: The Independents, continues the saga of a young couple trying to survive in the post-apocalyptic American West. Unable to maintain rule of law, the federal government now faces an opposition movement and the threat of civil war. Bishop and Terri are drawn into the struggle and have to risk everything to save both an old friend and the country they love.

What I like about the first book is that it’s a story that stands on its own without leaving the reader needing the next book for a sense of story closure. What I like about the second book is that it, while it builds off the first, it makes a successful story line transition to an almost “new” story while still tying in elements from the first. The first book can be seen as a story of societal collapse and the two characters’ efforts to survive. The second book is a story that takes place post-collapse. In a “real life” societal breakdown, one could easily envision how surviving the initial collapse would be just the beginning of a new life of survival. That’s the case with Bishop and Terri, but for good story telling, these aren’t your typical survivors. Joe Nobody’s inclusion of character details, firearms, and tactics into the story make the story interesting to me. Joe never says “he grabbed the gun and …” Joe gets into the details of how the character’s mind is working given the character’s combat experience. That being said, it’s not by any means bogged down with unnecessary details that would send the non-gun enthusiast to bed early without wanting to turn the next page. While I’m not convinced this book is a better book than the first in terms of the story, I can say that the writing does seem more refined. The first book certainly has good writing, Holding Their Own II just has better writing.

Have YOU read the book yet? Care to add your thoughts without giving away story details?

– Ranger Man

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