In the year 2015, the world is burdened by the second Great Depression. The United States, already weakened by internal strife, becomes the target of an international terror plot. A series of attacks results in thousands of casualties and disables the country’s core infrastructure. The combination of economic hardship and the staggering blow of the terror attacks results in a collapse of the government. This is a realistic story of how an average, middle class couple survives the cascading events brought on by international politics, high tech military actions and the eventual downfall of society. All of their survival skills are tested during the action packed expedition in a world that resembles the American West of 200 years past.
I take only one issue with the book description – “average, middle class couple.” The lead character, Bishop, is not an “average” person in terms of SHTF readiness. He’s a man with extensive combat experience and virtual sharpshooter skills. THAT is what makes the book interesting. This is one of those books where it not only reads fast from an interesting story perspective, but there are also a variety “huh, that’s an interesting idea” moments where you’ll find yourself making mental notes on pieces of gear, post-apocalypse survival strategies, threats, challenges, etc. If you’ve read Holding Your Ground, you’ll note a few instances where suggestions from the book are used in the story of Holding Their Own.
Going beyond the book description, without trying to reveal too much of the plot, Bishop is living in Texas when the U.S. economy is sinking. People are out of work, everything is expensive, etc. The Iranians “wake” their sleeper agents planted in the United States and initiate a variety of dramatic terrorist attacks. The U.S. responds with an EMP strike. Before long, Texas then goes into the dark – grid down. Everything from shopping centers, gas stations, neighborhoods and apartments in Houston are left without power and without answers. True to how it’d play out, no one knows who/what/why. Before long civil society crumbles. Bishop and his lady then make the belated decision to “bug out” to their retreat destination requiring them to travel across a post-apocalyptic Texas. They encounter a variety of people and circumstances.
The book won’t win the Pullitzer Prize, but what preparedness books do? Holding Their Own is a great story for any Prepper that wants to take a break from non-fiction “how to” books in favor of easy, fun entertainment. It’d make a great Christmas stocking stuffer. The book is so good I added it to the List of 70 Great SHTF Fiction Books (and thereby made the list 71).
– Ranger Man