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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5 comments… add one
  • Charles June 20, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Wonderful writer that Joe, I enjoyed the first book except for the part’s where one get’s wounded one day, even shot, and then three days later they are up and running in a gun battle, I know it’s a book and it has to move along but having a wound care nurse in the family we laugh at the hero who gets a bullet wound and then fights it out with the bad guy in three days after being operated on with a rusty knife and muddy water, over looking all that the detail’s of their continued struggle and the closeness of the good guys helping the good guy’s, classic but very true indeed…. I look forward to reading book II…….

  • JL June 20, 2012, 9:45 pm

    Havn’t read either yet. I have been making my way through some of the books on the list. By the way I hated “Earth Abides”.

  • watchdog June 21, 2012, 4:38 am

    Hi Ranger Man,

    Thanks. I think that I might just try the book. Looks like my kind of story. I liked “The Road” and “The Book of Eli”

    The author’s name reminds me of an incident that happened in Toronto last year during the G20 Summit. The city’s downtown core was turned into a ‘police state’ armed camp! When a young woman on her way to work asked the officer what right did he have to search her purse on the street without cause, he screamed, “Shut up, you’re not in Canada anymore!”. Although that statement outraged the public when it hit the press another incident happened two blocks away that caused the s to hit the f.
    The cops stopped a courier on a bike and asked him his name,
    he said, ” Nobody”. It was his real name but the cops thought that he was being a smart ass and threw him down on the ground and beat the living daylights out of him! There were so many abuses of police power during the duration of the summit that a public inquirie into police conduct and tactics was called.
    I’d hate to think what would happen if martial law was ever put into effect.

  • Brad in South FL June 21, 2012, 8:54 am

    I ordered both books yesterday! By the way, I did not care for Earth Abides either. I have enjoyed reading the Zombie series by Rhiannon Fratter “As The World Dies”. There are 3 books, if you are into the zombie genre, good entertainment and shows how people stick together to deal with survival, looters/bandits and build!

    Be safe all

  • Margie Pelissier July 2, 2012, 11:07 am

    salutations from across the ocean. Great blog I must return for more.


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